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Proton Gen 2 manual

July 2005
Report No. 750, by NRMA Motoring Information Services

LIKES
Body style Handling/Steering Luggage space

DISLIKES
Ergonomics Firm seats Cheap looking plastics

Protons toehold in the market may be slender, but its Gen 2 range might just be the lever to boost the Malaysian marques image. The new cars attractive styling dispenses with the hand me down look of previous models, and is certainly an attention getter. Protons ownership of Lotus wasnt wasted either. The iconic sports car maker provided some engineering input, lending an added dash of street cred.

VALUE FOR MONEY


PRICING There are three variants of the Gen 2, starting with the L-Line - $17,990, our test car the M -Line - $19,500 and the range topping HLine at $20,990. Automatic versions cost an extra $2,000. STANDARD FEATURES M -Line equipment includes air-conditioning, power steering, 15 alloy wheels, remote central locking, power windows, CD player and trip computer. Options include 17 alloy wheels ($1,795), bodykit ($2,500), metallic paint ($350), rear spoiler ($695) and sports suspension ($1,184).

central dash. Next is the audio system. Operated by a series of small buttons surrounding a circular display it may have looked striking on paper, but is confusing in practice. Fortunately the wheel mounted switches are more user friendly. A tall glasshouse and low set dashboard add to the cars roomy feel and while forward vision is excellent, the high tail can make reversing a guessing game. SAFETY Standard safety features include dual front airbags and ABS brakes. Currently the car has not been assessed by the ANCAP or EuroNCAP crash test facilities. BUILD QUALITY & FINISH Our cars metallic bronze paintwork and beige interior certainly turned a few heads during testing. While the colour was dazzling, the paint had obvious orange peel and differing textures between metal and plastic panels. Inside the numerous plastic pieces also differed in colour and surface finish. SECURITY At this stage the Gen 2s theft rating has not been assessed by NRMA Insurance.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
ENGINE Type..............................DOHC four cylinder Capacity in litres...................................1,597 Induction................Electronic Fuel Injection Fuel recommendation ..........................PULP Claimed max. power.......82kW @ 6,000rpm Claimed max. torque.... 148Nm @ 4,000rpm TRANSMISSION Type.................................Five speed manual Driving wheels ......................................Front WHEELS ........................... Alloy 15 x 6.5 Tyres ...................Sime Asta 195/55R15 84V Spare ...........................................Space saver STEERING Type................Power assisted rack & pinion Turns lock to lock.....................................2.7 Turning circle.......................................11.8m DIMENSIONS Mass...................................................1165kg Length..............................................4310mm Width (incl. mirrors 1920mm).........1725mm Height ..............................................1435mm Ground clearance (measured) ............140mm Seating capacity...........................................5 Fuel tank capacity.............................50 litres TOWING Max. towed mass (trailer plus load)....1000kg NRMA THEFT RATING Points on 0-120 scale (high score best).....TBA WARRANTY..................3yr / unlimited km MANUFACTURED IN .................Malaysia

ON THE ROAD
FUEL Based on Government Green Guide figures the Protons average fuel economy of 7.2l/100km puts it around the middle of the pack, but its PULP fuel requirement may dissuade price sensitive buyers. PERFORMANCE With 82kW on tap the Gen 2 offers acceptable performance, but the cars tallish gearing works against it. Under 4000rpm it feels a bit breathless and you need to work the engine to get the most from it. RIDE No doubt Proton have let Lotus look at the Gen 2s underpinnings. Across our test routes give and take surfaces, it provided a very composed ride, and as the speed picked up the more it smoothed out. Slower city speeds meant things became a bit bumpier, but not uncomfortable. HANDLING & STEERING Another area of Lotus influence is the cars agile handling. The steering isnt a great communicator, but its light weight and directness complement the chassis nimble character. . BRAKING Equipped with four wheel discs, the Gen 2s stopping power is par for the course in this

DESIGN & FUNCTION


SPACE & PRACTICALITY Theres generous room for the driver and front seat passenger, but anyone in the rear needs to contend with limited headroom thanks to the sloping, low roofline. Trying to find a secure home for knick knacks poses a problem as the Gen 2 doesnt have a glovebox. Narrow trays on the dash and door pockets will have to do. Fortunately the luggage area is usefully large, and the 60:40 rear seat folds completely flat to accommodate any overflow. COMFORT Getting comfortable in the small front buckets can be an issue. Rather than sinking into the cushion, the firm padding tends to push you out of the seat. Lateral support was also minimal and on longer trips you feel like youre teetering on the seat, not supported by it. The rear seat is well shaped but the short cushion limits comfort, fortunately there is plenty of footspace available. ERGONOMICS Initially the dash layout looks very European, with the instruments housed in two deep binnacles, but thats where any similarity ends. First there are the poorly located ventilation controls sitting vertically under the

TEST RESULTS
ACCELERATION 50 - 80 km/h (in 3rd)...........................6.5 sec 60 -100 km/h (in 3rd)..........................8.2 sec 0 -80 km/h...........................................7.8 sec 0 - 100 km/h......................................12.4 sec 0 - 400 metres ...................................18.2 sec FUEL CONSUMPTION (litres/100 km) Average ADR 81/01 .................................7.2 BRAKING Distance to stop from 80 km/h....24.6 metres NOISE Interior at constant 80 km/h......... 67.7dB(A) Test vehicle supplied by Proton Cars Australia www.proton.com.au

Call Technical Advice on 1300 655 443 for additional information on this vehicle, and for other automotive advice. or visit www.mynrma.com.au .

category, but the pedal provides little feedback. SMOOTHNESS & QUIETNESS On the move there is noticeable tyre noise, and the powerplants buzzy nature becomes prominent as the revs rise. A lack of strong mid range torque also means plenty of opportunity to use the notchy gearshift. Its direct enough, but it can be baulky.

SUMMARY:
Good looking, and easy to drive the Protons best feature is its chassis. But even at this price conscious end of the market buyers expect a certain level of refinement that the Gen 2 doesnt provide.