Subaru XV Eyesight VS Proton X50 Flagship: Which crossover to buy tomorrow

Subaru XV Eyesight VS Proton X50 Flagship: Which crossover to buy tomorrow

When Geely rebadged their Bin Yue crossover to become the Proton X50, the segment leaders were all ready to take on the ‘fight’ to maintain their sales positions. Segment leader, Honda HR-V had already enjoyed 5 years of superb sales and since its arrival in early 2015, it has only seen a steep rise in popularity.

Then there was the Mazda CX-3 which arrived also in 2015 to challenge the HR-V. However, as a fully imported vehicle and priced at RM 131,000 it did not sell in the large numbers to worry Honda dealers in Malaysia.

The success of the Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-3 prompted UMW Toyota to launch the Toyota C-HR 1.8L in early 2018 and even though it was a fully imported vehicle and with a high price tag of RM 145,000 (when compared to Honda’s RM 99,000 for the HR-V) sales was brisk and all imported units were sold out as they rolled off the ship.

Subaru XV

Meanwhile, sitting in the shadow of the above-mentioned crossovers was the all-wheel drive, Subaru XV. Yes, this was a true 4x4 vehicle with a sporty wagon design and it was actually the first crossover in Malaysia.

Yes, back in late 2012, the first-ever XV arrived as a locally assembled vehicle and it was priced at RM 132,000.  Its high asking price was a deterrent to high sales volume and after handsome discounts were offered in 2014, sales picked up.

As the years followed, the facelift XV arrived, and then this week we have just seen the latest version of the XV with Si Drive system included plus Eyesight safety technology as standard. Launched at RM 139,788, this latest version of the XV leads the crossover segment in space, comfort features, and also safety features.

Subaru XV

However, its sales success is stifled by the Proton X50 which is a rebadged Geely Bin Yue. Why? Well, the top of the range Proton X50, which is the ‘Flagship’ is priced at just RM 103,300 and it is well equipped. Powered by a 3-cylinder 1477cc turbocharged engine that delivers 177 bhp and 255 Nm of torque, this crossover had 21,000 bookings right after its launch at the end of December 2020.

By the first quarter of 2021, the bookings had passed 30,000 units and the waiting list had moved to 6 months. Today, a year later, the waiting list is close to 6 months (which means if you order today, you get your 2021 model X50 in June 2022).

Subaru XV

Patience is running thin with many X50 buyers and this is why the timely arrival of the latest Subaru XV might prompt some X50 buyers who are waiting to cancel their booking and take ownership of this XV.

This XV is powered by a naturally aspirated 2-litre flat-4 Boxer engine that produces 154 hp and 194 Nm. The 1995cc 16-valve engine delivers a top speed of 194 kmph and a standstill to 100 kmph acceleration time of 10.4 seconds.

  • Plus, the XV has all-wheel drive which the Proton X50 does not have.
  • Plus the XV has a good track record with after-sales which some Proton dealers are suffering with.
  • Plus the XV is built of a tough platform able to take on rough terrain which the X50 is not.
  • Plus the XV can be delivered in weeks and the X50 might take 5-6 months to arrive.
  • Plus the XV now has Eyesight safety which is a higher level of safety than what the X50 Flagship is equipped with.
  • Plus, the XV’s Boxer engine delivers a smooth driving experience and the 3-cylinder X50 engine is slightly less silky in its power delivery.
  • Plus, the XV does not have any spare parts availability issue which is a problem experienced with Proton customers lately.

The final word is simple, take both the X50 and XV for a test drive on the same morning and decide over lunch which impresses you more.

Also read: Subaru introduces new Advance Style Edition for its XV crossover

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