Proton has begun previewing its first-ever SUV – the X70 – to the public, with the first in a series of events taking place in Petaling Jaya from September 19-23. At the preview, customers, C-level executives as well as potential corporate buyers were invited to get up close and personal with the model.

“Since bookings were opened on September 8, the response from our customers have been overwhelming. The Proton X70 scales new heights for the company with its modern and sophisticated design so we are organising previews to allow customers to get a closer look to understand the level of engineering and feel the premium materials we have used in this SUV,” said Abdul Rashid Musa, CEO of Proton Edar.

“It goes without saying Proton is very excited about our new model and we hope, after the preview, customers will feel the same way too,” he added.

The X70 is based on the facelifted Geely Boyue, and will feature a 1.8 litre TGDi turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (181 hp/285 Nm) that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with front- and all-wheel drive available. Buyers will get to choose from four variants, and bookings can be made as of September 8 with a deposit of RM1,000.

While considerable effort was made to convert the Boyue from left-hand drive to right-hand drive, Proton designers also had a hand at adding unique touches to “Malaysianise” the SUV. These include revamping the infotainment system’s voice recognition function and incorporating styling cues influenced by Malaysian cultures.

“I think the car is simply amazing and impressive, from the whole design development as a Malaysian car and also a car that will represent Malaysia to the world, I think it’s really great. Great looking inside out and the features are impressive too,” said Darren Ho, general manager of Hong Leong Bank.

“Outstanding! To be honest, I have never been a big fan of Proton but after this preview, the X70 is really an eye opener; the design, the safety and other features are really impressive,” commented Shaun Lin Jern Ming, an engineer, who estimated the SUV to be priced between RM140,000 to RM170,000, though he hopes that it would be lower.

More preview events will take place in other cities until November 4, including in Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Kuantan, Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu. “We plan to reach nearly 6,000 potential buyers through the preview sessions and while that’s a small portion of the potential buyers we are targeting, it gives those who are considering the X70 a chance to view the SUV so that they can make a decision,” said Rashid.

“Spaces are limited so anybody who wants to attend should visit the Proton outlet closest to them and speak to the sales team there,” he added. Should you be unable to make it to any of the events, we’ve already had our preview session, and you can find out as much as you need to know about the Proton X70 here.

GALLERY: Proton X70

GALLERY: Proton X70 colours