Proton S70 Flagship X: Powerful, premium, feature-rich, value-oriented

Photos by SS KANESAN

THE Proton S70 C-segment sedan offers an attractive blend of competitive price points and nice features, as well as draws attention for being the largest and most powerful machine when compared with the Japanese B-segment cars in its price range.

To recap, the S70 is offered in four variants – Executive (RM73,800), Premium (RM79,800), Flagship (RM89,800) and Flagship X (RM94,800).

Paying the extra RM5,000 for the Flagship X gives you the electric sunroof with a manual sliding cover, and a Digital Video Recorder.

The S70 comes with quite a number of premium comforts (especially the top three S70 variants) and it has been a hit with buyers in this price segment, judging from the booking numbers.

Stepping into our Flagship X test drive unit, we were greeted by a premium-looking cabin with black leatherette upholstery, smooth chromed surfaces as well as well-put together mix of soft touch materials and hard plastics.

proton S70

Storage options are plentiful in the cleverly designed interior, with front seatback pockets, bins in all four doors, a large and deep centre storage box (between front seats) with a removable tray, and even a handy plastic hook (for shopping bags) with a maximum 2kg load capacity - located on the centre console and within easy reach of the front passenger.

Rear passengers also benefit from air conditioning vents and a fold-down armrest with cupholders.

Another plus point is the cavernous 500-litre boot.

The cabin provides a sense of spaciousness, with good legroom and elbow room for occupants, as well as ample rear headroom for 1.7-metre persons.

The centerpiece of the dashboard is a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that controls a multitude of functions, including the 360-degree surround view camera system, sunroof operation, parking sensors, and drive mode selection (Comfort, Eco, Sport).

Thankfully, physical buttons for the air conditioning and audio system remain, offering a familiar and tactile alternative to the touchscreen interface.

However, there are still physical switches to control the air-conditioning as well as audio volume, ACC or adaptive cruise control, and the infotainment system - offering a familiar and tactile alternative to the touchscreen interface.

proton S70

The S70 comes with a wireless charger (Flagship variants only) and five USB ports, including two USB-C ports to power our smartphones.

We really like having the convenience of features like Auto Brake Hold in stop-and-go traffic, as well as the 360-degree surround view camera system with 3D display (only on top two Flagship grades) which help with eliminating blind spots and manoeuvring the car safely in narrow spaces.

Like the Proton X50’s non-Flagship grades, the S70 is powered by a 1.5-litre multi-port fuel injection (MPI) turbocharged engine producing 150PS and 226Nm of torque which is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

The S70 is based on the fourth-generation Geely Emgrand, which uses Geely Auto Group’s BMA or B-segment Modular Architecture platform which also underpins the Proton X50.

There’s ample power to quickly propel the 1.3-tonne car to high speeds and we found that a lighter foot on the accelerator pedal works well for a smoother drive in slow-moving, stop-and-go traffic during peak hours.

proton S70

The electric power steering is light and accurate, while on our tester, the Goodyear Assurance Triplemax 2 tyres sized 205/50 R17 provided good grip during some quick cornering.

We liked the capable handling on twisty roads, where we experienced minimal body roll as we tackled curves at speed and the S70 Flagship X delivered a planted feel that inspired confidence.

While the suspension setup strikes a good balance between comfort and sporty handling, we felt that ride quality was slightly firm especially when we went over bumps and irregularities on rougher roads.

After driving some 361km, the drive computer recorded average fuel consumption at 11.7 litres per 100km and the low fuel yellow warning light was illuminated.

The drive computer also showed an estimated 32km left before a tank refill.

We usually drove in Comfort mode, and only occasionally switched to Sport mode to indulge in a livelier driving sensation and enjoy the enhanced acceleration.

It was always quite tempting for us to be heavy-footed and enjoy the S70 Flagship X’s charming combination of spirited power delivery, capable handling, and surprisingly sporty character.

proton S70

The brakes provided good bite, with strong and responsive stopping power.

We found the cabin environment to be quiet enough, with wind and traffic noise muffled quite well, as well as the loud exhaust noise of passing motorcycles being adequately suppressed.

Some road and tyre noise intrusion is noticeable at times but this did not distract us from enjoying the nice sound quality of the 6-speaker system.

Flagship variants of the S70 also come with quite a number of ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) which make this C-segment sedan even more attractive in its price segment.

Our Flagship X tester certainly delivered a refined, comfortable and engaging motoring experience that surpassed our expectations, backed by a plethora of comfort features and safety technologies.

We enjoyed its spacious and clean, premium-looking interior, responsive touchscreen infotainment system, powerful turbocharged engine and brisk acceleration, smooth handling and light, accurate steering.

Those seeking a feature-rich, value-oriented C-segment sedan with a nice blend of blend of performance, sportiness and practicality will find much to appreciate here.

Proton S70 Flagship X
Engine: 1,477cc, three-inline cylinders, 12-valve DOHC, turbocharged, multi-point injection
Maximum power: 150PS at 5,500rpm
Maximum torque: 226Nm from 1,750 to 4,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed Dual Clutch, with Manual Mode
Fuel tank: 50 litres
Kerb weight: 1,319kg
Suspension: MacPherson strut (front); torsion beam (rear)
Features: All-round disc brakes, Electric Parking Brake, LED headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, automatic headlamps, Cruise Control, 205/50 R17 tyres, steering mode (Normal, Sport and Comfort), LCD meter combination, drive mode (Eco, Sport and Comfort), intelligent entry with push-start button, remote engine start, sunroof, security tint, leatherette upholstery, 6-way powered driver’s seat, rear air vents, automatic air-conditioning with N95 cabin filter, 12.3-inch touchscreen, Voice Command, Bluetooth, Proton Link App, 6 audio speakers, 5 USB ports, Wireless Charger
Safety features: Six airbags, Auto Brake Hold, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control, Hill Hold Assist (HHA), front and rear parking sensors, Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
Advanced safety features: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Rear Collision Warning (RCW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Lane Centering Control (LCC), Traffic Sign Information (TSI), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), 360 Camera with 3D Display
Price: RM94,800 on the road without insurance
Warranty: Five years warranty, unlimited mileage; 5-year data package (1GB/month); 6 times free labour service

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Autos Proton
CarSifu's Rating: 8.0