The Proton X50 is without a doubt the most technologically advanced and capable car to come out of the Proton stable. Offering superb value for money and features, the X50 is on par if not better than even its Japanese and Korean made counterparts, which has long been the benchmark for the SUV segment but is it a smarter buy compared to a used Honda CR-V?
However, the same money for a new Proton X50 1.5L Flagship also gives you a plethora of options of the used car market, so why not compare the new kid on the block to the old guard, here is our brief take on the Proton X50 versus the Honda CR-V.
The top-spec Proton X50 TGDI Flagship retails for approximately RM103,300, which puts a prospective buyer in touch with some 2017 and 2018 production year units of the fifth-generation (RW) Honda CR-V, first launched here in July 2017. Prices range from just over RM100k to around RM125k depending on specifications. Note that the cheaper options are the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated models. The 1.5-litre turbocharged variants retail for just about RM110k – however, with any used car, prices are negotiable and not set in stone.
With price as the main criteria, let us compare technical specifications of the Honda CR-V 2.0L 2WD and the Proton X50:
Of course, it’s easy to see that the Proton X50 Flagship offers more power and safety features than the base spec CR-V 2.0L. The full-spec CR-V 1.5L TC-P which as we’ve mentioned, costs about RM10k-15k more on the used market will more than equal to the offering of the X50. However, as you might surmise, the CR-V is a much larger car, both in occupant space and cargo room, therefore the used option, in this case, will offer far more room for your family.
The Proton X50 is a very capable and surefooted SUV around the city or on a twisty backroad, it steers with authority and offers decent body control at speed on the highway as well as in the bends. With 175hp and 255Nm at your disposal, it has an impressive turn of speed as well – let us just say you will not have much trouble trying to overtake a slower car on the highway.
On the downside, the brakes in the X50 tend to lack linearity, therefore one can get caught out either pressing too little or too much brake, but you get used to this with time.
As for the Honda CR-V, it has a pristine reputation for being superbly comfortable and poised when on the roads. Its brakes are superb and the size belies its dynamic ability because it’s also very surefooted when chucked into a corner. It’s also the car you’d prefer on longer journeys given its sublime cabin refinement and ergonomics.
The engine as well, though down on power on paper – is a proven unit that has seen service in a variety of Honda vehicles, it’s also very eager to rev and offers a nice linear power delivery that bodes well with its CVT-type transmission.
It’s very hard to fault the CR-V for how it performs and drives but in our previous tests, we surmised that the overall ride quality and performance is highly dependent on having a good set of tyres under you. As we’ve experienced before, worn tyres tend to substantially increase cabin noise and compromise the overall performance of the car, hence this is something to look for when buying a used CR-V.
It’s pretty hard to beat the overall execution and equipment levels of the X50, for one it offers technology and active safety features of cars costing twice or more than it and this is great for prospective owners. Highlight features include active cruise control, the advanced 10.25-inch (GKUI19) touchscreen infotainment system and even parallel auto parking. However, the X50 will best fit young executives or small families as anyone who has had to carry a full array of baby items (baby seat, stroller etc.) will know… a decent-sized car can become very small, very quick if you have to carry the entire family.
This is where a used CR-V might actually be a safer bet if you have two or more young children or a baby on the way, the CR-V is a far more accommodating package than an X50 and this can make or break your decision when looking for an SUV. In terms of convenience features, the CR-V offers a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, passive cruise control and dual-zone climate control.
While prospective buyers are getting superb value when buying either of these two SUVs, this report is intended to better inform our readers on what their RM100k buys them if they compared new offerings to what is available on the used car market.
Also note, that while both are competent SUVs, the X50 and CR-V can serve very different purposes depending on buyer requirements therefore it’s also good to consider what you need from an SUV before committing to a purchase.