Out with friends, I’m often asked, ‘what are you driving this week?’ Well, this week it was the Proton Savvy and I wish I had a pound for everyone that said, ‘a what?’
Mind you, one of them had just taken delivery of a brand new Mercedes S-Class, so he wouldn’t recognise a lowly Proton if it bit him in the proverbial. Sadly, that’s how Proton is perceived. However, mention Lotus and it’s a different matter. But not many people realise the relationship between the two companies - in 2003, Proton acquired 100 per cent controlling interest in Group Lotus Plc and the pair duly moved in together in Hethel, Norfolk.
The result is that Proton cars now get a touch of Lotus magic and even though you can’t see it, you somehow know it’s there. Take Proton’s pick-up, the jolly Jumbuck - my partner, who can be a bit of a car snob and detests utility vehicles, was so taken with it that he said he would consider buying one. Case proved, I’ll move on.
Savvy is the latest addition to the Proton stable. The name suggests that urban-dwellers will have the sense to buy a small, economical car that is also good value for money. The urban idea is reinforced by the names for the two trim levels: Street and Style. The Savvy should be a sensible consideration and not just for families on a budget, with prices starting at £5,995 for the Street, you can’t go far wrong.
This 5-door hatch is not short on creature comforts either. The test car was the Style, which adds £1,000 to the Street price but for that you get air-conditioning with pollen filter, electric front windows and front fog lamps. Because the Savvy is primarily designed for towns and therefore tight parking spaces, a rear parking sensor comes as standard, as does power steering.
This is a 15-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 2006.
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