2023 Proton X90 spotted being benchmarked against Mazda CX-8 and Kia Carnival up Genting Highlands

2023 Proton X90 spotted being benchmarked against Mazda CX-8 and Kia Carnival up Genting Highlands

Proton’s upcoming seven-seat SUV, which is widely tipped to be called the X90, has been spotted undergoing testing in Malaysia once again. This time, the photos come from paultan.org readers Yusuf Iman and Shairol Azhar, and the vehicle seen is wearing a different camouflage pattern compared to previous sightings.

Once again, Proton brought its test vehicle on a run up Genting Highlands, although the X90 isn’t travelling alone. Tagging along is another three-row SUV, the Mazda CX-8, as well as the previous-generation Kia Carnival that offers four rows of seats, both likely being used by the carmaker for benchmarking purposes.

The X90 seen here is left-hand drive unit, so don’t expect a launch to take place anytime soon. In fact, you’ll have to wait until next year for the X90 to be launched, according to Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah.

“It was supposed to be [this year], the original plan, if it wasn’t for the MCO [movement control order] last year,” Roslan said during the launch of the 2022 Saga. “It was supposed to be in Q3 this year, but then [the timeline] dragged on and on and now our friends in China [Geely] also got hit with a lockdown,” he added.

It’s already known that the X90 will be based on the Geely Haoyue (or the Okavango as it’s known in international markets), although we don’t have much in the way of local specifications for now. In China, the Haoyue is offered with the same 1.8 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine found in the X70. The mill serves up 181 PS and 300 Nm of torque, with drive going to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Meanwhile, over in the Philippines, the Okavango sports a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder with a 48-mild hybrid system for 190 PS and 300 Nm, also with a DCT driving the front wheels. There’s a possibility we could get the latter, seeing how Proton showcased a 1.5 litre TGDi three-cylinder mill with a 48-volt belt-integrated starter generator (BSG) at its Gallery of Inspiration previously.

Proton could even forgo the mild hybrid system altogether and equip the X90 with the vanilla TGDi three-cylinder, which is now locally assembled for the X50 and the latest X70 MC – the unit outputs 177 PS and 255 Nm in both Proton SUVs.

For now, we’ll have to wait for more details leading up to an official launch. The carmaker is currently focused on resolving supply chain issues to get as many cars to its customers as possible in order to clear a backlog of orders, which will likely build up further with the imminent end of the sales and service tax (SST) exemption.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.



  • Howard on Jun 23, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    Guys, Can you guys at paultan.org share some news about the spare parts problem that has befallen Proton so far ?

    Has there been any progress so far ?

    Didn’t they say that this Spare Parts availability issue would be better by the end of June ?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 62 Thumb down 9
    • Kariayam on Jun 23, 2022 at 7:13 pm

      Cannot, then proton don’t like won’t give them press car to review.
      On the other hand…Did you see the amount of x50 articles they published when the car launched? I think they made more articles for that car than all the other car news sites combined. Better than any marketing department at proton could ever hope to achieve.
      Whether that’s good or bad, I’ll leave you to decide.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10
      • Tommy on Jun 24, 2022 at 2:00 pm

        I don’t ask anything other than that news that I want to now. Because i know there is a lot of X70 and X50 want to fix their car ASAP…

        So you better shut up if you are not the owner both X70 and X50….

        All i want is that news come out of light …

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5
      • Unknown Mate_1 on Jun 24, 2022 at 2:28 pm

        The type of person who basically hates Proton and is insecure about the future…

        Look, I don’t care how bad Proton is right now. But what is definitely better than before is …

        Covid 19, all the bad things or disasters in China, and even the invasion of Ukraine…

        But is Proton really a bad brand since then, Deja Vu ? no… If it wasn’t those three things, it could be a strategy for Proton’s future that might have been seen since then, but still God’s trial….

        Listen, to whatever happens. Proton must listen to customer complaints immediately….

        I’m not saying that Proton is better than other brands (Especially Japanese Brands), but I’m tired of being a pessimist. If Japanese brands can do it, why can’t Proton ?

        Also, I never mock or condemn other Japanese car brands in many Automobile news site especially here, in Paultan. Most Japanese cars are great though …

        Proton must learn from them…if they want to succeed…That’s my only suggestion for them and i hope they will read this comment, learn from the Japanese brands Proton, please !

        Right now, he was right. He asked for info on the Proton parts problem, and that was clever indeed. If this year Proton can only provide “Minor Change”, maybe they are evaluating how to get their car to get better quality and increase localization content by 70% (that’s X70 MC1) and that does not mean other models like Saga, Iriz, and Persona (maybe it’s just Exora that hasn’t yet) didn’t get the same update either (it’s been reported before lol, it’s different where those three models are all about better exterior looks and better interior quality).

        For X70 MC1 it might be better if they did. That’s so, the problem of spare parts availability will be reduced, since 70% parts are made in Malaysia (despite engine is “assembled in Malaysia” . But still, engine problems are very rare among X70 and X50 users. Their biggest problem is plastic and electronic components in their car)…

        I hope this is also the same for X50, increase localisation please ! ….

