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Welcome the Proton X50

All variants are powered by a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, but there are some differences across the range. The mill used for the Flagship, which was co-developed by Geely and Volvo, comes with direct injection, with outputs expected to mirror those in other markets – 177 PS at 5,500 rpm and 255 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm.

Every other variant beneath the Flagship gets a port-injected version of the engine, which is unique to Malaysia and is rated at around 150 PS and 226 Nm. Both engine types are mated to seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, with drive going to the front wheels – no all-wheel drive option here.

Looking at the specifications of the Proton X50, you’ll notice a few things. Firstly, only three variants – Executive, Premium and Flagship – come with six airbags, while the base Standard variant makes do with just four.

This is certainly worth questioning, especially since Proton has long been pushing the safety message and we don’t think it fits the brand to offer a car with four airbags in 2020. For that matter, even its larger sibling, the X70, offers six airbags across its entire four-variant range.

Secondly, paddle shifters are not offered on any of the X50 variants, which is a bit curious, especially given the available performance on tap and just how dynamic-looking the SUV is. The car which the X50 is based on, the Geely Binyue and Coolray, is offered with paddle shifters in other markets, so why not here as well?

On the topic of paddle shifters, Proton says the Sport versions of the Binyue and Coolray do come with paddle shifters, but the X50 does not follow that specification. This is evident in the lack of a large roof-mounted wing and S logos on the front seats, which you can see in Matthew’s previous first look video linked below. As such, there is no option for paddle shifters for the X50, and adding them on would require additional development work that involves programming and costs.

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