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2020 Proton X70 Arrives Malaysian Built, Starting From RM94,800

2020 Proton X70 Arrives Malaysian Built, Starting From RM94,800

Auto News

It’s finally here, the 2020 Proton X70, and the first of Proton’s SUVs to be assembled in Malaysia. Since its initial launch, the C-segment five-seater has been flying out of showrooms and a huge hit for the national automaker, rocketing them back into top contention. 

Now, with over a year of the X70 under their belt, Proton is ready to give it a more Malaysian spin with all 2020 examples of the X70 rolling off the assembly line in Tanjung Malim instead of arriving fully built from China. So, what’s changed? 

We’ll start with the big stuff, but let’s get the omissions out of the way. For 2020, every X70 will be offered exclusively with a 2WD layout due to a lack of demand for the 2019 car’s pricier all-wheel driven variants. 

Also gone is the DSI-sourced 6-speed automatic and replacing it as standard across the range is a newly developed (wet-type) 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) that’s lighter, more advanced, delivers about a second quicker to 100km/h sprint time from rest (9.5 seconds), and promises improved fuel economy (a claimed 13% reduction). It even The new transmission is also covered by the same 5 year unlimited mileage warranty as the rest of the vehicle. 

Starting from RM 94,800 and extending to RM 122,800, the 2020 X70’s variant tiers have also been shuffled from where they were in 2019, though not by much. The Standard 2WD kicks things off with 17-inch wheels and fabric interior upholstery, but on the upside does include a larger 8-inch infotainment display, 6-speaker stereo, rear view camera, and an air purifier system. 

At RM106,800, the step-up Executive 2WD (again, gone are all 4WD variants) adds LED headlamps with daytime running lights, larger 18-inch alloys, a power tailgate, a very useful 360 degree camera system, 8-speaker stereo, and the revelatory front ventilated seats upholstered in a faux leather material. 

Now we move on to the best specified of the bunch (kinda), the X70 Premium. It sits at the top the range as before, but coming in with a price tag of RM119,800 and offering a generous list of features and equipment. 

Though all models come with 6 airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and traction control, the X70 Premium is the price of admission for the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), a suite that includes active safety and convenience features such as Automated Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control (up to 150km/h), and Blind Spot Monitoring, among others.

Again, the familiar design of 19-inch wheels are the clearest visual indicator of an X70 Premium, but peer inside and you might spy the brown Nappa leather seats, a material that’s been treated to be extra soft and plush compared to regular leather for automotive use. 

While on the subject of its cabin, the Premium also comes with power adjustment for the front passenger seat and the famed ‘boss switch’ that allows rear passengers to adjust the seat ahead for more legroom. 

Elsewhere, a power amplifier and subwoofer combo takes the speaker count to 9 and at the rear, the power tailgate gains a foot sensor which lets the boot be opened by lightly kicking below the bumper area, useful for when your hands are full. There’s also the X70 Premium X (RM122,800) which asks for RM3,000 over the price of an X70 Premium for the inclusion of a panoramic sunroof. 

Under the bonnet, every X70 for 2020 features a powertrain carried over from the previous model year, that being a 1.8-litre turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder producing 181hp at 5,500rpm. Due to the new 7-speed DCT replacing the 6-speed auto, an additional 15Nm of peak torque has been extracted from the same engine and is available from 1,700rpm to 4,500rpm. Now, of course, drive for every variant is sent exclusively to the front wheels. 

Real world performance should be identical to any X70 you’ve driven prior, especially so since Proton has tuned the dual-clutch to behave rather conservatively even in Sport mode, mimicking the softer and more inconspicuous gear shifts of a torque converter. 

As you may have noticed, there’s not all too much different with the Proton X70 for 2020. Apart from a new Space Grey colour for a total of 6 paint options, visible differences are so minor that you could easily miss it for an X70 from its Malaysian debut in December 2018. Though we would have appreciated more eye candy to read into, the fact is that the X70 is still a very recent addition to the market, making a more comprehensive facelift unnecessary . No doubt Proton has plenty of ideas for how they’d like its look to evolve, but we’ll have to wait. 

