Proton today launched the new X50, which is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated cars of 2020. With four variants available and pricing from RM79,200 to RM103,300, there’s quite a lot of appeal to be had here given the specifications on show.

So, how does the X50 stack up against mainstream B- and C-segment SUVs that are currently available or set to go on sale in Malaysia – namely the Proton X70, Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3 and CX-30, Subaru XV, Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona? Well, we’ve compiled the data and arranged them neatly in table form for your consideration.

Before proceeding, there’s a bit of housekeeping in order. We’re only listing the top-spec variant available for each model, which is what many car buyers would look at first as the range-topper is typically the one with the best possible equipment. In the case of the X50, that would be the Flagship, with the rest being as what you see in the table.

Pricing-wise, the X50 Flagship is the least expensive of the bunch for now, barring official pricing for the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona. Both Korean models have yet to be launched here, although the latter is set to arrive later this week.

In terms of engine output, the X50 Flagship’s 1.5 litre turbocharged and direct-injected three-cylinder makes 175 hp and 255 Nm of torque, which is less than the X70 that packs a larger-capacity 1.8 litre turbo four-cylinder with 181 hp and 300 Nm.

However, when compared to other SUVs listed, the B-segment Proton model commands quite an advantage, although the Kona’s 1.6 litre turbo engine does put up a close fight with its 175 hp and 265 Nm. The X50, X70 and Kona all sport seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions – the Proton models use a wet type unit – with all others being either a six-speed automatic or CVT. All-wheel drive is also a rarity, with nearly all listed variants being front-wheel drive only.

Looking at dimensions, the X50 measures 4,330 mm long and has a wheelbase of 2,600 mm, placing it within touching distance of the Honda HR-V (4,334 mm long, 2,610 mm wheelbase), which has been considered the benchmark B-SUV for the longest time.

The X50’s figures also make it close in size to the upcoming Seltos (4,315 mm long, 2,610 mm wheelbase), while the wheelbase matches that of the Kona, which is shorter in length at 4,165 mm. Compared to the X70, Subaru XV, Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-30, the X50 is undoubtedly smaller, but it still manages to eclipse the Mazda CX-3 (4,275 mm long, 2,570 mm wheelbase).

As for equipment, the X50 Flagship and X70 Premium X both stand out by having a 360-degree camera as standard, along with a panoramic sunroof. The former is not offered on any of the other SUVs listed, while the latter is only for the front with the CX-30.

The X50, X70 and CX-30 are the only ones with a LCD digital instrument cluster, with others having primarily analogue dials and an accompanying multi-info display. Additionally, while automatic air-conditioning is found on all variants – single- or dual-zone – rear vents are only found on three models mentioned in this paragraph.

On entertainment functions, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support is not found on any Proton SUV or the HR-V, but there is a screen mirroring function available as an alternative. If you want AA or AC, only the C-HR, CX-30, Seltos and Kona have them direct from the factory, while CX-3 owners can purchase an retrofit kit – the XV’s head unit is basic.

Of course, one of the biggest selling points of the X50 Flagship is its safety and driver assist systems, and it certainly has plenty of them. Six airbags are standard at this level, with autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control, active lane keep assist, blind spot assist and auto high beam control all present.

The X70, CX-30 and Kona come close, but they do not perfectly mirror the X50’s active safety suite, which is rather comprehensive. Other SUVs on the list only have a few systems as standard, or none at all, by comparison.

All things considered, the X50 is an attractive value proposition for those in the market for a B-segment SUV. With a capable powertrain that can take on those higher up the food chain and with a compelling kit list, especially in regards to safety and driver assist systems, there’s plenty of appeal here. Thoughts?

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