Proton’s New X90 Finally Arrives In Malaysian Showrooms

Having been given a sneak media preview back in March, the flagship Proton X90 finally landed in Malaysian showrooms last week when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made the timely announcement.

Following the X70 and X50, the third model—the X90—is based on the Geely Haoyue and is available in four variant forms with a choice of six- or seven-seat interior configurations.

The versions are the Standard, Executive, Premium, and Flagship, three of which (Standard, Executive, and Premium) have seven seats and a middle-row bench in a 2-3-2 arrangement. The only six-seat model is the Flagship, which has a 2-2-2 six-seat layout with two second-row captain seats that is comparable to the Exora Prime.

Competing against three-row vehicles like the Mazda CX-8, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorento, the X90 is essentially a Haoyue that has been given a revised exterior. The only noticeable differences, in fact, are a redesigned grille with chrome pins extending from the Proton emblem and fog light surrounds painted in black rather than chrome as on the Geely version.

The X90 will compete against Mazda’s CX-8 and Hyundai’s Santa Fe

The X90, which competes against three-row vehicles like the Mazda CX-8, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorento, is essentially a Haoyue that has been given a new exterior. In fact, the only noticeable differences are a redesigned grille with chrome pins extending from the Proton emblem and fog light surrounds painted in black rather than chrome as on the Geely version.

The X90 is fitted with a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine, but unlike the X70, a 48V mild-hybrid system has also been added. The powerplant actually incorporates six essential components into its operation, including a belt-starter generator (BSG), DC-DC converter, lithium-ion battery, battery management system, recuperation braking system, and the hybrid module control system, plus of course—this powertrain is mated to a smooth 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The addition of the mild hybrid system has boosted power by 13ps to 190ps and torque by 45Nm to 300. In addition to having greater power and torque, the firm claims that the mild hybrid enhanced powertrain has up to 10% better standing start acceleration, 15% better overtaking acceleration, and up to 13% lower CO2 emissions than the original X70’s 1.5-liter engine.

As with the exterior, the interior styling of the Haoyue has been retained, with the exception of a reworked right-hand drive configuration and the addition of a Proton emblem to the steering wheel boss cover.

The X90 gets fabric seats, a reverse camera, and dual-zone air conditioning as standard. It also employs independent rear air conditioning, with roof-mounted air vents on the second and third rows, as well as a G-Clean system that includes an N95 cabin filter and ionizer.

Also included are a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a full-width 10-inch digital instrument panel. The system has a higher-spec processor, 6 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of internal storage, and it runs on an ACO Tech ATLAS OS. Drivers will have to rely on ATLAS’ native maps for navigation because Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still not supported.

OUR THOUGHTS

Starting at RM123,800, and with four trim levels available, the X90 enters the market as one of the most competitive in its segment and will take the challenge right up to Mazda and Hyundai. This SUV benefits from its Chinese roots but it also gains some uniqueness from its local redesign.

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