2020 Proton X70 Standard 2WD (Base Specifications)
RM 94,800 (-RM5,000, previously RM99,800)

  • 1.8L TGDi petrol - 181hp, 300Nm
  • 7-speed dual-clutch transmission 
  • 6 SRS airbags
  • Halogen headlamps
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Fabric seats 
  • 8-inch infotainment head unit with online navigation
  • 6 speaker audio
  • Rear view camera
  • Air purifier system

2020 Proton X70 Executive 2WD (in addition to Standard 2WD) 
RM 106,800 (-RM3,000, previously RM109,800)

  • LED headlamps with DRL 
  • 18-inch alloy wheels 
  • Power tailgate 
  • Front welcome lamps
  • Leatherette seats
  • Power adjustable driver’s seat
  • Front ventilated seats
  • 8-speaker audio
  • 360 camera system

2020 Proton X70 Premium 2WD (in addition to Executive 2WD) 
RM 119,800 (-RM4,000, previously RM123,800)

  • Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Power tailgate with foot sensor
  • Nappa leather seats
  • Front passenger power adjustable seat with ‘boss’ switch
  • 9-speaker audio with power amplifier and subwoofer

2020 Proton X70 Premium X 2WD (in addition to Premium 2WD) 
RM 122,800

  • Panoramic sunroof


All prices are on-the-road, without insurance.

2020 Proton X70 First Impressions - Same Same But Different But Same

2020 Proton X70 First Impressions - Same Same But Different But Same

Auto News

We’ve been waiting a while to see what a Malaysian made X70 would be like, and more than that, eager to see how Proton would tackle it. Despite hints of the locally assembled version sporting more sweeping visual changes to lend it a more distinct visual personality, the 2020 revision is strictly a carry-over exercise with a couple of exceptions. 

Since its official launch in December 2018, the X70 has been a smash hit for Proton, but one that’s still a fairly recent addition to the market. The company has therefore decided that no styling changes were warranted for this 2020 revision.

This is something of a missed opportunity in our book, but we imagine Proton themselves aren’t too pleased about the lack of an exterior refresh. However, they’ve compensated for that by including some welcome feature additions derived from customer feedback.

Unless you opt for the new Space Grey body colour (to match your iPad), there really isn’t anything to set the CBU and new CKD X70 apart from the outside. You’d need a sharper eye than mine, that’s for sure. 

Judging this locally assembled X70, then, is a little more challenging since its success is largely contingent upon how unrecognisable it is from the CBU version, and in terms of build quality, there’s really not much to pick apart with only time being able to flesh out long term issues.

Proton says that work was underway to bring as much of the X70’s production and parts sourcing to a local level and from our brief time with the unit we were driving and experiencing, there doesn’t seem to be anything worth pointing out that indicates one way or the other with regard to its origins. 

However, though anecdotal, it must be pointed out that other members of the media did notice some frayed stitching and less than perfectly aligned body panels. That’s splitting hairs and it’s hard to say if such faults would also have or have not surfaced in X70s produced in China. What’s not in dispute is that any improvement in quality control is a step in the right direction, for any automaker, and there is indeed some ground to be made up here.

When stepping into the new X70 for a drive to Kuantan, one of the most stand-out features were the ventilated front seats (X70 Executive and up). Leather seats can be a real pain in the ‘you know where’ on sunny days, so blowing cool air through the seat perforations seems like the perfect feature to soothe warm Malaysian bums. There’s also a powered tailgate with a hands free kick sensor that requires swiping your foot just below the rear bumper. 

Behind the wheel, the X70 feels just as ‘continental’ as it did when it first launched, which is surely one of Proton’s biggest areas of focus. Sacrificing that all-important upmarket feel that the 2019 version introduced to Malaysians is not an option, even it means streamlining the range in other ways or sidelining other improvements altogether.

