Last chance to buy: Proton Gen-2


Specifications

Launched: 2004

Engine sizes: 1.3-litre, 1.6

Performance: (1.6) top speed 118mph,0-60mph in 12.6 seconds

Economy: 39.21mpg

Safety: NCAP n/a

When's it going?

The Proton Gen-2 is still with us, but it's just had a mild makeover. Not that you would notice; there's a new interior and some fancy new alloy wheels. Otherwise it is pretty similar to the old model, which is worth tracking down because it's likely to be even better value now.



What's good about it?

Honestly? Not much; the Gen-2 has relatively little going for it. Most of them are bought by private buyers who want their money to go the furthest, and they only potter around locally and cover just a few thousand miles a year. That's why they love the value-for-money specification. The old entry-level GL had air conditioning, remote central locking, a CD player and electric front windows. If you could afford a GLS, then that would mean alloy wheels and a CD multichanger. The top-of-the-tree GSX models also boast climate-control air-con and electric rear windows.

It is quite a good car to drive, not that many of its typical buyers would ever find this out. Tuned by Lotus, a company that Proton owns, it is quite sporty and goes around corners very eagerly.

What's bad about it?

Just about everything else, as this is real lowest-common-denominator motoring. Engine performance is OK, but it isn't very refined and drones away on every journey. And its drivers won't be all that comfortable; there is a degree of adjustability in the steering wheel and seat, but there just isn't enough for most motorists.

Inside, it isn't as big as you think, especially in the back. The interior is not a pleasant place to be in quality terms; you're surrounded by an array of fairly grim plastics. Obviously the new, revised model has addressed this, but quality and standard of finish are the most obvious places where Proton has saved money. Ah well, at least it's cheap, but the trouble is that you lose a lot of money because of savage depreciation. You would be better off with a used Ford Focus than with a new Gen-2.

How much?

Is it actually possible to save money, seeing as the Gen-2 is already so cheap? Well, usually you can save a few hundred pounds, but Proton itself is offering up to five years of fixed-rate finance and throwing in a leather interior. The best way to get money off – apart from simply asking for it – is to look for low-mileage ex-demonstrators at dealers. Michael Edwards Car Sales (01942 246 688) had a 2007 1.3 GLS with 100 miles at £7,495, down from £9,595 brand new.

Any snags?

Not really. There has been just one minor recall in 2005 concerning a loose battery harness, but otherwise Protons are very reliable. The technology is proven, and the dealerships seem to be small and very helpful, according to owners.

Sport
Super BowlAfter Katy Perry madness it's back to The Independent's live coverage of Super Bowl 49!
News
See what Twitter had to say about the first half of the Super Bowl
News
people
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch