1998 Proton Persona Reviews

1998 Proton Persona Coupe 1.8 16v DOHC from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.8 16v DOHC Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired49000 miles
Most recent distance59200 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

A sporty Proton? Well I never!

Faults:

Bonnet catch sticky - sorted with a spot of WD-40.

Replaced front brake pads, skimmed front brake discs at 50,000 miles.

Occasional leak from sunroof in heavy rain.

Offside rear anti-roll bar link snapped.

The main and only real major problem I have had with this car is that the tappets are quite noisy when cold - apparently quite common with these Mitsubishi engines - may be a knocking-down point when selling as it would be noticable even to the most clueless tyre kickers.

General Comments:

These cars are so rare nobody has a clue what it is! I have only ever seen a couple of them on the road.

Why the car is so rare I have no idea - its really quite fast and handles like a proper sports car (I used to work for Subaru and in terms of a driver's car the little Proton is really not that far behind - in dark blue it even has a slight resemblance to an Impreza.) The brakes are not up to the performance of the car, however, and I have often found myself wincing as the scenery suddenly becomes closer and closer!

I find the Recaro seats very comfortable and provide great support. Anyone with "bigger bones" need not apply as they are quite narrow. The rest of the interior is fantastic if you like cheap grey plastic.

Comfort is not what this car is primarily built for, although it does plod along on the motorway, if a little bit noisily. Electric sunroof and windows are nice and a rare commodity in Protons!

This is my second Proton, and I cannot fault them in terms of reliability and quality of the Mitsubishi engineering. The coupe was an absolute bargain at just over £1000 and does over 30mpg. It is an absolute hoot to drive quickly and is just as happy plodding around town.

If you can ignore the "pipe and slippers" image of the Malaysian company's previous efforts, there really is a cracking piece of machinery beneath all the wrinkles!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2008

3rd May 2008, 02:29

I found another Coupe owner! I agree with all you said, I love the 'beast' as I call it. About those tappets then, do you know of a cure? On the single cam models they are adjustable, but the twin cam has hydraulic tappets, should I replace them?

Otherwise I love overtaking most of 'em & seeing the puzzled looks. No-one knows what it is!

1998 Proton Persona Compact GLi 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 miles
Most recent distance73100 miles
Previous carVauxhall Corsa

Summary:

Amazing! Would recommend it to any-one!

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with this car!

The tap-pits are slightly loose, but that is not a major problem- just a bit of a rattle (sounds quite pretty), and it is a quick job to fix!

There is a tiny tear on the right-hand side of the drivers seat (on the seam), however, the last owner had it sewn up, and it is not noticeable, for ease of cleaning I have put covers over the seats any way.

The drivers side window, can be difficult to shut- as it gets stuck, and has to be pushed backwards to carry on shutting. (I think it is just one of the pulley things are a-bit loose) And it is not much of a problem at all!

Apparently services are quite expensive, due to Proton not being a common car in this country; however, I found parts to be a good price, and in many cases, Mitsubishi Colt parts will fit! (In the engine)

General Comments:

This car is amazing. My last car (although it is amazing, and an ideal 1st car) (1.4 Corsa LS) resembles a slug next to a thorough-bread when put alongside this car. It does the same to mum's 1.9d Clio!

It is quite fuel efficient (around town, in constant traffic) I get around 35mpg (The log book says it will do LESS than this! And on open roads, it is very fuel efficient.

It sticks to the road like glue, even around corners, (it resembles my classic mini on this, so that shows how good it is!)

It doesn't have power steering- but this is not a disadvantage at all, it is so light, and small that it can be maneuvered in even a tiny space with ease.

From standstill, its acceleration is amazing- 0-60 in about 8 seconds on a slight up-hill. (Not that I would do that--- it scares me!)

Inside, it is very roomy, and the seating position is extremely comfortable. The height adjustable steering wheel makes it even better, as it can be changed to suit individual drivers.

It is a shame that the back seats are a 50/50 split, not a 40/60, but once again, not a major problem, as the boot is large.

Behind the engine, is Mitsubishi, (and apparently Lotus on some models.) This results in amazing performance for a small (ish) engine.

The body is that of a Mitsubishi colt (the thing that drew me to the car) just the boot is slightly rounder on the proton. Even the glass in the windows has the Mitsi sign on it, as does the petrol cap.

I have been told by a person I know who has the exact same car, that his has been a perfect car for many years, and has been in water up to 2', had a car go in to the side of it, and had much more abuse, and it is still going strong! Mine, has obviously had a graze the passenger side, and has had a re-spray, but it was strong enough not to dent, and looks fine.

The car is very impressive, both in looks and performance!

There is a slight down-fall in the insurance however... For a young guy - it is rather pricey! I looked it up for my boyfriend, as he likes he car, and it was between around £3000 and £8000 for third party, fire and theft. On the up-side, for me it is only £100 more than my corsa was, and that's for fully comp. (Advantage of being a girl.) It does however cost around £100 more than the equivalent Mitsi colt to insure, but the buying price of one of these is much less (generally) so also, not a major problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2008

21st Apr 2009, 11:37

To update my review - I have had the Proton a year now, and it is still amazing - went through its mot with no problems - 1st time pass, the only money spent on it in the last year has been petrol, insurance, and the odd bit of oil, antifreeze, and screen wash, and new seat covers.

It is amazing - I took it abroad with me for 8 months, with nothing going wrong. Then, upon coming home, it came the 180 miles from the ferry port home - fully loaded - suspension pushed right down, it still pulled, and could keep up on motorways. It then did the trip to the Peak District (another 120 miles) with ease and back again.

We are looking to put in power steering, electric windows (as after looking at the sticky window, it worked for a month, and on some random days, but still messes around) and central locking - all out of another Proton.

Also, we are fitting a spoiler (standard Proton) and alloys - which do put up the insurance, but not as much as buying a Proton that has alloys as standard. The body is strong (the paint colour is not off the shelf, you have to go to a Proton dealer, or get it mixed from the code under the bonnet, it you have a scrape, but it is no more expensive than off the shelf.)

These really are amazing cars, and such great little workers. They look good, and for "small hatch backs" are quite big.

Couldn't say a bad word about it!

Average review marks: 9.0 / 10, based on 2 reviews