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Buy or Hold: Wait for Proton X50 or buy Mazda CX-3?

Buy or Hold: Wait for Proton X50 or buy Mazda CX-3?
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Proton has recently pulled the covers off its highly anticipated SUV, the X50, expected to be launched next month. Many feature details of the model are now public, while some specifications and price are still undisclosed. However, the market speculates that the X50 price will be going to lie somewhere between RM 80,000 - RM 100,000. 

Proton’s CEO Li Chunrong described the X50 as a challenger in every vehicle segment in the country. By this, we can assume that the SUV aims to give a dent to many big names in the Malaysian market. Well, it is likely to feast the B-segment, mostly that already has some famous names in existence. One of them is the Mazda CX-3, which is priced at RM 1,26,000. So does the upcoming X50 give you enough reasons to hold back your purchase or buy the available and pricier CX-3? Of course, the first one is the price; let’s find out others.

Proton X50 rear

Design and dimensions

Proton X50 is a handsome SUV, but it is not a fresh design. It is based on the Chinese Geely Binyue; however, the automaker has given it some unique touches. It features a nicely designed infinite weave pattern grille flanked by LED daytime running lights, stylish tail lamps, red accents on the front and rear brake caliper, 17-inch alloy wheels (as standard), and quad exhaust pipes. The panoramic sunroof is also available in the range-topping variant.

Coming to Mazda CX-3, it is based on the KODO design philosophy, like the rest of its family members. It looks fantastic thanks to the front chrome grille, stunning headlights, curving side profile, a roof-mounted spoiler, and twin exhaust pipes. 

Mazda CX-3 rear

Size-wise, the Proton X50 is longer, wider, and taller than the CX-3; the wheelbase of the Chinese SUV is also larger; all these lead to better space inside the vehicle. However, the boot space in the CX-3 is 20 litres more than the X50. Check out their detailed dimensions in the following table.

Specifications

Proton X50

Mazda CX-3

Length

4,330 mm

4,275 mm

Width

1,800 mm

1,765 mm

Height

1,609 mm

1,535 mm

Wheelbase

2,600 mm

2570 mm

Boot space

330 litres

350 litres

Engine

In terms of mechanical setup, Proton will offer the X50 in two choices, both with the same capacity of 1.5-litre but differently tuned. The engine taken into consideration is a TGDI engine that generates more power and torque; the X50 top-spec trim will be fitted with the said engine. On the other side, Mazda CX-3 is available with one engine option only; the SKYACTIV 2.0-litre four-cylinder.

Specifications

Proton X50

Mazda CX-3

Engine

1.5-litre 3-cylinder Turbo Direct Injection (Co-developed by Geely and Volvo)

SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre four-cylinder, Direct Injection  DOHC (Co-developed by Mazda)

Maximum power

177 PS 

156 PS

Peak torque

255 Nm 

204 Nm 

Transmission

7-speed DCT

6-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic 

0-100 kmph

7.9 seconds

8.5 seconds

Fuel economy

6.1 litres per 100 km (expected)

6.3 litres per 100 km

In the above table, we can see the X50’s powertrain churns out higher power and torque, even though it is fitted with the smaller capacity engine, thanks to the TGDI mill and dual-clutch transmission borrowed from X70. Not only this, but the Japanese SUV also lags in fuel economy and acceleration numbers.

Also read: Proton X50 vs Proton X70: Similarities and differences explained

Proton X50 side

Features

Specifications

Proton X50

Mazda CX-3

Headlamps 

LED

LED

Auto headlights

Yes

Yes

Fog lights

Front, LED

Front, LED

Rear, Bulb

Taillamps

No info

LED

Wheels

18-inch

18-inch

Infotainment system

10.25-inch touchscreen with voice-command assistant

7-inch touchscreen 

Instrument cluster

7-inch digital 

Standard Trip Computer

Head-up display

No

Yes

Air-con 

With rear vents

Without rear vents

Driver’s seat adjustability

Yes

Yes, 10-way with lumbar support and memory function

Electric parking brake

Yes

Yes

Seat material

Leather seats

Leather seats

Proton X50 and MAzda CX-3 cabin

Although both SUVs have chock-full of tech and comfort features, the X50 looks more promising with a bigger touchscreen, voice-assistant, and a digital instrument panel, at a lower price. 

Also read: Proton X50: Features explained

Safety

On the safety front, the X50 gets a full-fledged Level 2 semi-autonomous driving suite. However, the exact driver-assistance features are yet to be revealed; expected ones are centering assist, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and autonomous emergency braking. Standard safety bits include six airbags (four airbags as standard), ABS with EBD and BA, stability control, hill start assist, hill descent control, and rear ISOFIX child seat anchors.

The Japanese counterpart also brims with the latest safety features and is considered as one of the safest cars in its class. These comprise 6 SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, dynamic stability control, emergency brake assist, traction control system, emergency stop signal, hill launch assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Verdict

Proton X50 gets style, space, performance, as well as a number of hi-tech features. With so much on offer at an estimated lower price, it can give anyone strong reasons for holding back the purchase and waiting for its launch. If not, Mazda CX-3 is there with its sports styling, decent performance, and reliability.

Also read: Proton X50: Variants explained

Proton X50 vs Mazda CX-3 Comparison

Proton X50
  • RM 79,200 - RM 103,300
Mazda CX-3
  • RM 126,829
X50 vs CX-3

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