Boring, slow and old-fashioned. Unfortunately, that’s the general perception of Proton cars.
So wrong! The same used to be said of the early Kia's before the company got it together and started grabbing its fair share of the market.
In a similar manner, Proton has pulled its corporate socks up and given us the Savvy and GEN-2, which has recently been refreshed for 2007. Both are excellent value for money and so is the company’s new supermini, the Satria Neo. The name is quite fitting as it means 'new hero'.
With a 0-62mph time of 11.5 seconds and a top speed of 118mph, the 1.6-engined test car is not fast but it is quick. Besides, with traffic conditions and legal limitations in the UK, the performance figures are more than adequate.
The Satria Neo comes with just two engine choices; 1.3- and 1.6-litre, petrol units. Only the latter is available with a 4-speed automatic transmission but there is a penalty to making that choice - poorer fuel consumption, a slower sprint time and greater CO2 emissions than with the 5-speed manual box.
If emissions and frugality are important to you, it is better to go for the 1.6 manual. Official figures are posted as; 27.9mpg (urban), 61.4mpg (extra-urban) and 42.8mpg for the combined cycle. In this format, the Satria Neo exhausts 157g/km CO2, which puts it in VED Band D and the insurance is Group 7.
The 1.6 engine produces 112PS (111bhp) at 6,000rpm and 148Nm (109 lb ft) at 4,000rpm The same collaborative engines and transmission can also be found in the GEN-2 but for the Satria, they have been tweaked for better low to medium acceleration and flexibility.
Proton makes full use of its sister company’s technical know-how and it shows. Lotus had a hand in the design, ride-quality systems and engines and a whole arm in the handling set-up. The result is a car that is as surprising as it is stunning.
This is a 14-year+ news article, from our Proton archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
If in doubt check with your local Proton dealer as car prices and technical data will have changed since 2007.
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