Malaysian automaker Proton has formally launched the flagship X90 7-seat SUV in South Africa. It also boasts of being the first 7-seat hybrid SUV on the right-hand-drive South African market.
Related: Proton X90 Goes on Sale in Malaysia
This is Proton’s fourth model to be introduced in Rainbow Nation following the X50, X70, and Saga since their comeback in September 2022 after a ten-year hiatus. The Proton X90 in South Africa comes available in 4 variants—Standard, Executive, Premium, and Flagship, and is priced as:
- Standard – ZAR 559,900 (PKR 91.13 lac)
- Executive – ZAR 589,900 (PKR 96.02 lac)
- Premium – ZAR 644,900 (PKR 104.97 lac)
- Flagship – ZAR 679,900 (PKR 109.85 lac)
The X90 includes a long list of standard features in every trim level, even the base model. These include 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, daytime running lights, and LED fog lamps.
The interior is equipped with a leather multifunction steering wheel, automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry and start, and fabric seats for comfort and convenience. The 12.3-inch infotainment screen is home to voice commands, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 6-speaker audio system.
The X90 prioritizes protection with an impressive array of 14 passive safety features. These include automatic parking and road sign recognition. Additional features, including automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a powered tailboard, leatherette upholstery, and a wireless charger, are available by upgrading to the Executive trim level. An LCD driver display, a 6-way electronic driver’s seat, and a 360-degree camera for better visibility all improve the driving experience.
Stepping up, the Premium trim has 19-inch alloy wheels, a hands-free electric tailgate, Nappa leather on the steering wheel and seats, lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and front seat ventilation for those seeking even greater luxury and cutting-edge safety features. Autonomous emergency braking, parking assistance, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist are additional safety features that are added to the front parking sensors. The flagship Flagship variant tops the lineup with a panoramic sunroof, which adds an extra sense of openness and space to the cabin.
Under the hood, the Proton X90 utilizes a 1.5L TGDi engine paired with a 48V electric motor, resulting in a combined output of 130 kW and 255 Nm. Proton emphasizes that this setup brings benefits such as reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, enhanced performance, and an overall smoother driving experience. The powertrain is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), with multiple driving modes available including Sport, Eco, and Comfort.
Proton in Pakistan
In comparison to South Africa, where Proton has introduced 4 models in just 11 months since making its debut, Pakistan’s experience with the brand has been entirely different. The automaker introduced the X70 in December 2020 and the Saga in April 2021, but up until this point has been unable to deliver units to its customers while brazenly slapping numerous significant price hikes on the awaiting public. In these years, the cost of X70 alone has gone up by 80%, while the cost of Saga has increased by as much as 90%.
Various users are still seen protesting on social media about the company’s lack of ability to deliver the units even after almost 2 years while some have already filed cases in different courts against the company & its dealerships. Bear in mind Proton teamed up with the Al-Haj group which previously dealt with FAW cars. According to Pakistani consumers, when it comes to car launches and deliveries, Proton has unquestionably been the worst.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com