1998 Proton Tiara from Malaysia


Surprise... surprise... what do we have here?


Intake manifold metal water "jacket" as told to me by the foreman, was leaking, rear absorbers wear out pretty quick (less than a year), gearbox synchronizer are made of iron/steel in Malaysia, hence the accelerated wear and tear.

Engine compartment space is "efficient", my foreman and I can barely stick our hands in, and have to remove parts to get to say, the starter relay, etc.

Radiator is not designed/built for Malaysian weather.

Back seat is practically non existent for occupants; might as well remove the seats and add rollcage/welding.

Developed a knocking sound, like something is loose and tapping against the body; unable to rectify this, despite changing a lot of things such as tie rod end, ball joints etc.

Brakes are appalling, they barely work, they don't lockup when slammed.

Flywheel is light by factory default, so it's kinda a bad point driving up steep hills.

Engine is a long stroke engine. Torque DOES NOT kick in till 2.5k rpm. ~3k rpm.

General Comments:

Despite its downfalls and issues, this car is a surprisingly interesting ride. It takes corners, in Jeremy Clarkson's words, "It corners like it's on bloody rails!" Tyres do not lose much traction when taking a hard corner, such as the downhill stretch in genting highlands at the temple @ 90kmph, handling is surprisingly good, I can take corners with confidence when a Perodua Kenari's/Kancil's cannot take them with the same speed.

Fuel economy is about 35mpg, mixed highway and city driving, highway is about 130kmph speeds for 400km's, about 6.1km/L.

Engine is quite powerful for its price/class, smokes Kancil's and Kelisa's if driven properly (proper shifting at torque end).

Spare parts are priced roughly slightly cheaper than Kelisa parts.

Interior wise/comfort etc it's pretty okay.

Bear in mind, I chose this car over a BMW 745 (E36) offered by as a outstation company car due to much lower running costs (petrol, repairs), as I have to fork it out on my own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th August, 2010

28th Aug 2010, 07:49

My Tiara is still running after 13 years... starts and goes daily. Worth every bit of the discounted RM 25K I paid for it in 1997! I gave it to my cousin last year, and he is clocking over 100 kilometers a day in it. Needs a little bit of TLC every now and then... BTW... it can smoke the 1.3 Satrias as well, but be careful with the 1st to 2nd syncro.. a little bit sensitive..

1996 Proton Tiara tiara 1.1 from Malaysia


Good as it is


I think that Tiara is a good car. I own it till now, but the car only got problem 2 years ago and then I bought a new car.

The problems that I face -drive shaft.. but if you use the original spare parts that can last longer.

Now the Tiara rested because some faulty (don't know what is it) and I still searching the good workshop to repair the car.

General Comments:

Overall, Tiara is a good car.

Maintenance costs quite reasonable. That why I still own this car.

I don't want to sell it. There a buyer want my Tiara for RM4000 but I said,"RM15k can lah... (joke)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th October, 2007

26th Mar 2012, 13:33

Hi, I've got problem with my car (Tiara).

Every morning, when I want to start the car, I have to pump fuel as I run it, and keep pumping for around 4 minutes. If I don't do that, the car goes off immediately!!! After around 4 minutes of pumping fuel, the car will work normally for the whole day!!!

My friend said the problem is in the carburetor, but this doesn't convince me.

Any idea what the problem is???

1996 Proton Tiara Proton 1.1GL 1.1 petrol from Malaysia


A cool babe on wheels


The radiator overheats frequently. This problem started after the car crossed 100,000 km.

Brakes are not effective. They have to be double tapped and I have taken them too many mechanics, but am unable to resolve the problem.

General Comments:

Well, besides the above, this car is generally a cool car. It is highly reliable, does not break down and has got a great acceleration.

To resolve the issue of overheating, I make sure that at the start of the day, I would top up the radiator water and the problem of overheating is solved. I have fixed an extra temperature gauge in my car to monitor the temperature. Please bear in mind that the temperature indicator only goes on after the engine temperature reaches 120C. That is a pretty high temperature and should be avoided should you want the lifespan of the car to be prolonged.

The cornering of the car and road handling is extremely good. Though this car runs at high speed, I have taken mine to 155 KM/ Hour, it is highly recommended that you do not do it that often. Please bear in mind that this car is a common saloon and its only a 1100 cc. Not to deny the fact that it is an extremely power packed car for its 1.1cc. In the Europe, this car has been used in rallies and not F1's. Rally cars are built for durability and reliability, not speed.

The seating position and driving position of this car is extremely good. I have had many car enthusiasists whom have actually driven my car and have commended on its excellent driving position. Personally, I feel that the driving position is better than that of a Proton Perdana.

The rear seats can only be seated by 2 adults, not exceeding medium built. The rear suspension of this car is unique and as such, should extra load be on the back, the tyres would be hitting the body of the car and cause damage to the suspension.

Not to worry about the thin roof top as I have found the car to be extremely difficult to be overturned.

I do very high milleage and hence I find this car very friendly in terms of petrol consumption.

The maintenance consts may escalate should you not service your car at proper intervals. If all servicing is done promptly, then, you car would be always a relliable car to drive.

I would highly recommend this car to anyone interested in driving a small yet power packed car. Should you have any difficulties with your Tiara, please don't hesitate to drop me a mail at venoth_nathan@yahoo.co.uk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th June, 2004

21st Dec 2010, 19:21

Nathan, can you give me ideas or suggestions on how to get rid or prevent Proton Tiara from getting overheating? Although I took some effort to refill radiator with water and coolant, but the problem still exists. Please advise. Thanks.

18th Aug 2011, 05:58

Fix a Datsun 120y radiator to it.. You need Japanese engineering to solve some European car problems.