BAIC X55 Set To Soon Take On The Proton X70 In Malaysia

This competitive C-segment SUV from BAIC is set to land locally by the end of this year. 

Another day, another Chinese automaker has announced its imminent arrival into Malaysia. And this time is the turn of BAIC, with this Beijing-based marque — which is incidentally pronounced as ‘baik’ by the way — set to make a splash over here with the eventual local introduction of its X55 and BJ40 Plus. 

Now of the two, the Wrangler-esque BJ40 Plus is probably the one that has gotten more tongues wagging from BAIC’s recent local preview. Though the bigger volume seller will likely instead be its X55, with this particular (Proton) X70 competitor being the model that will be covered in this story here. 


And since the Proton has already been mentioned, let’s start then with the fact that the X55 and X70 actually will have more in common than just its strikingly similar names, when it eventually arrives. Such is as BAIC has since teased for the two trims that will be offered with this particular SUV (Standard and Premium) will apparently only be costing from between RM 12X,XXX and RM 14X,XXX, which is of course just slightly higher than what Proton is currently charging for its own C-segmenter.  

Further similarities are to be found as well under the hoods of these SUVs of Chinese origin, with both X70 and X55 driving the front wheels through a 1.5-litre turbocharged and direct-injected power plant that is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. Though the BAIC does nevertheless gain an extra cylinder over the Proton, with its variable geometry turbo seeing it churn out a decent bit more power and torque too at 188 PS (+ 11 PS) and 305 Nm (+50 Nm) respectively. 

This BAIC SUV also incidentally gains on the Proton in the size department, with the X55’s 4,620 mm length, 1,886 mm width and 1,680 mm height being nearly 100 mm longer, 55 mm wider but 14 mm lower than the X70, while its 2,735 mm wheelbase is 65 mm longer too. As a matter of fact, this Chinese C-segmenter is really not all that far off in its dimensions to the similarly curvaceous CR-V. 

Transitioning from dimensions to design meanwhile, it has to be said that the X55 certainly has an EV look to it, especially from the front at least. Featuring a closed-off honeycomb front fascia (which looks much like a Lexus) and slim L-shaped LED daytime running lights, one could potentially argue for this BAIC to potentially be a BYD Atto 5.   

The rear of this BAIC on the other hand looks more like another soon-to-launch Chinese C-segment SUV, with that funky full width light strip and number plate mounted prominently on the tailgate looking like the recently previewed Chery Omoda 7. Other design highlights on the X55 worth highlighting are retractable door handles down its side and option of a two-tone colour scheme, as observed from this yellow-and-black example shown here.   

Moving along inside, the interior of this X55 is headlined by some funky curved L-shaped vents and a similarly futuristic looking floating centre console. There is also to be quite the sporty steering wheel too, but these cool design details are unfortunately spoiled somewhat by the twin 10-inch central touchscreen and digital instrument panel that look like they’ve been tacked on as an after thought. 

As for standard equipment on this BAIC, there is also apparently some good and bad news on this front too. The good news is that this X55 is to be as well equipped as the X70 — dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable sports seats, panoramic sunroof and a whole host of active driver aids to name a few; though the bad news being that much like the aforementioned Proton, there are rumours for this Chinese SUV to also be doing without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. 

BAIC is currently readying for an imminent local launch of this X55 sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, with the first Malaysian units to come straight from the EPMB local assembly plant in Melaka. So, will anyone be cancelling their bookings of the upcoming updated X70 for one of these?

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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