Review: 2024 Proton S70 Flagship X - Redefining family comfort in a compact sedan

Review: 2024 Proton S70 Flagship X - Redefining family comfort in a compact sedan

If you're considering buying a compact sedan, the Proton S70 should be considered at the top of your list. While its competitors, like the Toyota Vios and Honda City, are excellent choices, especially for city driving, the Proton S70 provides even more and might be a better option if you plan to use it beyond the city streets.


  • What's the price of the 2024 Proton S70 Flagship X

  • How much power does it have?

    the 1.5-litre turbo engine features 150PS and 226Nm of torque
  • What extra feature does the Flagship X has over the Flagship?

    Sunroof and option to opt for Black Quart paint job
  • How big is the infotainment screen and fully digital meter cluster?

  • Proton S70 Flagship X

    The Proton S70 sedan offers incredible value, undercutting the prices of its top-spec rivals while delivering a unique blend of size, comfort, and advanced features. It’s a curious anomaly, larger than your typical B-segment sedan but slightly more compact than C-segment models. This Goldilocks zone makes it an excellent option for small families looking for a single car that can provide all the comforts and needs of family life.

    A First Look at the Proton S70

    Proton S70

    Upon first glance, the Proton S70 captures your attention with its sleek design and modern aesthetic. The Flagship X variant ups the ante with a sunroof and a stunning black quartz paint job, exuding a premium feel that is hard to ignore. Step inside, and you’re greeted by a spacious, well-designed interior that makes the S70 feel more luxurious than its price tag would suggest.

    Comfort and Practicality

    Proton S70 seats

    One of the first things you'll notice about the Proton S70 is the sheer amount of space. The slightly larger dimensions compared to the current offerings of B-segment sedans mean rear passengers have plenty of legroom, making it a comfortable ride for the whole family. The seats are well-cushioned and supportive, perfect for long journeys. The driver’s seat, which is power-adjustable in this Flagship X variant, along with an adjustable steering wheel, ensures a great driving position that can be tailored to any driver’s needs.

    Proton S70 rear seats

    The air conditioning system deserves special mention. It works incredibly well, ensuring that the cabin remains cool even on the hottest Malaysian days. This is crucial because a car can be loaded with features, but if the climate control is subpar, the ride becomes unpleasant. With the S70, you can be assured of a comfortable ride, no matter the weather.

    2024 Proton S70 boot space

    The boot space is quite generous, offering 500 litres—slightly smaller than the Honda City but slightly more than the Toyota Vios. During our test, we easily fit a couple of full-sized suitcases along with all the odds and ends families typically bring on road trips. For a family car, ample storage is crucial, and the Proton S70 excels in this area, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a practical yet spacious vehicle.

    Impressive Tech and Features

    Proton S70 dash

    Tech enthusiasts will appreciate the S70’s infotainment system. The Flagship X variant boasts a massive 12.3-inch screen. Although it doesn’t support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, the built-in navigation is reliable, and the Bluetooth connectivity is seamless for music streaming. The fully digital meter cluster adds a modern touch, making the driving experience even more enjoyable. It can even fully display your navigation needs while showing critical information about the car.

    Proton S70 meter cluster

    Keeping devices juiced up is another strong suit of the S70. Up front, there’s a wireless charger, a USB A port at the lower part of the dashboard, and a USB C port in a hidden compartment under the gear selector. Rear passengers aren’t left out either, with both USB A and USB C ports available to keep devices charged throughout the journey.

    The Drive: Performance and Efficiency

    2024 Proton S70

    Under the hood, the Proton S70 is powered by a 1.5-litre turbo engine. While it may not be the most powerful 1.5-litre turbo engine Proton offers, delivering 150PS and 225Nm of torque, it certainly holds its own. On paper, it might not seem like much, but once you get behind the wheel, it’s a different story. This engine delivers zippy acceleration that makes city driving a breeze, and there’s plenty of power available for highway driving. Whether you’re navigating through traffic or cruising on the highway, the S70 feels lively and responsive. 

    What we appreciate most is that it delivers performance without any drama—no loud engine noises or growls. It quietly gets the job done, which is a big plus in a family vehicle. You don’t want to startle your passengers when you need to accelerate quickly to overtake, whether on the highway or on those tricky one-lane back roads.

