Finally, Proton’s return to the C-segment non-SUV space, the much anticipated S70, has been launched!
We have already seen plenty of this car during the preview sessions held at their test facility, and even previously when the car was spied on open roads without any camouflage wrap to obscure its looks.
As has already been confirmed by Proton, there are 4 variants of the S70 kicking off with the entry-level Executive (for RM73,800 ) all the way to the Flagship X (for RM94,800). Though the automaker declares it a size bigger than the Persona, its biggest rivals are the B-segment sedans, namely the Honda City, Nissan Almera, and Toyota Vios.
Though priced quite similarly, the Proton S70’s offensive does include those somewhat larger dimensions as well as some rather interesting feature additions not typically seen or currently offered in rivals.
For one, the Flagship X is equipped with a sunroof - in fact, it’s the only item that sets it apart from the S70 Flagship. The other obvious example would be the 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that’s standard across the range.
The unit is a familiar one, being the lower output option fitted to the Proton X50 that uses multi-port fuel injection instead of direct injection (MPI, not TGDI). Power is therefore 150PS and 226Nm, which is a pretty high bar to set at this price. It’s even fitted with the same 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s also found in the X50.
Exterior highlights include 16-inch wheels for the Executive and Premium variants while the Flagship and Flagship X get larger 17-inch alloys. While we’re on the subject, the base Executive also misses out on LED headlamps, electric folding mirrors, and leatherette for its seats and steering wheel.
Moving up to the Flagship or Flagship X also nets you a cushier and more hi-tech cabin with a fully digital LCD instrument cluster, a wireless smartphone charger, and a larger 12.3-inch central infotainment touchscreen with voice command and 4G connectivity.
Crucially, only the Flagship and Flagship X will be receiving active safety (ADAS) features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control and the like.
Proton are clearly quite excited about this new model, and so are we considering their previous all-new launches surrounded the SUV space exclusively. The local automaker expects it to do quite well against the Japanese B-segment contenders but it’s yet to be seen if it can sway SUV buyers.
That said, there’s probably only quite a small minority who reckon the S70 will overtake the X50 in terms of popularity. And even if it does, that’s still a pretty good problem for Proton to have.
Of course, the S70 is very much related to the Geely Emgrand and built on the same shared BMA platform that's also used as the basis for the X50. There will be 7 exterior colours including Snow White, Armour Silver, Space Grey, Passion Red, Marine Blue, Teal Bayou Green, and Quartz Black (that final one being exclusive to the Premium X variant).
Proton will be offering the S70 with a standard 5-year unlimited mileage warranty, 5-year data package at 1GB/month, and 6 times free labour service.
For the first 3,000 customers, there is an Early Bird package which adds an Aerokit worth RM3,130, an RM500 service voucher, and an upgraded Proton Insurance Programme.
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