After nearly four years and over 70,000 units on the road, the Proton X70 has finally received its first minor change (MC), giving it mild styling tweaks and a new engine option to go with them. No, this isn’t a facelift in the conventional sense, even though its twin, the Geely Boyue, has gone under the knife twice in China (Boyue Pro/2022 Boyue and Boyue X) since the Malaysian version was launched back in 2018.
First, we’ll need to talk about pricing, which has been adjusted upwards. The 2022 X70 is available in five variants, starting from the 1.5 Standard at RM93,900 (up RM4,000) and rising up to RM105,500 (up RM4,500) for the 1.5 Executive. Making a return since it was dropped in 2020 is the Executive AWD retailing at RM111,300, while the 1.5 Premium with most of the bells and whistles costs RM117,900 (up RM4,800).
The Premium X remains at the top of the lineup, now named simply the 1.8 Premium and costing RM6,000 more at RM121,800. These figures are on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of the sales and service tax (SST) exemption valid until the end of the month. A five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and five times free labour for servicing comes as standard with every purchase, as before.
Even though there aren’t any wholesale aesthetic upgrades, there’s still plenty of things to talk about here. There’s a new powertrain, after all, which is the main focus of the MC. So, let’s get straight to it.
X50 engine on most models, lower outputs but less weight
The engine is a known quantity, especially to owners of the smaller X50. That’s because the 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine has been carried over – here, it’s offered exclusively in direct-injected TGDi form, but even this high-output version is slightly less powerful than the outgoing 1.8 litre four-pot.
Power is rated 7 PS lower at 177 PS at 5,500 rpm, but the key stat is torque, which has fallen some 45 Nm to 255 Nm, made between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. Proton says the shortfall won’t be noticeable in everyday driving conditions because peak twist is made 250 rpm lower down, and the 43 kg saved by dropping one cylinder should also help make up some of the deficit.
We say some, because the new X70 takes three tenths of a second longer to get from zero to 100 km/h, accomplishing the century sprint in 9.8 seconds. On the plus side, the company is claiming a seven per cent improvement in fuel economy, which to most buyers will be a more important consideration.
Three-pot engines aren’t exactly the last word in refinement, but the new mill, developed in collaboration between Geely and Volvo, gets a sound-insulating polyurethane engine cover to ensure the X70’s whisper-quiet driving experience remains undimmed. It’s also locally assembled for the first time, built at a new plant in Tanjung Malim – ahead of it being offered in more Proton models in the future.
Buyers hankering for the older 1.8 litre turbo four-cylinder will be please to know that it will continue to be offered but, as mentioned earlier, it will only be available in the most expensive variant. It produces the same 184 PS at 5,500 rpm and 300 Nm of torque between 1,750 and 4,000 rpm.
As before, models receive a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, introduced on the locally-assembled CKD model back in 2020. Another product of the Sino-Scandinavian collaboration, the gearbox has been retuned in the 1.5 litre models to suit the new engine but is untouched in the 1.8 Premium.
Drive is sent to the front wheels, although you can once again get all-wheel drive as an option, brought back in response to customer feedback – particularly those in East Malaysia. It’s still limited to the mid-range Executive variant, however, meaning that the all-paw model misses out on the Premium’s all-important driver assistance features. More on that later.
Minor trim colour changes and new wheels, but design remains untouched
Now that we’ve gotten the sole big change out of the way, we can talk about the few aesthetic changes that have been added, which are little more than colour changes to specific parts. There are no new body panels, but the components that were previously matte grey (the Infinite Weave grille bars, front bumper corner “rings”, rear number plate garnish and decorative rear skid plate) are now finished in gloss black.
The sole exceptions are the chin spoiler at the front and the inserts for the air curtain inlets, which have been painted in a brighter matte silver. Meanwhile, the surrounds for those inserts are painted in gloss black instead of body colour, while the door mirrors are finished in metallic Quartz Black – both of these have been carried over from last year’s SE.
Finally, there are the two new wheel designs, both lifted from the Chinese-market Boyue Pro. The intricate 19-inch alloys on the 1.5 and 1.8 Premium are familiar and come from the SE, but the 18-inch rollers for the Executive have not been seen in Malaysia before. The Standard, on the other hand, rides on the same silver 17s as before.
The changes are even more minor on the inside, with just the black headlining being added for a sportier look. The gently undulating dashboard, tall centre console, prominent grab handles and flat-bottomed steering wheel all remain, as do the standard-fit seven-inch instrument display and eight-inch infotainment touchscreen – the latter hooked up to the Geely Key User Interface (GKUI) with “Hey Proton” voice control.
