Proton Persona Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

2001 Proton Persona GLi 1.3 petrol

Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Previous carToyota ECHO

Summary:

Reliable - at least the engine is

Faults:

Hazard light switch died.

Drivers side front electric window died.

Passenger front window works only in dry weather.

Air con cuts out completely in very hot weather.

Various bits of the dash rattle badly on idle. With the air con on, the steering wheel vibrates loudly at idle.

Fuel gauge works only when it feels like it.

Tacho works slightly less often than the fuel gauge.

General Comments:

I have mixed feelings about this car. On one hand, the core guts have been nothing but reliable, and nigh impossible to kill.

On the other hand, most of the car feels like it was put together by a three year old on a sugar high.

The interior panels are shoddy, the electrics are glitchy, and the seats none too comfortable for long drives.

The overall design is soulless and bland. Despite the best efforts of the faux wood panels, the interior has a certain 'cinema entrance' feel to it. A lot of grey on grey plastic with cheap 80's inspired fabrics.

On the up side - despite having no power to speak of, the handling is quite tight for a front wheel drive. Zipping through windy roads almost approaches fun, and can feel rather like you're driving a go-kart.

At the end of the day, this has been a boring and sometimes frustrating car to own and drive, but it has never once missed a beat in getting me from point A to point B. Including some long, hot drives cross-country Australia in summer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th January, 2011

15th Jan 2011, 19:59

Sounds like the only decent things about the car can be attributed to the fact it has Mitsubishi mechanicals and Lotus input into the handling. The rest of it (i.e. the Proton parts) seems to be rubbish.

1999 Proton Persona GLi 1.5

Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.5 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Most recent distance117500 kilometres
Previous carNissan Pulsar

Summary:

A good car all round

Faults:

Speedometer works intermittently.

Paint fading in some areas, clearcoat coming off on bonnet.

Several trim rattles in interior, mostly in dashboard.

Fuel gauge inaccurate.

Carpet detaching from the floor in some places.

Rear drum brakes repeatedly fill with dust and impair braking performance, as well as creating a terrible noise.

General Comments:

This car is more reliable than it's reputed to be.

Despite the (relatively) minor problems listed above, this car has no other issues. It is utterly reliable and has never failed to get me where I needed to be.

It is comfortable and well-equipped, with good seats and excellent controls. I'm disappointed with the rattles in the dashboard, which do not always go away.

However, it is not the most exciting car to own. The handling is soft and hardly thrilling, and the design isn't passionate. When working, the brakes are excellent.

It isn't very fast either: 16.2 seconds to 100km/h or 62mph, and it shows especially at low speeds and I highly recommend not overtaking on two lane roads. It seems to be fairly quick in the mid range though.

Even though it is an automatic, it can get extremely good fuel economy by taking it easy. I got 7.4 l/100km, or 38mpg without trying too hard. Hard driving will raise this somewhat.

Servicing is cheap, and so far I've never needed to get it repaired apart from the brake problems, which I intend to get fixed for good soon.

Overall, I like this car very much. With a limited investment this car could be in excellent condition, and is a testament to how well an older car can be if it is looked after well. It is cheap, and some parts feel it. A lot of small parts haven't lasted as well as I think they should have. But it is a solid, reliable, and comfortable car that is cheap to buy and run, and could keep going for years. I only want better performance and better quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2010

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 3 reviews