At its price range, Gen-2 1.3L is better choice in terms of features and handling
There is an occasional metal noise coming when I press brakes to stop my running car to zero.
Steering is a bit hard for city driving, but works best at highway speed. Turning radius is also not small.
Noise isolation was not done properly inside the cabin. Dashboard noise on rough roads at over 60 Km/h speed is present.
A/C is a bit noisy.
I am from Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh. I recently (August 16, 2006) bought a Proton Gen-2 1.3L (A/T) with Campro engine which is 94hp. Before buying Proton Gen-2, I had another car which is Nissan Sunny Ex-Saloon 1.3L (M/T) model-2001. Proton Gen-2 impressed me from the very beginning with its sporty look. Before buying Gen-2 I test drove several 2006 models of different makers like Nissan Sunny, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Yaris and Mitsubishi Lancer at Dhaka city, but all the above mentioned cars are priced more than Gen-2. So, with that in mind I have chosen Gen-2 1.3L because at its price range it is the best looking car and I chose this car without knowing much about it. That’s why I decided to write a review of this car because there are lots of misleading and confusing information available over different forums in the internet. So, I think my review will be helpful to the people who are interested about Proton Gen-2 and want some comparison with other car makers.
In Bangladesh and in other countries where export versions of Proton gen-2 are available are almost same in quality and specifications. When Gen-2 was first introduced in 2004, there were only 1.6L (110hp) version and at that time there were a lot of complains about the quality issue. But from 2006 edition almost all the problems have been rectified. Now 1.3L variant is also available worldwide. The dimensions of both 1.6L and 1.3L Gen-2 are same, only the engine displacement is different. And 1.6L version has some more cosmetic features than 1.3L variant. For example, 1.6L is offered with 15” alloy wheel, reverse sensor, power side mirrors etc. whereas 1.3L counterpart got 15” steel wheel with plastic cap and don’t have other extra features like 1.6L version. I chose 1.3L Gen-2 to save some money.
My 1.3L Gen-2 is Midnight Blue and its Black-Beige twin color interior matches well with the exterior color and I am quite impressed by the handling of Gen-2 at highway speeds (over 90 Km/h). Its cornering ability at highway speed is better than comparatively expensive Toyota corolla (1.3L VVT-I XLI) and obviously much better from my previous Nissan Sunny (1.3L). At 110/120 Km/h speed both Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sunny feels vulnerable while cornering and had a feeling that the cars are floating and for Nissan sunny at 110-120 Km/h speed steering feels light and hard to handle while changing lane. In comparison, low end pick-up is better in Toyota Corolla (VVT-I) and in Nissan Sunny. But pick-up of Gen-2 Campro engine is a bit sluggish at lower revs (less than 2000 rpm) and once it is 3000-4000 rpm mark then it is quite powerful. So, basically Gen-2 is more suitable for highway (spirited) driving, where you can feel the real power of Lotus developed Campro engine. Although it is a tiny 1.3L engine, but it is quite impressive in terms of highway performance. My Gen-2 doesn’t have ABS, but four disk brakes are OK for me. At this price range, no other car manufacturer is offering four disk brakes.
In term of fuel consumption, Gen-2 1.3L (A/T 8/9 Km\L) is behind Toyota 1.3L VVT-I (A/T 9/10 Km\L) and my previous Nissan Sunny 1.3L (M/T 10\12 Km\L) while driving in overcrowded Dhaka city. But keep in mind that though Gen-2 looks smaller, but it is heavier (1190 Kg) than both Corolla (1085 Kg) and Nissan Sunny. But both Corolla and Sunny 2006 models will cost you a lot more than the Gen-2. In Bangladesh, cost of buying a New 2006 Toyota Corolla is almost 02 million BD Taka (Bangladeshi currency) and for Toyota Yaris it is 1.7 million BD Taka. Nissan Sunny and Lancer are 1.35 and 1.4 million BD Taka respectively. Where Proton Gen-2 1.3L model 2006 costs me 1.2 million BD Taka. A Toyota Corolla/Yaris may be a good quality car, but they are what you pay for and at their price range I expect better performance and handling. So, if you compare with proton Gen-2 and Toyota Corolla/Yaris in term of price and features you are getting at that range then Proton Gen-2 could be a better bid.
In conclusion, I am really happy with my Gen-2. Why? Because overall it fulfilled my requirements like Sporty feel and look, good performance and handling at a budget for a middle-class young car owner like me. And it is a good value for money. So, I will recommend this car for people whose requirements and dreams are just like me, but cannot effort quality cars like BMW. One more thing, slightly expensive cars doesn’t necessarily mean better.
The above opinion is mine, but different people may have different opinions and I respect them. It is the duty of the buyers to justify which one will be the best fit in his/her budget. No cars are perfectly built, there might be some minor defects, so check your car before delivery and try to get information about your local car dealer’s helpfulness because after sales service is important. This is true for all car brands.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st December, 2006