After months of teasing the Proton X50, during which we were granted an early look in Tanjung Malim and some time behind the wheel in Sepang, the national carmaker has finally (officially) launched its hotly-anticipated compact SUV in Malaysia.
With a conditional movement control order (CMCO) still in effect in Selangor where Proton is based, an occasion we predicted to be loud and glamorous was whittled down to a virtual launch broadcasted on Facebook. But the variance in grandeur makes no difference to the one thing all of us have been waiting so patiently for; we finally know exactly how much each one of the X50's four variants cost.
And to the benefit of the 20,000-plus Malaysians who have been convinced to place a booking before this crucial piece of information unraveled itself, the Proton X50 has lived up to expectations of a truly tempting proposition with the base 'Standard' model getting the ball rolling at just RM79,200.
Here's a quick recap of all the variants.
Proton X50 1.5T Standard – RM79,200
All models are powered by a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.5-litre engine, but the base model (and the two models that come after it) get a slightly detuned, port-injected mill good for 150PS and 226Nm. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard across the range, as are some neat items like full-LED headlamps and rear AC vents available from the cheapest model upwards. However, the Standard model makes do with just four airbags, fabric seats, 17-inch wheels, an eight-inch infotainment head unit and a single reverse camera.
Proton X50 1.5T Executive – RM84,800
For an additional RM5,600, the Executive variant adds on a pair of airbags (bringing the total up to six), automatic headlamps and front fog lamps. Inside, it gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leatherette seats, which are about it. So it's largely the same, no-frills package as the Standard but with a few extra bits to make things look a little less bare in contrast to the higher-spec models.
Proton X50 1.5T Premium – RM93,200
The X50 Premium is the priciest and highest-spec model running the 150PS engine, which returns an average fuel consumption of 6.5l per 100km. This is where things get a little bit more high-tech, with a tyre pressure monitoring system, electrically-adjustable driver seat and 360-degree parking camera all part of the package. The infotainment head unit is bumped up to 10.25 inches in size for a more enriching GKUI experience (Hi Proton and all) while a set of now familiar 18-inch alloy wheels complete the 'Premium' look, which is largely the same as what you'd get in the Flagship on the surface, inside and out. This may not add up to a tonne of difference for some, but it only emphasises how well the X50 is actually kitted from the base line.
Proton X50 1.5TGDi Flagship – RM103,300
While it isn't priced below the RM100k mark as most of us would have liked it to, the aptly named Flagship variant packs a sufficient amount of extras to justify its price tag, and it all starts under the hood. As the TGDi label suggests, the Flagship's three-banger is direct injected. And the result is an additional 27PS and 29Nm for a total output of 177PS and 255Nm that facilitates a 7.9-second century sprint. Incidentally, this engine is the greener of the two on paper with a marginally better average fuel consumption of 6.4l per 100km.
The Flagship is easily told apart from the other models by its dual-tone exterior and panoramic sunroof. But what truly puts it in a league of its own is its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which makes it the only car in segment with Tesla-equaling Level 2 driving autonomy. Among the features parked under the ADAS umbrella are blind spot information system, intelligent high beam control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function and intelligent cruise control.
It even gets Auto Park Assist to help you go "look Ma, no hands!" while inching into a parking bay with robotic accuracy. So, what else is there to know?
For starters, all prices listed above are on-the-road without insurance. And they include the sales tax exemption that's in effect till 31 December 2020, so expect prices to rise by a small margin next year. Either way, you're sorted for five years with an unlimited-mileage warranty and 1GB monthly data. The first 30,000 buyers will also get five free labour services while Proton is also offering interest rates from just 2.2 percent and its in-house Proton Insurance Program to make the ownership process all the more seamless.
So, after a roller coaster of teases and spurts of information, we finally know all there is to know about the X50. All that's left for us is a comprehensive road test to see if it truly is as good as it looks on paper. Have all of your expectations been met thus far?