PROTON Car Review: Most Reliable?


In recent days, I have found myself looking up for a reliable Proton car review.

Ever since my new SAGA has arrived, I keep tabs on new PROTON cars, as well as it’s close rival PERODUA.  I’m not interested to know about those ‘nationalist’ reviews which are made by my fellow Malaysians, which would be somewhat emotionally ‘patriotic’ when  supporting the national car maker, or sometimes painfully hurtful when accusing PROTON of every single problem which is car related.

No.. I am not interested with Malaysian reviews, but I’m rather interested in reviews outside Malaysia which I consider to be truthful, unbiased and well, not personally linked to Malaysia. (Yet, I do admit that some Malaysians do review the national car without prejudice).

I guess, most of those into the auto industry would know about how Jeremy Clarkson single handedly destroyed (or practically sledgehammered, and bombed) a Perodua Kelisa, while mocking it as ‘a car without a soul’, and yes… most of us would not expect favourable comments on our national car despite positive comments from local press.  Its common to see the Malaysian press highlighting positive things about Malaysian products.  It’s our ‘eastern culture’ to be nice.  So no matter how bad the car is, they would always have something nice to say.

Anyway, I’m not here to give my personal views on the car, or PROTON, but if you want to know how my SAGA has fared after a year of usage, you can click here.  Other than that, I stumbled upon this article which says that PROTON is ranked number 1 in the United Kingdom as the most reliable car, ahead of makes by Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Honda and others.

The article says that “the much mocked Proton has had the last laugh in a survey of reliability.”  In fact, the article also said that the Malaysian car maker is more reliable if compared to a Mercedes-Benz!


Well… I am.  As a typical Malaysian, I can’t help feel that the article was some how rigged to make PROTON look good, and I am guessing that most of you would also think in the same sense, as we have nothing but distrust over a car brand which has shown so much fault in previous designs… Nonetheless, PROTON and PERODUA have both gone a long way, and I have a good feeling that most owners of the newer version of cars from both auto makers would agree that they are starting to produce cars, the right way.


  1. Wow! Really? Proton is more reliable? Probably the cost of maintenance for mercedez benz is too high over there.

    Well, it’s based on the report of the Independent. For me.. still unsure la… Just used my car for a year.

  2. Proton maintenance is very cheap. That’s one thing I like about it. However Proton should fire all their design engineers and hire new ones that can come up with compettive models. Somehow even the new models still looks ‘old’ to me. Another aspect to look into seriously is car safety. That’s the reason why I sold my Proton.

    Yes.. from what I have gathered online, it seems to be the same.. Poor design, and lack of security features.

  3. Hi Cyril!

    I am not a big fan for Proton but of course, I am not a thwat when coming to comment about proton too. The Top Gear guys namely Clarkson is has basically been inside too much supercars and compare them with it too much. Try check out the latest season and if I’m not wrong, Episode 3. They took the Clarkson took on the Myvi and Hammond took on the Satria Neo around London. They said they will rather walk as it’s rubbish.

    Was quite suprised to see the Independent rate Proton so well. Check it against the Euro NCap for the safety, Proton definitely doesn’t fare well with two and three stars only.

    Anyway, I am not a proton person nor perodua.. not that I am not patriotic or what but just with the same price I get for a proton here in UK, I can get much better cars…


    Hey Pat!!
    Well, I did check out that particular issue on YOUTUBE. At least, they didn’t blow up the MYVi, altough I have to admit, I pity the cars as I still regard the ‘MeeeVeee’ as one of the best Malaysian cars. But yes, safety is always an issue, and if I were in your shoes, I’d also not get a proton =D

  4. they have PR0T0N in uk..?

    Patrick already answered this.. but yes.. they do.. so do they have the Kancil if I’m not mistaken.. something I head they called ‘Box on wheels’..hahaha

  5. Love your post man. I agree with Patrick Ho’s comment. The problem with national automotive industry is because our cars being protected by the government which made it less competitive. Thus, they won’t bother selling less quality cars because they know people will still buy it no matter what due to the very insanely high tax on other imported cars.

