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Proton X70: Elegant & Premium

Jagadamba Motors, the authorised distributor of Proton Cars has recently launched its new five seater SUV, the X70 in Nepal. Proton, the first Malaysian automotive company launched their first sedan, the Saga in Nepal in Dec 2020. After the launch of Saga, the company introduced their most successful mid-sized SUV, X70 in the Nepali market on June 30. This model was one of the biggest launches of 2018 for the Malaysian market gaining huge success as Malaysia’s bestselling SUV and was also awarded the ‘Car of the Year’ in 2019.

Jagadamba Motors offers the X70 in four different trim levels: Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Executive AWD and Premium 2WD with a starting price of Rs. 86,99,000 going all the way up to Rs. 1,04,99,000. The SUV in five different colours: Jet Grey, Armour Silver, Space Grey, Snow White and Quartz- Black. The car also comes with five years or 150,000 kms warranty.
We got a chance to get our hands on the Executive AWD variant of the X70 and here is our take on the vehicle.

Exterior

At first glance, the SUV looks quite mature with its simple yet bold design elements. The SUV doesn’t look so busy and complicated like some of its rivals. From the front, the vehicle gets a distinct ‘interlocking weave’ pattern on the grille which is inspired from Malaysian wood carvings. The front grille is surrounded by chrome which resembles a bow like shape. You also get cutouts for the air-intake on the lower half of the bumper which also houses LED fog lamps. Daytime running lights and LED projector headlamps uplift the look of the SUV. However, you won’t get LED headlamps on the Standard 2WD variant.

From the side, the X70 has a muscular and rugged look, thanks to its roof rails and thick side claddings. The chrome accents and the wide D-pillar gives a premium look to the SUV. The car runs on a set of 17, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels depending on the variant you choose from.

The rear of the X70 looks busier with large units of LED tail lamps, Proton branding across the tailgate and reflectors and hexagonal exhaust outlet on both the sides of the bumper. Adding sportiness to the vehicle, the rear bumper also features plastic skid plates and a brake light. Talking about the tailgate, the X70 gets a power tailgate above Executive 2WD trim.

Interiors & Features

As soon as you hop inside the X70, you are welcomed by a neatly laid out cabin which looks premium and elegant. The soft touch materials around the cabin and the black leatherette seats feels top notch. On the top Premium 2WD variant, you get Nappa Leather seats whereas the Standard 2WD is offered with fabric seating. Silver touches on the dash and center console elevates the premium quality of the cabin. The 6-way adjustable power seat ensures the comfort of the driver. Rear seat of the SUV feels spacious with a good amount of knee and head space. Rear occupants also get reading lamps, armrest, USB ports and A/C vents.

The leather wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel is mounted with audio and cruise and controls. Right in front of the steering wheel you see a 7-inch LCD display which reads out all the necessary details about the vehicle. The X70 also comes standard with an 8- inch touch screen infotainment system which supports smartphone connectivity and voice command. However, the infotainment misses out on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

In addition, the X70 is also loaded with an automatic dual-zone climate control, front ventilated seats, air purifier, tyre pressure monitoring system, rearview camera, 360-degree camera,6 USB ports, auto rain sensing wipers and a panoramic sunroof (on the Premium 2WD variant).

Driving and Safety

The Proton X70 is powered with an in-line three-cylinder, TGDi turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine that pumps out a max power of 177 hp at 5500 rpm and a peak torque of 255 Nm at 1,500-4,000 rpm. The 1477 cc engine feels well-tuned. 7-speed dual-clutch transmission on the X70 is quite responsive and the gear shifts are smooth and seamless. The cabin feels well insulated as you won’t hear much of the engine and road noises while on the go. You 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. However, I didn’t find much of a difference regarding the performance in any driving mode. As soon as you floor the throttle, you will notice a bit of turbo lag. You can feel the turbo kicking in at around 2500 rpm.

Suspension setup on the X70 is on a softer side. The car absorbs road bumps really well and the steering wheel feels light and nimble giving you a very relaxing and comfortable driving experience. Although the SUV looks big and heavy driving it felt pretty easy even in the city conditions.

Talking about safety, the car comes with six airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TSC)and Hill Descend as standard. The Proton X70 also offers Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring System, Intelligent High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking on the spec variant. The Proton X70 also scored 5-star rating in the 2018 ASEAN NCAP crash test which makes it evident that the SUV is a robust offering.

Verdict

Proton X70 is a new offering for the Nepali SUV market. The vehicle not only comes with unique and clean design elements; it is packed with lots of premium features. If you are looking for a comfortable and feature-loaded SUV, the X70 can be the right choice for you.

Abhishek Chitrakar is a staff writer at Business360. He is also pursuing his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is mostly interested in entrepreneurship, tech and automobiles.

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