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???

28th Jan 2015, 12:06

Pull the choke and let the engine warm a bit. I think it is only hard to start when the engine is cold, like in the morning.

30th Jan 2015, 13:36

You don't have to pump fuel, just pull the choke. If the thermostat had been faulty, it would be in the open position, and water from radiator flows to engine and makes it cold. Thus reducing the temperature. It needs at least 90 degrees combustion temperature. In your case, after a while it runs normally. This shows it attained enough burning temperature. When you pull the choke, the carburetor is shutting off air, thus preventing cold air.