    Good point!! Too much protection leads to poor quality. They become laid back.

  6. As Malaysian, we have the tendency to bash up our own products. There are of course the pros and cons. Some level of criticism could get the car makers to produce better quality cars. But some criticism are pure sarcasm that will not help the car makers to look any better.
    In terms of safety, Neo is one heck of a safe car!

    My bf’s Neo met an accident and was thrown into the Klang river, but my bf escaped with VERY MINOR injury. He swam out of it.

    A friend’s Neo spinned and fell off into the ravines at Genting Highlands. He too, escaped with minor injuries.

    The cars? Wrecked. But somehow, the victims always escapes.

    Still, I’m sure someone would come up to me and say something nasty about Neo. That’s how Malaysians work, eh.

    Malaysians will be Malaysians *sigh* But what you say about Neo is really impressive. Although I do feel that it has something to do with luck, but I admit that Proton is slowly improving too.

  7. By the way Patrick Ho, those guys in Top Gears, they even called a Mercedes Benz, “This is definitely not for humans!”

    What do you have to say about that?

    C’mon, they bash up a lot of cars – from GOOD car makers. So, if I were you, I won’t SWALLOW everything they say just because they are white and have sat in so many supercars. LOL.

    Can’t actually trust those guys on TopGear. They criticize almost every car.

  8. yeah, cos the survey probably interviewed the only 1 guy in Britain with a Proton and he said it was good. Yah, thats 100% customer satisfaction. hahhaha

    hahahha.. MAYBE… =P

  9. Galvynne, yes.. there is Proton and Perodua in UK but not alot. Kelisa is the cheapest car un the UK at £4025 brand new until the Tata Nano beat it. I saw some Proton dealers and Proton cars in Europe and in Australia as well. America.. haven’t seen them..

    atreyustrange, I am not siding the top gear guys. I’ve seen a good Proton perform. But then I do strongly agree Jimi about the protection from the govt. Well, in Malaysia, there is also no proper safety standards for cars. ABS, Air bags comes as an option when for safety in many cars, and cheap is the solution. Totally wrong. And it might just be luck when the neo goes into the water, he swam out unharmed. (In the Top Gear series, they’re not saying the safety is that rubbish.. but then it’s the design.. loads of things has been overlooked.)

    For what’s worth, I like the design of the Neo.. =D

  10. i love my waja..despite of few times it had been sent to eon center after few problem..neway, what so good with imported cars?well, they are truly good I admit that.but we have to realise we are contributing to our country economy. if no salary increment mock the gov, if no yearly bonus we scorned the governing party..the real thing actually goes back to us.

    True enough.. but well, but if you can afford imported cars, I’m sure anyone of us would get an imported car.

  11. People easy to judge Proton or Perodua because a huge number of these car brand on Malaysia road. A lot of break down, low quality and so on. They blur/blind about the good aspect one.

    The same things happen in the U.K for their Vauxhall and Rover. In france for their Renault and Peugeot. I’d saw Merc. and BMW caught on fire in the middle of the motorway and Ferrari car accident.

    For me, Its depend on how people define a good car? Some people may say affordable and good fuel consumption as a good car. But some other define as luxury and good looking car as a good car.

    When Kia produce its spectra, its a good looking car. However the fuel consumption is very poor. That why Kia is not so success even in the U.K.

    Forget about the top gear, they don’t like other car brand to be sold in the UK. They never show people in the world of Ford, Vauxhall, Rover crash test result. Why?

    Yes.. you have a very very good and smart point here. I agree!

  12. i believe that our national car still got many chances of being a good car… but please concentrate on the quality of our national car… ive seen so much of our national car got stuck in many types of problem… how can we put our trust on our national car… my friend got many problem with his gen2… he told me that buying national car is just a waste of money… take note that customers believe is the most important aspect in business… good products brings a lot of benefits…

    So true. The should look into your suggestions. I believe we all want them to buck up.