Alright, so that new gearbox - we’ve gotta talk about it. That stubby new gear lever is a dead giveaway that you’re no longer driving an X70 with a torque converter automatic, but in normal driving you might not even notice the new transmission.

Aside from the fact that it’s allowed Proton to free up an extra 15Nm from the engine, they’ve clearly prioritised comfort and smoothness over quick shifts, which ironically is one of the main advantages of a DCT. Instead, it’s been programmed for slower gear changes and very little feedback, even when selecting them yourself in manual override mode. That said, we still reckon paddle shifters would have been a welcome addition. 

This gamble could yield them some new customers that appreciate the lack of perceptible gear shifts, but to achieve this it’s possible that the transmission is intentionally letting the clutch slip to make the actual shifts much less abrupt, which could lead to premature wear. 

As a pairing, the turbocharged 1.8-litre direct injection petrol engine seems to be as effective as before, maybe even a touch more thanks to a slightly closer set of ratios. Acceleration is decent while off-the-line creep and slow speed city crawling was jerk-free, though that may change based on vehicle age and driving style. 

There are other niceties along with some familiar frustrations that have unfortunately not been weeded out over last year’s car, such as the somewhat convoluted GKUI infotainment system, but on balance things are looking bright for the C-segment SUV. 

Localising a car previously built offshore for the Malaysian market is not so easily explained and neither are the priorities fixed or transparent. That said, Proton has definitely been around this block a bunch of times and certainly knows their way around.

Of course, there are notable differences between localising Japanese cars (Mitsubishi in the 1990s and 2000s) versus doing so for Geely-designed ones in this new decade, but never has our (first) national carmaker been this qualified or experienced for the task.

This time around, the stakes are much higher as the X70 is the catalyst of Proton’s return to dominance in the local sales charts, and optimising that recipe will be key to their continued success. Importantly, it lays the groundwork for the introduction of future models and the powertrains therein. 

There’s literally nothing that jumps out as a significant alteration, and that’s exactly how they want it to be, but it equally makes getting excited about this 2020 version much more difficult. Make no mistake, this is an X70 like you’ve known and possibly loved. And sure, that’s not exciting, but it is a huge relief.

What You Need To Know About the Toyota Yaris

What You Need To Know About the Toyota Yaris

Buying Guides

You’re looking to buy a new car. You don’t need something high riding, so pickup trucks and SUVs are out. You want something compact, so you’re looking towards the B-segment of cars. And maybe you decide you’re willing to give up the extra boot space in favour of ease of parking. It sounds like what you need is a compact hatchback.

The Toyota Yaris ticks those boxes. It sits on the same platform as the Toyota Vios, and even shares its powertrain as well. But Toyota has made a couple of tweaks and changes to the Yaris in order to capitalize on its smaller overall footprint and make it a little more fun to drive. But if you’re going to look at the Yaris, it’s good to narrow down what you’re looking for to pick the best variant for you.

There are three variants of the Toyota Yaris to choose from – 1.5J, 1.5E, or 1.5G. The good thing is that no matter which you pick, you’re going to have a healthy amount of features and options – such is the nature of Toyota’s latest model line-up which goes the distance when it comes to meeting consumer expectations.

The most paramount of these is safety. Whichever Yaris you end up choosing, you will get Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control, as well as seven SRS airbags and ISOFIX at the rear to properly belt your child seat in – if you need to. If you want to go the distance and would like the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, you will have to opt for the 1.5E or 1.5G models.

Opting for the 1.5J gives you 15-inch steel wheels, while the other variants get 16-inch alloy wheels. Other aesthetic changes are projector headlamps and LED rear lamps, as well as indicators on the wing mirrors – which automatically fold – and front fog lamps. These might be relatively small changes, but together they can really offset the way a car looks.

In terms of interior materials, all three models get the same black fabric with blue stitching – a nice bit of colour in a usually drab segment. Only the 1.5E gets a Multi Info Display, while the 1.5G sees that becoming part of the TFT screen that sits in its Optitron meter cluster – exclusive to this variant. Steering wheel switches also increase in number as you go up the list of variants, from none in the 1.5J, to Audio and Bluetooth in the 1.5E, and the addition of Multi Info Display controls in the 1.5G.


