With the growing market of compact SUVs, Jagdamba Motors, the authorised distributor of Proton, has added a compact SUV, the X50 in the company’s lineup for the Nepali market. The Proton X50 is the second SUV from the Malaysian brand. Like its bigger sibling the X70, this SUV created much hype and caught a lot of attention in Malaysia when it was first launched in 2020.
The new 5-seater SUV is offered in three different variants – Standard, Premium and Flagship – with a starting price of Rs 71,99,000 for the base model going all the way up to Rs 84,99,000 for the top spec variant. We were able to get our hands on the top trim variant of the X50. So, let’s find out whether the car was worth the hype.
The new X50 looks totally different from its elder sibling. It has a very stylish and sporty design approach whereas the X70 is more mature and bolder. The fascia of the vehicle retains the ‘interlocking weave’ pattern grille with bow shaped surround from the X70. However, to make things sportier, the surround gets a red finish instead of chrome. The sharp lines and creases on the bumper and the bonnet make it look aggressive and sporty. Adding to the sporty design elements are the air vents housing LED DRLs and the extended nose on the lower bumper.
From the side, the X50 has a coupe like design with sloping roof and slightly raised spoiler. The sharp lines and creases continue at the side as well. The chrome accents around the window area give it a premium look. There is also a black plastic cladding on the lower half for a rugged feel. The 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheel on the top variant suits the X50’s modern looks.
For me, the SUV looks the best from the rear with quad exhaust pipes and diffuser. The Proton badging on the silver line and the split swiped forward LED tail lamps look sleek and maintain the sporty factors of the car.
Interior and Features
On the inside, you are welcomed by a well thought of modern looking cabin. The cabin feels quite premium with soft touch materials and leatherette seats. The brushed aluminium and the well damped buttons add to the premium feeling. At the centre of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system supporting phone connectivity which also draws your attention as soon as you get inside the car. The centre console feels like it has been inspired by Porsche. The easily adjustable 6-way driver’s power seat makes it really easy to adjust according to the driver’s comfort. The sporty features are carried over to the inside of the car as well such as diagonally arranged buttons, angular cup holder and flat bottom steering wheel. The red and black theme on the inside adds up to the character of the vehicle. Enhancing the experience of the new X50 is the electrically adjustable panoramic sunroof.
The wide opening door makes it really easy to get into the rear seat. The seat is wide enough to sit three with ease and you get plenty of shoulder, knee and head room. The rear occupants are provided with A/C vents and two charging ports.
The top spec ‘Flagship’ trim level also gets features like electronic parking brake, full colour LCD driver’s display, N95 cabin filter, automatic climate control, anti-trap power windows, voice command, smartphone connectivity, automatic headlamps, cruise control and so on.
Driving and Safety
Powering the X50 is the same in-line three cylinder 1.5L petrol engine from the X70. It produces the same max power of 177 hp at 5500 rpm and a peak torque of 255 Nm at 1,500-4,000 rpm. As mentioned earlier in the review of X70, the 1477 cc engine feels well-tuned and the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is quite responsive and the gear shifts are smooth and seamless. However, the X50 feels more powerful and aggressive as it is smaller and lighter than its bigger sibling. Unlike the X70, the power delivery feels quicker and the turbo kicks it at around 2000 rpm. You also get three driving modes to select from: Eco, Normal and Sport. Eco gives the most mileage and Sport provides performance, while Normal sits in between. The ride quality is much similar to the X70 as the soft suspension setup soaks up the bump well. However, to match the sporty characteristics of the car, the steering feels responsive and agile making it easier to go into the corner.
On the safety side, the car is equipped with six airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (ED), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Auto Park Assist (APA), Front Parking Sensors, 360-degree camera and more.
The new X50 is Proton’s take on the immensely growing compact SUV segment. I was quite surprised by the X70 and this is no less. This can be a great option if you are looking for a good sporty looking compact SUV packed with tonnes of features. With its dashing looks and loaded premium features the X50 is definitely worth the hype.