I took delivery of the Gen-2 in Aug 2004, so the problems are probably because this was one of the first batch of cars from the new Proton factory.
For the price, the car has extremely good handling. Ride is a bit on the ‘hard’ side, but it takes corners very well, thanks to the Lotus-tuned handling and maybe to some extent, also the bigger and wider standard tires. Even at very high speed (190km/h), the Gen2 feels stable. On the other hand, the Wira or other cars in the same class gives you the feeling the wheels are not touching the road.
When braking at such high-speeds, the steering vibrates rather strongly. I suppose the brake disks aren’t properly balanced. At normal 120km/h and below, braking is quite good.
Proton’s Campro 1.6 engine is rather loud. Wind and road noise also gets rather loud when driving above 90km/h.
Engine response at low revs is pathetic, but above 3800rpm, the engine starts to come alive. One will therefore need to adjust his driving style to really get the most out of this engine, but driving at high revs will definitely hurt fuel economy. Top speed achieved on a flat straight was 197km/h, at about 5500rpm. Red line is at 6000rpm+.
From my experience, at normal cruising speed the fuel consumption of the Gen2 is better than the Wira.
The Gen2 comes with a micro-computer that provides data on:
1) fuel consumption (how many Liters per 100km)
3) distance that can be covered with the remaining fuel, and
4) total time engine has been on.
The fuel consumption data is unreliable. It indicated fuel consumption was 5.5L for every 100km, even when I’m driving at 160km/h. That’s better than a hybrid car! When I complained to the dealer, they changed the fuel tank. I could not understand how that could solve the problem. Needless to say, changing the fuel tank certainly didn’t fix the problem.
There are some good touches in the car: the place to store your sunglasses, the business card holder and the overall appearance is quite nice, but that’s about it. The quality of the accessories in the Gen2 is poor. I’m really disappointed with the number of times I’ve had to go to the dealer and get things replaced. Currently, the car is under warranty, so I don’t have to pay for these changes, but I’m bracing myself for the high-maintenance cost I’d have to deal with once the warranty expires.
Power window on driver’s side was replaced 4 months after delivery. The glass actually got misaligned and it took 3 of us to ‘push’ the window back in place. The dealer then replaced the power window.
Reverse sensor malfunctioned and was replaced within 4 months. The sensor went off, even when there was nothing at the back. The high-pitching alarm was extremely irritating.
Sound came from the front suspension, as if something was loose whenever I drove over a bump. Eventually, strut bearing was replaced in 3 months after delivery. Noise also came from the front suspension when I turn the steering when parking the car. The dealer adjusted the tension of the (sorry, can’t remember what the name is). It fixed the problem, but one week later the noise came back. I gave up complaining. The noise coming from the front suspension when going over bumps has also reappeared - this time with a vengeance. There’s even a rattling sound, as if some bolts have gotten lose.
Front fog lamp covers seem to be made from very thin glass / plastic. Both covers have shattered, probably because I hit some mosquitoes or insects when driving at 170kmh.
Air-conditioning does not function properly unless car starts moving. This problem occurs when you start your car. If the car is stationary, the compressor doesn’t seem to kick in until 10minutes later. You need to actually drive the car a short distance for the compressor to work. Fortunately, once it starts working, it continues to operate fine even when you stop at traffic lights. However, its really unacceptable that the air-conditioner can’t immediately operate properly when I start the engine.
Engine gets stuck at high rev (about 2000rpm) even when in free gear. This happens intermittently, especially after a long drive. When I reach the toll plaza or traffic light, the engine keeps on humming at 2000rpm, even though the car is stationary and in free-gear.
The seating position in the Gen2 is much better than Proton Wira, but driver’s front legs tend to hit the protruding lever of the steering wheel (which is used to adjust the angle of the steering wheel) when entering or exiting the car.
Rear seats are not very comfortable for tall people. Externally, the car looks beautiful, but the sloping roof results limited headroom for tall people sitting at the back.
Remote control is ridiculously and frustratingly unreliable. You must be very near the car for the alarm to arm or disarm. If you’re being chased by a convict, DO NOT try to seek shelter in your your Gen2. This would be one horror movie where the hero actually dies because he couldn’t open the doors in time.
Doors are extremely hard to upon, and I mean *extremely* hard, especially when new. Maybe this is Proton’s new anti-theft feature.
I should’ve listened to my friends who discouraged me from buying a Proton. I just wished I had listened to them!!!