    Proton S70 engine

    Fuel efficiency is another highlight, particularly in city driving where the S70 returns around 6.5 liters per 100 kilometers. On the highway, however, the fuel consumption rises to around 14 liters per 100 kilometers. If fuel efficiency is a concern, keeping your speed closer to the national speed limit can help mitigate this. But let’s be honest, with the S70’s performance, it’s easy to get carried away.

    Proton S70 transmission

    The only aspect we weren’t entirely satisfied with is the occasional delayed throttle response, which can make pulling out of junctions a bit tricky. It feels as though the car hesitates, taking a moment to decide what to do. While this doesn’t happen all the time, when it does, it can make you nervous when starting from a full stop. This delay often leads to pressing the accelerator harder, resulting in a sudden lurch forward, which can be quite startling.

    Riding Comfort and NVH

    Proton S70 NVH

    The Proton S70 excels in ride comfort and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) control, which was a big surprise. The cabin is impressively quiet, even at higher speeds, and vibrations are kept to a minimum. The suspension handles rough roads with ease, only transmitting the harshest bumps. Yes, it can feel a bit floaty at high speeds, but overall, the ride and handling strike a great balance, making it a pleasure to drive, like most new age Proton products.

    Variants and Value for Money

    Proton S70

    The Proton S70 is available in several variants, with this Flagship X being the top-tier model. If you don’t need the sunroof and the special paint job, the regular Flagship variant offers almost everything you get with the X variant for about RM5,000 less. Lower variants miss out on some premium features like the fully digital meter cluster, powered seats, wireless charger, and the advanced 12.3-inch infotainment system. They also lack the full suite of advanced driver assistance systems.

    However, even the lower variants retain the most critical aspects of the S70: the turbocharged engine, excellent NVH, and balanced ride and handling. The Executive variant, equipped with smaller 16-inch wheels, may actually provide a more comfortable ride thanks to the additional cushioning from the larger sidewalls, though it might come with a slight trade-off in handling precision.

    Advanced Safety and Driver Assistance

    Proton S70 safety

    Safety is a priority with the Proton S70, especially in the Flagship and Flagship X variants. These models come with an array of advanced driver assistance systems that significantly enhance safety and convenience. Features like autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and lane departure warning are all included. These systems provide an added layer of protection and make long drives much less stressful, especially when you consider that you'll be carrying your precious family members inside. 

    The Bottom Line

    Proton S70

    So, why should you consider the Proton S70 Flagship X over competitors like the Toyota Vios and Honda City? For starters, it offers a more spacious and comfortable interior, better NVH control, and a powerful yet efficient engine. It’s packed with advanced features typically found in more expensive cars, and it undercuts the price of its main rivals, providing exceptional value for money.

    Even if you opt for a lower variant, you’re still getting a car that excels in the areas that matter most: engine performance, ride comfort, and overall driving experience. The Proton S70 is not just a car; it’s a statement that you can have luxury, performance, and practicality without breaking the bank.

    2024 Proton S70 R3

    In a market flooded with options, the Proton S70 stands out as a hidden gem. It’s a car that offers everything you need for a small family vehicle and then some. If you’re in the market for a compact sedan, give the Proton S70 a serious look. You might find it’s exactly what you’ve been searching for.

    If you have concerns about its durability, keeping an eye on the upcoming Sepang 1,000km endurance race might help finalize your decision, as the Proton S70 will be participating. Surviving this grueling, multi-hour race would be a strong testament to its mechanical dependability.

    Proton S70 Flagship X Specifications

    • Drivetrain: 1.5-litre 3-Cylinder Turbocharged
    • Power output: 150 PS
    • Torque: 226Nm
    • Transmission: 7-speed wet dual clutch transmission
    • Seats: 5 
    • Price: RM 94,800

    Adam Aubrey

    Adam Aubrey

    Adam Aubrey is an experienced writer and presenter with over a decade in the automotive industry, known for his passion for rebuilding older cars from the golden era of automotive design. His work also delves into the future of vehicles, highlighting the exciting potential of electric propulsion.

    Read Full Bio

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