Cruising in the Proton X70
by Intan Abu Daniel
It was a great day for a cruise and we had a great vehicle for it. The all new and highly anticipated Proton X70 was gracing the sultanate’s shores for the first time ever, and the biG team along with other members of the media had been given an exclusive invitation to take the SUV for a drive.
This was the Borneo Inspiration Drive 2019, and while a road trip to Miri can be a whole lot of fun, in the Proton X70, the experience was elevated from enjoyable to luxurious. A streamlined interior makes everything easy on the eyes for both driver and passenger, and the soft-touch plushy seats and coverings makes everything easy on the hands as well. It’s a fantastic cabin with plenty of legroom; the interior feels incredibly spacious and the panoramic sunroof above gives you the option to drive with the sun on your face or enclosed in the car’s comfortable cabin. The whole look screams out an elegant quality that you would find in SUVs three times its price. And if you think that the spacious cabin means a sacrifice of some sort was made to the trunk behind, think again – there’s plenty of space in the boot as well.
A casual “Hi Proton!” activates the advanced Intelligent Infotainment Head Unit, which is available in all of the Proton X70 variants in Brunei. This infotainment system comes with a high-definition touchscreen and the voice command allows for a number of features to be used via word command, from searching for a radio station, increasing and lowering the volume, opening the windows, setting the temperature for the air-conditioning, and for the Premium variant, opening and closing the full-length glass sunroof – the latter was something my companions and I did at multiple times, to no end of enjoyment.
An additional useful feature that agreed with us was the inclusion of USB ports (six of them!) littered throughout the cabin for ease of use for every passenger in the car.
So the inside was sorted, and the kind people over at PAD Motors even included a goodie basket for us to enjoy on the long drive down. Five Proton X70s cruising down the backroads of Tutong and the highways to Miri, and if there’s anything the we can garner from the looks of other motorists on the roads, it’s the unanimous opinion that the Proton X70 is certainly a handsome SUV. With the right amount of lines and curves to its exterior along with narrow headlights and front metal grill, this is a masculine car that appeals to both sexes. Despite the roominess of its interior, the exterior doesn’t look too big nor does it look too small for an SUV – as some of its competitors tend to be.
The cruise down to Miri was made extra special with the cruise control feature, only available in the Premium variant. By making use of the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the driver is able to control the cruising feature on the X70 by keeping it at the same speed as the car in front, and at a safe distance. This carefree feature is definitely one for the long drives.
We made our first stop at one of Brunei’s beloved landmarks, the picturesque Sungai Tutong, before we made our way down to Miri Marriott to dine on Chinese cuisine at Zest. After a rather large lunch, we made our way down to the test course at Miri Stadium for the Dynamic Drive Activity, where the lovely folks over at PAD Motors spoiled us further with excellent ABC and rojak for tea. It was an afternoon of oohs and aahs (and plenty of laughs) as the experienced drivers gave us an idea of what the Proton X70 is truly capable of.
And what we learned is that the Proton X70 is a dream car for drivers with the ultimate in safety in mind. This is a car with the a 5-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating and has achieved some of the highest scores in its SUV size segment, achieved by having a body structure that uses a Hot Press (HPF) process and the most comprehensive list of safety equipment found in a Proton vehicle.
On every variant in Brunei, there are six SRS airbags, rear seat ISOFIX with top tether anchorage, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Auto Brake Hold, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Hold Assist (HHA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS). If that list of abbreviations mean absolutely nothing to you, let us put it in a nutshell: this car is safe. Super safe.
An Automatic Emergency Brake (AEB) feature had us jolting forward in our seats at the near impact. It’s an automatic braking system made just before your Proton can hit the car in front of you – a safety feature that is vital for daydreamers and those stuck in daily traffic.
The Executive variant is also fitted with a 360 camera to make parking in tight spaces easier, and we had a lot of fun in this feature. Putting us in a ‘Bird Box’ scenario, the PAD Motors team blacked out all of the windows in the Proton X70 and had us sitting in the dark while our experienced driver drove us through a few hurdles with only the use of the camera. Not a scratch was made on the car, or ourselves, and we came out fully impressed with this feature (and some of us just a little bit carsick).
The top of the range variant is additionally outfitted with a suite of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS), which includes the aforementioned Automatic Emergency Brake (AEB) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Front Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Door Opening Warning System (DOW) and Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC). Safe to say that a few days after the Borneo Inspiration Drive 2019 with the Proton X70, we greatly lamented the lack of the BLIS, the DOW and the LDW features especially in our own cars.
It was an easy cruise back to Bandar Seri Begawan and after a quick stop at another of Brunei’s landmarks, the majestic Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, we headed back to the PAD Motors showroom for some dinner, a Q&A session, a quick presentation by Marketing Director of Proton Malaysia, Mr Cheng Seng Fook, and just an opportunity to hang out a bit more with the nice people at Proton Brunei and Malaysia.
The Proton X70 is the first vehicle to come out of the collaboration between Proton and Geely, and with rumours of more models coming down the pipeline, our experience driving the Proton X70 has made us very eager to see what else Proton will have driving down to Brunei.
For more information, please call 673 2650074 or email email@example.com.
You can also visit the Pad Motors Showroom at:
Unit 1-4, Ground Floor, Beribi Complex,
Simpang 607-17, BE1118, Bandar Seri Begawan