Unchanged kit list, driver assists still exclusive to Premium
Proton has also left the equipment count well alone. The 1.5 Standard continues to come with automatic halogen headlights with LED indicators, LED front fog lights with a cornering light function, LED taillights, keyless entry, push-button start, a multi-function steering wheel, manual seat adjustment, fabric upholstery, reclining rear seats, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents and an air purifier, an electronic parking brake, Internet connectivity, six speakers, rear parking sensors and a reverse camera.
The Executive and Executive AWD models add on LED headlights and daytime running lights, automatic wipers, black faux leather upholstery, ventilated seats with driver’s side powered adjustment, front parking sensors, a 360-degree camera system, eight speakers and a powered tailgate.
Stepping up to the 1.5 Premium adds a hands-free function for the tailgate and nets you brown Nappa leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat with “boss” switches, four auto up/down windows, additional voice control functions (including for the windows) and a nine-speaker Kenwood sound system. Just like the old Premium X, the 1.8 Premium gains a panoramic sunroof, but it also receives security window tint.
Safety-wise, the X70 comes as standard with six airbags and stability control; as before, only the Premium models can be had with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The suite is unchanged and includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, door opening warning and automatic high beam. As such, the flagship SUV continues to lag behind the X50, which can be had with Level 2 semi-autonomous driving features such as lane centring assist.
As always, we have a spec-by-spec breakdown of the available kit, which is as follows:
Proton X70 1.5 Standard 2WD – RM93,900
Gets as standard:
- 1.5 litre TGDi DOHC engine
- 1,477 cc turbocharged three-cylinder petrol
- 177 PS at 5,500 rpm, 255 Nm from 1,500 to 4,400 rpm
- Seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission
- Three drive modes – Normal, Eco and Sport
- Electric power steering with Normal and Sport modes
- Electronic parking brake
- MacPherson strut suspension (front), multilink (rear)
- Ventilated brake discs (front), solid discs (rear)
- Automatic halogen projector headlamps with LED indicators
- LED rear combination taillights
- LED front fog lamps with cornering light function
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Power-folding door mirrors
- Keyless entry
- Push-button start
- Black leather-wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment
- Seven-inch digital instrument display
- Electronic power windows with driver’s side auto up/down
- Black fabric upholstery
- Manually-adjustable front seats
- 60:40 split-folding rear seats with recline
- Automatic dual-zone climate control with rear vents and air purifier
- Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment with “Hey Proton” voice control, online music streaming, navigation, smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth and 4G Wi-Fi hotspot
- Proton Link App to check vehicle status, remote functionality
- Six speakers
- Six USB ports – one for data, five for charging
- Four rear parking sensors
- Reverse camera
- Tonneau cover
- Space saver spare wheel
- Six airbags (front, side and curtain)
- Rear ISOFIX child seat anchors with top tethers
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
- Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
- Brake Assist
- Auto brake hold
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Traction control
- Hill Hold Assist (HHA)
- Hill Descent Control (HDC)
- Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
Proton X70 1.5 Executive 2WD – RM105,500
- Automatic LED projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights
- 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels
- Automatic wipers
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Front welcome and footwell lamps
- Black faux leather upholstery with red trim
- Six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Ventilated front seats
- Eight speakers
- Two front parking sensors
- 360-degree camera system
- Powered tailgate
Proton X70 1.5 Executive AWD – RM111,300
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Proton X70 1.5 Premium 2WD – RM117,900
- 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels
- Black Nappa leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel
- Auto up/down for all windows with remote close
- Brown Nappa leather upholstery
- Powered lumbar adjustment for driver’s seat, four-way powered front passenger seat (with additional shoulder switches)
- Additional voice command functionality for the infotainment system
- Nine-speaker Kenwood sound system (with amplifier and subwoofer)
- Four front parking sensors
- Hands-free powered tailgate
- Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
- Door Opening Warning (DOW)
- Intelligent High Beam Control (HBC)
Proton X70 1.8 Premium 2WD – RM121,800
- 1.8 litre TGDi DOHC engine
- 1,799 cc turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
- 184 PS at 5,500 rpm, 300 Nm from 1,750 to 4,400 rpm
- Panoramic sunroof
- Security window tint
The 2022 X70 is available in the same colours as before, with Snow White and Jet Grey offered across the lineup. Oddly, Armour Silver can be had on all but the Executive AWD, while Cinnamon Brown can be picked from the Executive AWD onward. Ruby Red and Space Grey are exclusive to the Premium variants.
GALLERY: 2022 Proton X70 1.5 TGDi Premium
GALLERY: 2022 Proton X70 1.5 TGDi Executive AWD
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