When the Proton X70 was launched in December 2018, buyers were offered four variants to choose from, which included an Executive AWD option for those who required all-wheel drive. However, looking at the revised variant line-up of the recently-launched 2020 X70 CKD, you’ll notice that the all-wheel drive model has been dropped entirely.

While the variant count remains the same as before at four – Standard 2WD, Executive 2WD, Premium 2WD and Premium X 2WD – the locally-assembled SUV is now front-wheel drive only. So, why did the national carmaker decide to proceed with this move?

The short answer is that there is just not that many customers interested in an all-wheel drive variant. Up until now, around 29,000 units of the X70 CBU have been delivered, and from that figure, around 50% of buyers opted for the then range-topping Premium 2WD variant.

By comparison, only 5% of buyers went with the Executive AWD option, and when there’s a lack of demand, a drop in supply is usually warranted. In the case of the X70 CKD, the low demand for all-wheel drive with the CBU version prompted the national carmaker to forgo an all-wheel drive option altogether.

Given that the previous Premium 2WD was the only variant that came with Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) – it can be presumed that customers preferred to have a host of safety and driver assistance features over an all-wheel drive system.

Those who are for all-wheel drive would welcome its sure-footedness, while detractors will bring up the additional running/maintenance cost that typically comes with the added complexity of such a system. On the latter, the difference in maintenance costs over 150,000 km/7.5 years for the 2WD and 4WD variants is only RM129.68 following Proton’s service schedule for the X70 CBU.

Of course, some would prefer to have ADAS and all-wheel drive in one package, but as Proton doesn’t offer a variant with both features, we’ll never know if there’s any market appeal should it be introduced to the market. What are your thoughts on the matter? Would you be interested in an even higher-spec X70 with both AWD and ADAS? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

2020 Proton X70 CKD Infohub

GALLERY: 2020 Proton X70 CKD official images