Testing out some of the safety features in the X70
Four Seasons Resort
Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa > Temurun Waterfall > Gunung Raya > Four Seasons Resort > Langkawi Stadium
On the way up Gunung Raya, the suspension of the X70 soaks up road undulations for a more comforting ride.
This is Panas!!
TRAVEL LOG – PROTON X70 INSPIRATION DRIVE
WORDS: HP, PICS: KEVIN
Welcomed to Langkawi chauffeur-driven in the X70 from the airport to hotel. Our driver James claimed credit for suggesting gloves to be worn on all chauffeurs on duty that day. A more 'atas' feel, it seems. Proton wants the X70 to feel more upmarket than any of its other cars from the past.
Stepping inside the Premium 2WD variant, we were stunned that such build quality can be offered at the RM123k price point. The nappa leather felt expensive to the touch and very comfortable to sit on. Ride was pleasant even on 19” wheels. Everywhere within our hand’s reach are soft touch materials. We especially liked the metal trim on the door handle that felt very …. uhmm…. Volvo.
The day’s itinerary ended at the beach side and the setting was the cinnamon brown X70 blending nicely with the wonderful sunset view. The place was Cba – we’re not kidding about the spelling, but do know that it is pronounced sea bar.
An elderly Japanese tourist passing by expressed his curiousity toward the car. He was shocked to learn it was a Proton and went on to reminisce on Mitsubishi’s former involvement in the company and Tun Dr. Mahathir’s role in setting it all into motion.
We tested out the famous “Hi Proton” voice command feature, trying it out for navigation, music, climate control, even opening the sunroof. It even responded to “Hi Proton, PANAS!” with a reduction of 1 degree on the temperature control!
We flagged off in the morning for the day’s drive programme. Over the handy walkie-talkie placed in each car, the crew barked out useful instruction to take us through the day’s proceedings.
Impressive, but overall, we found that the voice recognition to be hit-and-miss, but the beauty of over-the-air updates is that Proton can refine and fix these little flaws without you needing to visit the workshop.
We also found out that the rear AC ioniser is not available in the X70’s Chinese brother – the Geely Boyue.
First, came a test of the Adaptive Cruise Control system, which we can report synchronized speeds with the vehicle ahead accurately and was able to brake in a natural-feeling manner. There is Lane Departure Warning, but you’re expected to keep hands on the wheel to steer yourself out of harm’s way.
Taking the X70 uphill, the 1.8-litre TGDI engine does need substantial coaxing to lug 3 passengers onboard, with turbo lag not helping to enable ready access to the engine’s full 285Nm of torque.
The suspension coped well with the many potholes on the way up, and impressively so for a non-adjustable setup. As the roads tightened, the X70’s steering called for more inputs to accurately guide it the right direction, with evident body roll on reminding us this is still a big SUV.
As for the last menu of the day before heading back to KL, we arrived in Langkawi Stadium to test possibly the most asked 3 safety features on the X70. To our surprise, Proton put its own vehicles on the line!
1) Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) - We tried this just under 30km/h with an actual car in front coming to a complete stop. A warning bleep was followed by brutal clamping of the brake pads to stop the car in its tracks.
2) Forward Collision Warning (FCW) - 30km/h is the threshold where the X70’s AEB stops working and you’ll need to count on FCW to warn you of an impending collision so that you’ll do the stopping yourself.
3) 360 Camera & Parking Sensor - Our own little ‘bird box challenge’. Windscreen and mirrors all covered, we only had the 360-degree cam to navigate us around a cone-marked path. The system can actually generate a 3rd person POV view on the monitor as well.