As we inch closer to the launch of the all-new 2023 Proton X90, we took a much closer look at the top two variants, the Premium and Flagship models.
As announced previously, there will be four different variants to choose from when it comes to the 2023 Proton X90 three-row SUV, but a comparison between the Premium and Flagship should be sufficient enough to differentiate the biggest differences within its line-up.
Why? Both the Premium and Flagship variants share a lot of similarities in terms of finishing apart from a couple of major differences. For one thing, only the Flagship X90 comes with a panoramic sunroof, and the other? A six-seat configuration for all you 'atas' folks that adore captain seats for the second-row occupants.
The Premium X90 shares the same seven-seat configuration (2-3-2) with the base X90 Standard as well as the Executive variants. We didn't get access to these two particular models, but the difference between the three is the seat material - fabric for the Standard, leatherette for the Executive, and Nappa leather for the Premium (also for the Flagship).
Both the Premium and Flagship models also share some other similarities like 19-inch wheels, Auto Park Assist, front-row power seats, wireless charger, and the exterior colour option of Marine Blue that you can't get for the Standard and Executive variants.
To know more about the differences between the four variants of the 2023 Proton X90, CLICK HERE.
So, we've seen the looks and our verdict? Definitely more premium-looking compared to the Proton X70 and X50 models (which is the intended purpose and goal). We know that the driver and front passenger gets access to the most 'luxury' with those Nappa leather power seats, a 12.3-inch infotainment head unit (same across the board), but what about those seated at the back?
For the Premium variant, it's certainly comfortable enough to fit three full-sized adults. The ergonomics, support, and positioning are nice enough to be labelled as a premium SUV from Proton compared to the other X series models. There are also controls for the rear AC blowers for the two rows at the back, as well as a couple of USB charging ports, and one of them is a USB type-C. Fancy.
The third-row seats are similar across the board apart from the material. Standard Asian adult height of around 175cm should be okay with the space offered in the final row but for anyone taller, it might be a pinch considering that you won't get enough thigh support due to the length of the seats as well as the slightly higher floor.
But for a couple of kids? Should be heavenly considering that they also get access to a couple of USB ports of their own as well as cup holders and a small space to keep their mobile devices (or snacks) in place.
Moving on to the range-topping Proton X90 Flagship variant, this is truly reserved for those who prefer the finer things in life like your own separated second-row seat and a roomier sense of space thanks to the panoramic sunroof.
A couple of captain seats are what separate the Flagship from the rest of the Proton X90 line-up, making it the only one with a six-seat configuration (2-2-2). Is it more comfortable? Yes. Is it more spacious? Yes. Will it sell better compared to the Premium? Depends on the price difference.
Personally, I prefer the Premium model more as I prioritise more on seating capacity and comfort is a bit subjective. Both the Premium and Flagship X90 feel very comfortable to me, but when you need a lot of storage space at the rear to a point where the third-row seats need to be folded, at least I have five seats upfront to carry five people very comfortably no matter the journey.
When the third-row seats are up, storage is not much but is not that bad either. You might be able to fit a few duffle or soft bags for a weekend getaway for seven, but if you want more, there's another hidden storage space at the back for smaller items like groceries.
To conclude, we won't be surprised if the Proton X90 does very well in terms of sales. Bookings can be placed right now despite not knowing the official prices or launch date, but you can bet that it'll be sometime in May. Why? Proton will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next month and they're looking to throw quite a bash, Proton X90 official launch included.