2001 Proton Persona Review

2001 Proton Persona GLi 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

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


Reliable - at least the engine is


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.

Average review marks: 5.0 / 10, based on 1 review