  13. “PROTON is ranked number 1 in the United Kingdom as the most reliable car”?!

    REPLY: Are you sure you got this news from a reliable article or from a fake article?! Why couldn’t I find it on the internet ?!…. Be realistic…! There is nothing good to talk about PROTON Cars and its corporate image. I think your nation should stop producing PROTON cars or any other national car brands. Change its management and use the facilities to produce world branded cars under licence. Your contemporary nation is not capable at building your own vehicles because you are lack of metal technology and still left far behind others. I don’t even see any material scientist in most relevant R&D department over there rather than engineers who are not really qualified to do metallurgy research. The existence of your national cars is merely deceiving your own public buyers at their own expense. Even PROTON sales abroad had been subsidies by your own national buyers and tax payers without an appropriate time limitation. Besides, PROTON existence does not have any trade terms contribution to your overall nation income rather than giving a distortion toward the consumer welfare at a losing side. The existence of PROTON is just merely for maintaining employment rate and to make a few people becoming richer at the expense of the general public. Based on the cars produced, I don’t see any creativity and intelligence within PROTON organization. The success of its domestic sales are due to crazy taxes and the import permit system. If you think that you are a nationalist and contributing the nation by trying to have a positive opinion on PROTON, please do some learning on macroeconomics, international economics and financial analysis. If you think that your nation have justified itself by gaining technology transfer and spill-over from creating national car manufacturers, the question is, WHY…after more than 25 years of PROTON existence, no single Malaysian company (not JV) are able to produce car engines for your national cars ?! This is nuts!! It is merely producing local suppliers who are providing the car components to PROTON at the expense of higher pricing (because local producers do not have the scale of economies) and lower quality (because local producers do not have the technology edge and they might obtained the supply from China to cut cost).

    “NEGARAKU Malaysia | CYRILDASON.COM | August 26th, 2009 at 7:12 pm
    […] a huge fuss to see how foreigners actually think that Proton and Perodua are both making ‘cars without a soul‘. The fact is, Malaysia is a nation which is already well known around the globe, […]”

    REPLY: LOL….Are you Bozo the Clown?! …Even Laos and Congo is well known around the globe ! Oh..wait a minute!…I’ve seen a Malaysian promotion in a tourism exhibition center at a trade fair …Yes… The Malaysian guys are gays and the village men still go hunting using spears being half naked wearing pants made of tree leaves. Omigosh ! May God blesses those who have bought Malaysian national cars.

  14. Jon:
    Hi… Well, the fact you couldn’t find the article proves you did not read my post properly because I did highlight the link to the article, and it is not my opinion which says “Proton is most reliable”. Its a a news from the UK, not my word. Check this link, maybe you somehow skipped it due to your excitement:

    Secondly, another fact that you quoted my blog above saying “I’m a Bozo or a clown” again proves you didn’t bother to check/read that particular article first before commenting… and you are simply making comments based on a simple quote. This is not a good practice my friend. You should read and know everything before making a conclusion. They teach that in science… UNLESS you flunked your Form 1 Science 🙂

    Well, another thing.. you are hiding behind a name, which maybe, or maybe not be your real name. This is an act of a coward which I have addressed over and over again in my blog, but then again, what truly saddens me is the fact that you simply jump to conclusion without reading the post properly. This is not a good attitude as you can be easily manipulated by others. Try reading the post or know things entirely making judgment.

    Have a productive day ahead, and thank you for your comments 🙂

  15. Mr. Dason or Whatever
    I have read the article from the website given by you. . It is either your reading and understanding of English language is bad or maybe you are trying to please PROTON by interpreting the articles to please them to be your customer. You are a marketer and try to portray that you could give good images to those who seek your advertisement services. I am a consumer and a tax payer who takes side on the common citizen before others.

    I don’t see any statements or concrete evidence which indicates that “PROTON is ranked number 1 in the United Kingdom as the most reliable car “ from the article that you have mentioned.