        In the end, Hey I actually asked about the same news about that Spare Parts problem too, since they said that it will be better in end of June … I hope it will be out soon …

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3
  • actually it’s not an SUV. It’s an MPV. They clarified this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
    • Raja Celup on Jun 23, 2022 at 3:59 pm

      Lol…as usual sendiri spy, sendiri syok! ;-)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • If its based off Haoyue, it is SUV. The Geely large sized MPY is Jiaji which is in Proton’s pipeline

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
      • Nope. The Jiaji has been dropped by Proton
        There will be no new MPV from Proton in the near future
        I know because I’m working with a company that supplies parts to Proton

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Jom Global on Jun 23, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Can be compared to Mitsubishi Outlander 2022,
    USA price $25.8k to $35.3k

    Mahindra XUV700 7 seater 5 star crash test, ADAS, same size category,
    Full spec RM123k/Rs 22 Lakh.
    Low spec RM93k – 5 seater AT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • Proton could even forgo the mild hybrid system altogether and equip the X90 with the vanilla TGDi three-cylinder,

    Well OK Proton but make sure you do not repeat the same mistake by placing 4 exhaust pipes instead of 2 as in the new X70 to reduce the exhaust back pressure so it could go faster and more efficient.

    Also this looks 100% like the Geely Okavango instead of the Geely Jiaji like previously thought. Want to know what car we will launch simple just look at Geely PH, but at least they get it fully imported with hybrid which we can only dream about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
  • Rashwan on Jun 23, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Wow…hopefully X90 will launch this year. Cannot wait !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • Unknown Mate_1 on Jun 24, 2022 at 2:37 pm

      Me too, but we have to be realistic here. Malaysia is now in Endemic Phase, but it would be better if they launched on next year . A lot of things that Proton must be resolved soon …

      Not only about increasing sales but also to fix their spare parts availibilty issue …

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Silthice on Jun 23, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    If this is a MPV then it won’t be carry the Initial X… So is it going to be M, P, or V? Proton P60?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • dong gor on Jun 23, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    it’s a big car so it only makes sense to put on the 1.8TGDI instead of the 1.5.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4
    • Not if you pair it with a 48-mild hybrid system as with Filipino Okavango.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Hasif on Jun 27, 2022 at 4:50 pm

      Please look at the power output. It’s actually not a problem since the 1.5 T-GDI got 190PS / 300Nm, which is similar power to the 1.8 T-GDI

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • kevin Henty on Jun 23, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    Don’t waste time with Proton. You buy it is fine, service no parts, accident no parts etc

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6
    • Safety First on Jun 24, 2022 at 10:55 am

      Drive safely, don’t get into an accident then. This applies to ALL cars not just proton. It pays to drive safely rather than hoping there will be enough spare parts to cover for carelessness. Always THINK SAFETY FIRST!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  • Pudinga on Jun 23, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    Stale .buckle up proton

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Disappointed on Jun 25, 2022 at 2:52 am

    Gave up on P1 long ago.

    P1 is no longer a car for the rakyat. All their cars although sold at reasonably low price for the specs and category, the cars maintenance requirement and prices are comparable to maintaining an older but more luxury continentals.
    So many have fallen into the pit by having to endure the after warranty cost of using the car.
    Wanna sell, cannot cause higher loan than resale value.

    Higher fuel consumptions usually excused by saying, biasalah untuk kereta besar/segment.
    But can always find bigger heavier cars that are more fuel economical.
    More labour intensive to replace parts meaning higher labour cost due to bad design.
    Example… the CFE OCH WHICH is only bout rm40 but labour is bout rm150 and some mechanics charges even more. To make things worst… it should be replaced every 40k km for peace of mind.
    Highly priced exclusive parts even when not buy from proton, sometimes only available by proton and worst is when there’s no replacement parts available.
    Example… must replace entire headlights cause no replacement lens available.
    No durability, rattling problems within 1st year of use and they are insolvable!!! With proton service advisers telling their favourite excuse… PROTON MAH…..
    The list goes on…

    I’ve got the same experience with all the 4 previously and currently owned protons.
    Bought a proton for it’s tempting promises and temptation of higher specs with lower price but end up regretting everytime.

    All the reasons why proton resale value are poor.

    I’m sure every1 have heard from at least 1 someone who says….
    I will never buy another Proton ever again.

    Sorry Proton, I’m sure this will be a fuel guzzler again…
    Good luck when our estimed gomen cut the Ron95 fuel subsidy.

    Maybe I’m wrong… Maybe P1 have changed its target customers by not prioritising their cars economicability & durability.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  • Another 1 more proton useless car , 90percentage proton car problem can’t be solve useles proton cheat customer sell their car , till now oil filter leaking problem can’t be solve my car saga 4month the day 1st till now 6 month ready can’t solve the problem everymonth I need to run service centre also , please guys better don’t waste ur money buying such useless proton cars , realy sucking our money sell this kind of useless brand cars

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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