The entertainment system also sees upgrades depending on the variant. If you are happy streaming music from your mobile device, the 1.5J has you covered with a basic head unit that can play CDs, radio, or MP3s from USB or Aux sources, and even Bluetooth connectivity. Spring for the 1.5E or 1.5G and you get a 6.8-inch touch screen with all the above, and USB mirroring and voice control. You also get two more speakers for a total of six, compared to the 1.5J’s four speaker setup.

There are also a couple of extra goodies that owners will receive if they opt for the higher level variants. Premium Security and Solar Tint is included in the purchase price of the 1.5E and 1.5G, along with a Digital Video Recorder (or dashcam, as it’s more commonly known), and a reverse camera setup. It’s a pretty nifty package that more than makes up for the price difference across the range.

So what are the actual price differences between the three models? The entry level 1.5J comes in at RM 70,888, while the 1.5E goes for RM 76,888, and the top of the line 1.5G sits at RM 83,888. All three models come with a five year, unlimited mileage warranty for some true peace of mind. Of course, the only way to really know if the Toyota Yaris is the car for you is to visit your nearest Toyota showroom and test it for yourself.

2020 Mazda CX-30: First Drive Impressions

2020 Mazda CX-30: First Drive Impressions


Mazda’s latest crossover, the CX-30, slots between the existing CX-3 and CX-5, or so says the Hiroshima-based automaker. Look hard enough and you might see the gap between those two models for this newest sibling to occupy. But has Mazda kept those ‘in-betweener’ priorities intact? 

We already know the range-topping CX-30 variant is properly plush and well-specified, as it should be for its price, but with the car assigned to us being the base 2.0L, it was stripped of many of those materials and features. 

Still, even on smaller 16-inch alloys (instead of 18-inchers on the High), the base CX-30 certainly has looks that are a cut above the rest. Mazda placed emphasis on making this new model as visually appealing to as broad a demographic as possible, and this isn’t diminished by choosing the entry-level variant. It’s sleek and squat with obvious echoes of the Mazda 3, for better or worse.

The first leg of the drive was spent sat at the back, where overall headroom and legroom seemed only marginally better than the (technically) smaller CX-3. The seats were fabric instead of leather, but soft hide was used to accent portions of the door panel and dashboard in shades matching the exterior. Out back, the 430-litre boot is large enough for most needs and verging on CX-5 levels but definitely isn’t a stand out in this class.

Refinement was far from lacking and easily bests mass market segment rivals. Sound insulation is above average, any vibrational interruption was dampened well, and the car showed very little structural flex. This feels like a very secure place to sit in regardless of how many active/passive safety systems are at play. The fact that the CX-30 is (currently) the most highly rated vehicle Euro NCAP has ever tested certainly helps matters too. 

Behind the wheel, there was a rush of familiarity with the Mazda 3, one of the best-to-drive C-segment hatchback/sedans on sale today. Nearly every tactile and ergonomic cue has been carried over into the CX-30, giving us a dangerous expectation that it will drive just as well. Fortunately, it does come awfully close.  

The naturally aspirated SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre’s rev range needs to be explored to be taken full advantage of, and though it manages to sound aggressive (but never gruff) past 4,500rpm, harshness levels were never elevated. Shifts from the SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic were smooth but it needed to frequently downshift to access the power band as in-gear grunt can be in short supply if laden. For more effortless performance, the 1.8-litre SkyActiv-D should be considered as its maximum torque of 270Nm arrives much quicker and sustained for longer.

With our driving positioned dialled-in, the brief jaunt revealed an agile front end and eager direction changes that superbly mask its crossover label. Add to that the control weights and engine note from the 162hp/ 213Nm engine and it’s too easy to feel like you’re driving the Mazda 3. 

