DNE Buzz has test driven one of Malaysia’s lion fleet, the Proton Prevé. With its strong sportive performance and its potential to turn into a family car which is suitable for daily use by all members of the household, the car does not leave you yearning for anything more.
The Proton Prevé reflects a clear successful mix. The name in English means proof and can be interpreted, in Spanish, which means advance. This insinuates the car’s reliability and strength even before driving it. The mix sees a bit of design, in which the Italian, Italdesign Giugiaro, partook. The Proton Prevé also relies on the suspension system of the British company Lotus, a specialist in the technology of racing cars. Finally, it bears the brand of one of the world’s fastest growing manufacturers since its inception in 1985.
The exterior design is sportive. The hood is low to enhance aerodynamics and get the car to top speed in an ideal time. This is the work of Proton’s Chief Designer, Azlan Othman, side by side with the Italdesign Giugiaro experts.
With a low front and medium-sized headlights, as well as a medium grille of a simple, yet sophisticated design and side lines which complement the sporty appearance of the car, the car features 16in sports rims.
There is a speculation about the back of the car adapting the VOLVO S60 design, as it looks very similar, especially the trunk and the wide tail lights. This is not unlikely, as the Chinese Geely owns a major stake in both companies.
What distinguishes the Proton Prevé is the material used in the exterior design, including the metal and fibre, as both indicate its strength and hardness, as always from the Malaysian manufacturer.
The car is powered by a 4-cylinder, 16-valve, and a double camshaft of 1.6 litres, that, together, output 138 HP at 5,000 rpm with a maximum torque of 205 Nm/4,000 rpm. The engine is linked to a CVT 7-speed gearbox equipped with a turbine charger that enables the car to reach 100 km/h in 10 seconds and a top speed of 190 km/h, yet with an average fuel consumption of 6.6 litres/100km.
Indeed, the engine can power the 1,366 kg car easily, hastily, and lightly to give a great driving experience and alternate between gears in spectacular time. Probably the CVT transmission is the reason for that. Some drivers describe the launch as violent, as the car is always ready to speed up.
The sound of the engine is particularly high for cabin passengers. When the engine rolls up, the sound is clear to the passengers, so it completely obscures the turbocharger that some owners enjoy. Obviously, isolating the engine from the cabin is not good enough.
The Proton Prevé features a sport suspension system that is able to hold at high speeds, thus enhancing the sport performance of the car. Of course, the system consists of McPherson struts with a sports anchor for the front half of the car, in addition to a multi-link suspension with the rear half-axle spindle in the back, as well as a heavy steering wheel which gets heavier in park mode. When the car is on the road, the wheel is somewhat medium weight and ensures safety by avoiding sudden turns that may occur under bad weather conditions.
The car has a suspension system that supports its driver on all roads and speeds. It gives the driver the confidence implying that he has complete control over the car and that he drives a mini-race car that is suitable for daily use. This is of course due to the intervention of British Lotus, the race car suspension systems maker.
But, given the semi-sporty system, the car is a bit rough on unpaved roads at high speeds. On the other hand, fans of the system will love it, driving at high speeds.
The design of the cabin is simple and practical, and this may justify the medium materials deployed throughout the cabin. The steering wheel comes with a unique design inspired by the design of the racing car wheels. The dashboard is designed to be white with red painting, giving an elegant feeling while driving at night.
The cabin is spacious and able to transport five adults without a problem. The comfortable high quality seats give all passengers the ability to move smoothly.
The insulation of the cabin is very good and very sophisticated from the previous models. The air conditioner also performs well at medium temperatures.
The car has a trunk of 508 litres, suitable for all day-to-day use, with the possibility of folding the rear seats to provide more space.
The car comes with four speakers spread around the cabin, linked to an audio system that can be used by mobile phone through Bluetooth, or USB and AUX. It features a 6.2in touchscreen and a GPS system in enhanced models. Yet, the entertainment system can see some improvements.
All functions of the entertainment system, answering and making calls are easy using the multifunction integrated steering wheel.
The car won five stars on the crash tests of ANCAP, given its ABS and EBD brakes, as well as the electronic stability control, and the electronic transmission system.
Moreover, the car comes with hollow front brake discs and solid brake discs in the rear.
It also features two airbags in the front. The higher category is fitted with curtain and side airbags, with front passenger airbags closed when children’s seats are installed.
All of these factors have contributed to improving the performance and stability of the car at various speeds.
This is also an answer to the problem of slow-moving brakes that have long disturbed the drivers of Gen 2 and Persona.
The car is 4,543mm long, 1786mm wide, 1,524mm high, and the wheelbase is 2,650. It is a new generation wheelbase.
The car is 155mm high from the ground, which enables the cabin to accommodate five adults without worrying about speed pumps. The front of the car is too low and must be considered when accelerating on unpaved roads.
The car weighs 1,366 kilograms.
The most important competitors in the Egyptian market in the same price category and specifications are the Peugeot 301 models, the first category of Toyota Corolla, the Citroen C-Elysees, the Skoda Rapid, the Suzuki Sayaz, the SEAT Toledo, the Fiat Tibo and the Mitsubishi Lancer. Yet, Preve tops all of them. Some European models, however, will compete, using the huge price differences because of the removal of all customs on European models.
The Prevé is available in two categories in Egypt: Executive at EGP 295,000 and Premium at EGP 315,000.
Furthermore, the Premium features a leather steering wheel, GPS, automatic AC, automatic lighting, speed stabiliser, gear transfer switches, and a start engine button.
The car is available in eight different colours: silver, blue, red, dark red, champagne, light grey, black, and white.
Noteworthy, Alpha Ezz Al- Arab group has reintroduced the Malaysia Proto in Egypt, in cooperation with Auto Group, and inaugurated the first 4S service centres outside Malaysia and in the Abu Rawash area in the Sixth of October City.
At the end of the day, we would like to say that the car is an attractive sports vehicle. Yet, it is also suitable to be a first-class family car especially with the passenger spaces and luggage compartment. It is somewhat afflicted due to the fierce competition of European cars bearing zero customs duties. We, however, anticipate a significant share of sales in the Egyptian market by the end of this year.