Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Budget Choice from Malaysia

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Budget Choice from Malaysia

Article excerpt

Despite the obvious value its cars have provided over the past decade, the name Proton has tended to be one from the lower reaches of the priority list.

But the Malaysian producer has been getting its act together in recent times with fresh looking models such as the GEN-2 hatchback, Impian saloon and a three-door Satria.

The most significant move in Proton's assault on Europe, however, came with its purchase of shares in British sports car icon Lotus, a company it has wholly owned now for three years.

Since the acquisition, experts from Lotus have been closely involved in Proton's new model development with a team permanently based at the design and development centre in Malaysia.

Upshot was last year's arrival of their best car yet, the trendily labelled Savvy.

Savvy comes in two versions, both of which feature a 75bhp 1.2-litre engine and labelled Street and Style. Headroom is excellent, the driver's seat has height and slide adjustment and the 50/50 split rear seat also folds flat.

On the negative side the steering is quite stiff and the gearshift specially so, while the plastic panels feel brittle and cheap.

Ride and handling may be encouragingly good but it will take you a lethargic 14 seconds to reach 62mph.

However the numbers likely to be of greater significance to used car buyers are the average fuel consumption figure of just under 50 miles per gallon and the insurance rating of group four.

Expect to pay an independent dealer around pounds 4,450 for a 2006-06 registered Savvy 1.2 Street five door model or an extra pounds 400 for an upgraded Style version, both with 10,000 miles on the clock.

NTHE name Perodua Kelisa may not exactly roll off the tongue when people discuss used cars ( but the Malaysian manufacturer's value for money reputation has been consistently reinforced by motor trade experts.

Perodua is Malaysia's second automobile manufacturer after Proton and was established in 1993. Of its three model lines ( Kelisa, Kenari and the recently launched Myvi ( the five-door Kelisa is the cheapest with new prices starting at pounds 4,792. If your priority is getting from A to B, eventually, then this pleasant enough little car does the job. …

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