The X50 and X70 SUVs from the Malaysian carmaker Proton have finally gone on sale in South Africa after the automaker announced its re-entry into the local market in May.
The introduction will be complemented by establishing 20 dealerships within the country’s borders by the end of 2022 along popular routes.
The X50 as the smaller model of the two is available from a starting price of R449,900 while the flagship X70 can be had from R529,900.
Combined Motor Holdings (CMH) is Proton’s official distributor in South Africa and the company said it already stocks a full range of replacement parts for the two SUVs.
The new Proton X50 is available in four trim levels starting with the Standard, then the Luxury, Executive, and Premium.
Features fitted to every model include LED headlamps with daytime running lights, a multi-drive-mode programme, cruise control, keyless entry and start, manual air-conditioning with rear-row vents, four speakers, a reverse camera, rear parking sensors, ABS with brake assist, hill-hold assist, and hill descent control.
This is alongside an 8-inch infotainment system offering Bluetooth, voice control, and “smartphone connectivity” – though it must be noted that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported by Proton’s vehicles.
The X50 Luxury model further brings automatic headlight operation, front fog lamps, front parking sensors, and a leatherette steering wheel and seats.
On the Executive, buyers can additionally expect roof rails, a digital driver’s display, automatic aircon, a larger 10.25-inch infotainment unit with more voice control functions, two extra speakers, a 360-degree camera, and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.
The range-topping X50 Premium then gets all of the above along with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, and a variety of driver aids such as autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot information, and intelligent high-beam control.
The Standard and Luxury also wear 17-inch wheels, while the Executive and Premium stand on 18-inch alloys.
As for power, the Proton crossover makes do with a 1.5-litre, turbo-petrol motor and seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission delivering drive to the front wheels.
In the Standard, Luxury, and Executive this combination generates 110kW and 226Nm, whereas the Premium puts out a higher 130kW and 255Nm.
The South African pricing and model line-up for the new Proton X50 are as follows:
- Proton X50 1.5T Standard – R449,900
- Proton X50 1.5T Luxury – 499,900
- Proton X50 1.5T Executive – R535,900
- Proton X50 1.5T Premium – R579,900
This price includes a 5-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and a 5-year/80,000km service plan.
Unlike the X50, the big X70 is only available in Standard, Executive, and Premium X grades.
The entry-level model is equipped with automatic headlamps, LED fog lamps, a leather steering wheel, fabric seats, cruise control, a digital driver’s display, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, ABS with brake assist, auto brake hold, hill descent assist, rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, and 17-inch wheels.
Across the entire X70 range an 8-inch media display is also installed with between six and nine speakers, depending on the chosen specification.
The Executive steps it up with rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, a powered tailgate, leatherette seats, a powered driver seat, ventilated front seats, two more speakers, front parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, and rims measuring 18 inches.
Notably, the X70 Executive is the only Proton you can currently buy in South Africa in all-wheel drive.
For the Premium X, additional bells and whistles comprise a foot sensor for opening the tailgate, Nappa Leather seats, an electric front passenger seat, autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind-spot information, intelligent headlight operation, tyre-pressure monitoring, a door opening warning system, and 19-inch alloys.
The larger X70 also employs the same 1.5-litre drivetrain as its smaller brother, with the whole range putting out 130kW and 255Nm.
The South African pricing and model line-up for the new Proton X70 are as follows:
- Proton X70 1.5T Standard – R529,900
- Proton X70 1.5T Executive – R579,900
- Proton X70 1.5T Executive AWD – R629,900
- Proton X70 1.5T Premium X – R639,900
Each purchase comes with a 5-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and a 5-year/80,000km service plan.