Proton S50 sedan buyer's guide – new Preve replacement with 1.5L engine

After launching two new SUV models (X70 and X50) and a third one (X90) soon, Proton will next shift its focus on a sedan model widely tipped to be called the Proton S50, which will sit above the Proton Persona in the Proton sedan line-up, effectively being a Proton Preve replacement model.

Camouflaged prototypes of the upcoming Proton S50 sedan have already started to be seen driving around Malaysian roads on test, and we first featured spyshots of the Proton S50 prototype back in July 2022.

Which Geely model is the Proton S50 based on?

Geely has a few sedan models, but the Proton S50 is widely tipped to be based on the Geely Emgrand, with notable cues being the high C-pillars and gently raked rear window.

Previously there was speculation that the Proton S50 would be based on the Geely Binrui, but now that actual prototypes of the Proton S50 have been sighted, we can see that the Binrui has a more coupe-like swoopy roofline that you don’t see on these prototypes.

In addition, the Geely Emgrand is the sedan that Geely sells in the Philippines market which is an ASEAN market like ours, so it wouldn’t be too far fetched to assume that as another ASEAN market, Malaysia will be getting the Emgrand instead of the Binrui.

What engine will the Proton S50 get in Malaysia?

The Geely Emgrand uses a 1.5 litre normally aspirated petrol engine in the China market producing 114 PS and 147 Nm of torque, driving the front wheels with a CVT gearbox. In the Philippines, it also uses a 1.5 litre normally aspirated engine but with a slightly lower power output at 102 PS and 142 Nm. The CVT gearbox has 8 virtual gears if you want a manual mode.

These engine options sound a little underwhelming when compared to the 1.5 litre and 1.8 litre high-powered turbo engines that we’ve seen in newly launched Proton cars recently. Though bear in mind if the S50 is priced to compete with the Vios and City, this normally aspirated engine power output would not be not too far off from what is offered in the Vios (105 hp, 140 Nm) and City (119hp, 145 Nm).

However, there might be chance that at least one variant, if not all variants of the Proton S50 sedan would be equipped with a 1.5 litre turbocharged engine. Proton has previously confirmed there will be two new Proton models that will be getting a 1.5 litre turbo engine. One of the two is most probably the upcoming Proton X90. The other one could be the Proton S50.

The Proton X70 MC’s 1.5 litre turbo engine is currently locally assembled in Proton’s new engine plant in Tanjung Malim. The engine plant currently makes the TGDi version of the engine, but Proton has said in the past that the plant would be capable of making the lower powered but more affordable port injection version of the engine that’s currently used in lower spec versions of the Proton X50. The port injection X50 engine is currently imported from China.

Compared to the TGDi engine in the X50 Flagship which makes 177 PS and 255 Nm of torque, the port injection 1.5 turbo engine makes 150 PS and 225 Nm of torque. We think this is more than enough power to make an interesting choice for a top of the range Proton S50 paired with a DCT gearbox, while leaving the China/Philippines market normally aspirated engine+CVT gearbox combo for lower spec versions in order to offer a reduced entry price point.

How big is the Proton S50?

The Proton S50’s ‘donor car’ the Geely Emgrand measures 4,638 mm long, 1,822 mm wide and 1,460 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,650 mm. Boot space is rated at 500 liters.

In the table above we compare the dimensions of the Geely Emgrand/Proton S50 against both B-segment and C-segment offerings from Honda and Toyota. This is because the Proton S50 is expected to be a C-segment product priced at the B-segment price range.

In terms of exterior length, the Emgrand is the second longest of all the models listed, with its 4,638 mm length only losing out to the new Honda Civic’s 4,678 mm length. In terms of wheelbase, it sits in between the B-segment and C-segment with its 2,650 mm wheelbase, shorter than the Toyota’s 2,700 mm but longer than the City’s 2,600 mm.

In terms of weight, it kinda sits in between the B-segment and C-segment as well, with its 1,250 kg weight being heavier than the average weight of the Vios and City, but lighter than the average weight of the Civic and the Altis, both of which get bigger, more complicated engines. A Geely Emgrand/Proton S50 with the heavier 1.8 turbo engine might close the weight gap between itself and its C-segment rivals.

What are the Proton S50’s safety features

In the Philippines, the Emgrand comes with average safety features. You get either 2 airbags or 6 airbags depending on specs, and there’s ABS, traction control, stability control, two ISOFIX points and a reverse camera and that’s about it.

You could say that’s the minimum safety features that a car should come with and that’s about it. There are no no fancy ADAS driving aid features, no AEB autonomous emergency braking, no adaptive cruise control.

It remains to be seen if the Proton S50 will be the same or if Proton will add on more active safety features to it. At the very least, we think Proton should add autonomous emergency braking to the S50’s safety features.

How much will the Proton S50 be priced at?

The Geely Emgrand is priced at 753,000 PHP (RM60.6k) in the Philippines for the base 1.5 litre manual model. If you want a CVT automatic gearbox, you can pick between the Comfort model at 945,000 PHP (RM76k) or the Premium model at 999,000 PHP (RM80k).

In Malaysia, the Proton S50 will sit above the Proton Persona in Proton’s sedan line-up. The Persona is priced from RM47.8k to RM58.3k.

It would make sense for the Proton S50 to be priced similiar to the Geely Emgrand in in Philippines, sitting in the same RM60k to RM80k price range, as the next model up (Proton X50) goes for RM86.3k to RM113k.

Are you not an SUV person and looking forward to Proton’s upcoming sedan? Let us know in the comments.

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