The suspension is tuned to allow for more compression (and body roll) when loaded up mid corner and the thicker tyres make for a ride that’s a touch more impervious to light road imperfections, but in normal driving situations distinguishing the two models by feel alone is difficult.

Hastily declaring that the CX-30 is a slightly jacked-up Mazda 3 made to appeal to the crossover-crazed buying public is both cynical and somewhat reductive, true, but that formula has also been a point of criticism levelled against so many vehicles being sold today.

That said, among the sea of rivals, the CX-30 is definitely a strong contender that ticks off all the right boxes. It’s fun to drive, has exceptional build quality, is decently practical, well-specified (in the High variant), incredibly safe, comfortable, refined, and is probably the best looking of the bunch - if you’re into that sort of thing. 

It’s very likely that Mazda has a winner on its hands, but we’ll have to wait for a full review to properly contextualise it and make heads or tails about the CX-30’s finer points and value proposition. Established players should watch their backs if and when Bermaz starts locally assembling these. 

B8 Volkswagen Passat Facelift Debuts In Malaysia – 1 Variant, RM189k

B8 Volkswagen Passat Facelift Debuts In Malaysia – 1 Variant, RM189k

Auto News

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia today announced the introduction of the facelifted B8 Passat, featuring a redesigned front and rear end, an updated powertrain, an updated infotainment system, as well as new convenience and safety features.

Locally-assembled at the DRB-Hicom plant in Pekan, Pahang, the new Passat will only be offered in one variant – the Passat 2.0 TSI Elegance, with an asking price of RM189,012 on the road without insurance.

Prior to the update, the model was offered in three variants - Comfortline, Trendline, and Highline, with two engine options (1.8 TSI and 2.0 TSI) to choose from, with prices ranging between RM159,990 and RM198,990.

Now, however, there will only be one powertrain option - an updated version of the current 2.0-litre TSI engine that is paired with a new 7-speed wet dual-clutch automatic gearbox, kicking out 190 PS and 320 Nm, which is 30 PS and 30 Nm lesser than the outgoing Passat 2.0 TSI Highline.

Prior to this, the Passat 1.8 TSI came with a 7-speed dry-type dual clutch automatic transmission, while the 2.0 TSI variants came with a 6-speed wet-type dual clutch automatic transmission.

On the exterior, a refreshed front and rear profile distinguish the new Passat from its previous iteration, while other distinctions include the “Passat” lettering stretched across its rear and bold 18-inch “Liverpool” alloy wheels.

The lights are also new, featuring an all-LED headlight system, front and rear sequential turn signals, and a three-wing tail light design.

Inside, updates include newly-designed door trims, a 30-colour ambient lighting system, and a new leather multi-function steering wheel with new ergonomic multifunction button for convenience and connectivity at the touch of a button.

Further complementing the interior is the 12-way powered electric driver’s seat, 3-zone Climatronic air-conditioning system for all passengers, and new power-operated roll up rear sunshades. Boot space on the other hand, stands at 586-litres.

Also new is the 11.7-inch Digital Cockpit which offers a high-resolution, thin-film transistor (TFT) similar to that of a smartphone, which incorporates functions and features in 2D and 3D graphic display for navigation and media. A six-view customizable screen offers a new level of personalization with over 30 combinations options.

While the outgoing range-topping Passat 2.0 TSI Highline came with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with GPS navigation and MirrorLink, the new one here comes with a 9.2 -inch touchscreen with voice control, gesture control, customizable three-view split screen, as well as Wireless AppConnect with Apple Car Play.

Other features include a wide range of connectivity options through a capacitive touch display, three illuminated USB-C ports and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile and audio streaming.

Where safety is concerned, new features include Side Assist with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, as well as the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, which complement other features like the

Blind Spot Monitoring System, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Brake Assist (BA), Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS), Hill-hold Control, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, and the Proactive Passenger Protection System.

Last but not least, the new Passat 2.0 TSI Elegance is available in six colours and two finishes - Aquamarine Blue, Manganese Grey, Reflex Silver, Tamarind Brown, Deep Black, and a new Oryx White.   

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