Warm rather than hot
In terms of starting first time every time, and getting me from A to B, it's been faultless... so far.
There are a few issues though.
Both rear wheel bearings needed replacing when the car was bought, and there was also a fault with the driver's side electric window. This taught me not to use the local Proton dealer ever again, as it cost nearly £400! I've just used an independent for servicing/MoT's since.
I had to get a Thatcham approved immobiliser fitted, as my insurance wouldn't cover me for theft without one. That cost £140, and anyone considering buying a GTi should bear this in mind.
Noisy, ticking fan belt. WD40 helps.
Turning the air con on really does KILL the performance.
For me the most irritating fault is when you drive over a bump at speed, it throws the speedo off (eg. you're doing 60 and it's reading 80), and it only rights itself when you slow down and go to 2nd gear. Strange noise behind the dash while this is going on.
Paint gets chipped easy.
Rattly interior, cheap plastics and iffy build quality, but it's a Proton, so what do you expect?
To be honest, it's not quite as fast as I'd hoped. Between 4500-6500rpm, it goes really well, and it's got a decent 0-60 time of about 8ish seconds, but at lower revs it's as flat as a fart, and it does struggle past 100, although it does cruise quite nice. Apparently the older GTi's (1999-2002 I think) are a bit quicker.
It's still a nice car to drive though, with well weighted steering, slick gear change and a light progressive clutch. You can tell Lotus were involved with sorting the suspension and chassis; it goes round corners very well.
Lovely Recaro seats.
Standard stereo and speakers are a bit crap.
Fuel economy is pretty dire. On a long steady run, it's not too bad, but on short trips and B road blasts, it just gulps it. I struggle to last a week with a full tank.
Overall, I'm fairly satisfied, and plan to keep the car for a while. One of the reasons I bought this car was because they're rare and I wanted something different, but I do sometimes wonder if I'd have been better off sticking to mainstream Ford/Vauxhall.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 23rd December, 2011