The Proton X70 has garnered the enviable position as Malaysia’s top-selling SUV, with its powerful turbo-charged engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and with four variants that have prices starting from RM99k to 123k, the X70 offers value packages that are really hard to beat.
The Proton X70’s introduction is also timely in the sense that it is smack in the midst of a global shift from sedans to SUV’s, and 2019 has been a stellar year for Proton, with the X70 pushing the sales charts upwards. The locally assembled X70 has been previewed, and pretty soon it will be offered for sale to the public, and by the third quarter of 2020, the smaller compact size X50 will be introduced, possibly with a 1.5 litre turbocharged engine.
In the euphoria of getting the 180+ horsepower X70, and enjoying the new-found joy of great acceleration, some of the users have started to moan that the fuel consumption is somewhat higher than what they were expecting, and so we decided to do an actual fuel consumption test to check out the results and share with our readers and viewers,
First off, we studied the situation, talked to a few people, and came to these conclusions – the first one being that in the process of moving from a sedan, probably of a smaller capacity, of even a two litre naturally aspirated engine, there was some mis-conception or perhaps a lack of understanding of a fundamental of automotive engineering – you need more energy to move a bigger mass.
The Proton X70 weighs in at around 1,700 kg, and this is easily 200 to 300 kg heavier than a B or C segment car. The turbocharged engine of the X70 can easily overcome the inertia to propel the vehicle forward with zest and style, but it does use more fuel if you constantly drive the vehicle hard. Similarly, every vehicle will consume more if pushed. Moving from a sedan to a SUV, many people do not realize that they have to suffer a penalty in fuel consumption – it is just plain physics.
The second conclusion we came to is actually the driving habits of the users. Some of the new buyers are busy enjoying the turbocharged power, and having fun, and while this is going on, fuel consumption will suffer.
Well, we borrowed a Proton X70 from Proton – it was one of their media fleet cars, without any special preparation, and Zachary Ho and I took it for a test drive. We made a video, and it is available by clicking on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrqekpC3kcM
What we did was to drive with a light foot on the throttle, and maintained a speed that varied between 80 km/hr and 110 km/hr, staying in tune with the prevailing traffic conditions, and the route was mostly highway, which took us from Petaling Jaya to Nilai and back, using the NKVE and the Elite highway.
Traffic conditions were normal, with a little bit of congestion around the Petaling Jaya area on our return journey. The method we used was the full tank to full tank method, and we also used the On-Board Driving Data display. The On-board display recorded us at 6.6 litres per 100 km over the 119km journey, while the full tank to full tank method recorded us at 7.04 litres per 100 km.
Whilst the instruments and the odometers are not calibrated (not by us, but that does not mean their readings are very far out), these are numbers that can give us an indication of what is the potential we can get from the X70, and other SUVs too, just by modifying our driving habits.