2020 Proton X50 versus the X70 and Honda HR-V – we compare servicing costs over five years/100,000 km

The Proton X50 was recently launched in Malaysia, where it is offered in four variants – Standard, Executive, Premium and Flagship – with pricing from RM79,200 to RM103,300. If you’re curious about the new B-segment SUV, do check out our comprehensive launch report and spec-by-spec variant breakdown posts, which are part of our X50 info hub.

UPDATE: The costs of the X50’s timing and drive belts that are changed at the 110,000-km/66-month mark have been added.

In this post, we’re discussing service maintenance, an aspect that is sometimes overlooked as compared to the car’s initial purchase price. Here, we’re listing the X50’s maintenance schedule over five years or 100,000 km, and comparing it to the X70 as well as the Honda HR-V – a lot of customers are choosing between the two Proton SUVs, and the HR-V is a direct rival to the X50 and a highly popular model in the compact SUV segment.

Based on the overall figures, the X50 (service costs are the same between the 1.5T and 1.5TDGi models) is cheaper than X70 to maintain over five years or 100,000 km, although the difference is only by a few hundred ringgits. However, it is the HR-V that is the cheapest to maintain, with a grand total of RM3,874.45 compared to the X50’s RM4,326.95. Mind you, that’s a difference of RM452.50, paid over five years, so don’t be alarmed. See the tables below for the specifics.

2020 Proton X50 versus the X70 and Honda HR-V – we compare servicing costs over five years/100,000 km

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Going into detail, we can see that the cost of engine oil for the X50 (RM162.50/service) falls in between what goes into the X70 (RM190) and HR-V (RM88.49), making up the majority of the difference in the grand totals. Engine oil changes, along with the drain plug gasket, are mandatory changes every 10,000 km for all three – the Protons also requires an oil change at the 1,000 km/1 month-mark, but this comes free. Do note that the X50 and X70 are powered by turbocharged engines, while the HR-V uses a naturally-aspirated mill.

UPDATE: It has come to our attention that Honda quotes the use of semi-synthetic engine oil in its standard service schedule below. Fully-synthetic oil is available as an upgrade (at RM145 per service, in place of RM88.49), and is highly recommended for 10,000 km service intervals. If a user opts for the upgrade at each service, the HR-V’s grand total goes up to RM4,598.79, which is marginally more than the X50. Proton uses fully-synthetic oil as standard.

In the case of transmission oil, the Proton SUVs feature a seven-speed wet dual-clutch that needs new fluids at the 90,000-km mark for RM237.36. The HR-V uses a CVT, and it sees oil changes every 40,000 km at RM127.17, which over five years, costs similar to the X50 and X70.

Engine air filter changes on the Proton SUVs are done every 10,000 km, while the HR-V only requires this service every 30,000 km. Despite the frequency difference, the cost of changing engine air filters is still higher with the Honda model over five years. The cabin filter is also more expensive for the HR-V (RM103) compared to the N95 units in the X50 (RM69) and X70 (RM64.17), with five changes required over five years for all three.

2020 Proton X50 versus the X70 and Honda HR-V – we compare servicing costs over five years/100,000 km

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As for the fuel filter, the X50 requires a change every 20,000 km at RM57.07 a pop, or RM285.35 over five years. This is considerably more than the X70 (RM140.85) and just above the HR-V that requires just one replacement at the 80,000-km mark for RM243.24.

When it comes to spark plugs, the X50 and X70 use normal ones that are less expensive, with the former requiring a set of three for its 1.5 litre turbo three-cylinder engine (every 40,000 km, RM96.84 each time), while the X70’s 1.8 litre turbo-four motor uses four spark plugs (every 20,000 km, RM112.32 each time). Over five years, the cost of X50 spark plugs is cheapest (RM193.68) compared to the X70 (RM561.60), with the HR-V requiring a new set of four iridium spark plugs at the 100,000-km mark (RM438.43).

Proton also includes a radiator coolant change at the 60,000-km mark for its SUVs (around RM135), but Honda’s maintenance schedule states this is only needed at 200,000 km (RM111.54). The HR-V also requires one less brake fluid change than the Proton SUVs, bringing down maintenance costs.

A service item that isn’t listed for the X70 and HR-V is the timing belt, but that’s because both models use a timing chain instead. This isn’t the case for the X50 that uses a timing belt, which requires an inspection at 100,000 km and a replacement at 110,000 km/66 months. The timing belt for the X50 costs RM195.16, while the drive (or serpentine) belt that is also changed together is RM112.89 – the labour for both is RM150. All in, the total cost of this service, including the regular 10,000-km engine oil change and engine air filter, is RM825.27.

On a year-to-year basis, the HR-V is cheaper to maintain from year one to three, although it gets costlier in year four and five as “big” ticket items like fuel filter and iridium spark plug changes are required. Keep in mind that beyond scheduled services, the actual cost of ownership also includes fuel, which is highly dependent on how frequent and far you drive.

Additionally, wear and tear items like brakes and tyres are not part of this service menu, and they can differ greatly in price. Depending on variant, the X50 and HR-V have wheel sizes ranging from 17 to 18 inches, while the X70’s options go up to 19 inches on the top variants, which are going to be far more expensive to replace.

All in all, based on official numbers the HR-V is the cheapest to maintain over five years compared to Proton’s SUVs (with standard semi-synthetic engine oil, at least – see update above), continuing the trend that we first saw when comparing the service costs of the X70 and CR-V previously. On the same topic, cheaper Proton models are still generally slightly less expensive to run compared to equivalent Perodua models (Saga vs Bezza, Persona vs Bezza, Exora RC vs Alza).

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