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.
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
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..