    The statements which might leads toward your deduction is
    1) Proton beats British car for reliability
    2) “The Proton is a budget car and some people might be surprised to learn it is more reliable than a Mercedes-Benz”
    3) “(Percentages in brackets show proportion which would recommend their make to a friend)”
    The Runners
    Proton (80)
    Toyota (79)
    Honda (78)
    Mazda (77)

    These are my arguments, firstly “Proton beats British car for reliability”, – This is just the title of the article to get your attention.

    Secondly: “The Proton is a budget car and some people might be surprised to learn it is more reliable than a Mercedes-Benz” – Does the phrase “some people” means “every people”?!

    Thirdly: “Percentages in brackets show proportion which would recommend their make to a friend)” BEST Proton (80)” – This refer to the owners of the cars and it means 80% who own proton would recommend others what they are buying. It does not include others who do not owned Proton cars. There is no cross sectional analysis etc to support the conclusion that PROTON cars is rank as number one as the most reliable car in the U.K.

    The article written did not give enough statistical figures and further information to infer such ranking conclusion. It did not even mention any rankings. How could you come up with the ranking statement?. …A good scientist are you?!

    It seems that you are good at talking and writing phrases of commends but you are not good enough to convince REAL professionals. Maybe professional employees working for PROTON is an exception.

    Calling me a coward?! Everybody uses their nickname on e-forums except fools. Anyone are aware of this fact ! And you yourself being and Asian, looking no less than an Asian, using a White Man’s name?! Who are you fooling?! Your audience, the Europeans or the PROTONs’?!

    PROTON management did not interpret the real facts before going into China twice to do dealings. This leads toward failures that caused them millions of dollars and it seems that they keep on repeating similar mistakes. This is ridiculous. I am not surprise if they have consultants like you making analysis and giving advices.

    I suggest you to take a long break and do a lot of travelling around the world to see how things are in order to write a good informative articles rather than writing sweet talks.

    By the way, Sorry for calling you Bozo….

  16. Dear Jon:
    It sems you have the impression that I am working for Proton. Let me get the facts straight that I am not a Proton employee, and I have never been in any way. You must get that fact clear because from my understanding, you seem to believe that I am somewhat trying to protect PROTON. It is simply not the case.

    Secondly, I do not condemn nor do I dispute your facts. In fact, if you look at the title of this post, you’d see I ended it with a question mark. This to me would give my readers the opportunity (like the one you are having now) to debate on the article I found. I NEVER SAID PROTON IS THE MOST RELIABLE CAR. You can read that in the post above. I NEVER MENTIONED that I agreed with the article, but I do have prove that PROTON is producing better cars than it previously did. My dad owns a Proton WIRA which sucks and for me is not worth the money spent on it, but I recently purchased a newer model from PROTON, and so far it is satisfactory with little problems. This to me proves of better quality in PROTON’s products, although I still DO NOT AGREE THAT THEY ARE THE MOST RELIABLE CAR around.

    On that notion, I quote my blog above “Well… I am. As a typical Malaysian, I can’t help feel that the article was some how rigged to make PROTON look good, and I am guessing that most of you would also think in the same sense, as we have nothing but distrust over a car brand which has shown so much fault in previous designs…” which I refer to the article by The Independent, and also to state my surprise over how can Proton become ‘The Most Reliable Car’ in UK. My statement also for me, shows that I feel the article is wrong, and maybe written to promote Proton, and is not truthful. I believe that my English used is simple, and I think its a clear reflection on how I do not believe PROTON is worthy of such a label, yet. I find it rather funny, that you point out that my command of English is poor, and yet you somewhat fail to read my distrust of the article which is written by The Independent.

    Again, I do admit that my English is no where as good as yours, and that’s why my post are in simple plain English. My vocab is poor, and I try my best to produce a post with little grammatical errors.

    It is a norm that people whom do not want to reveal who they really are use nicknames online. I call anyone whom post comments especially negative in nature comments as cowards regardless of who they are. People whom are daring, dare to show their true self to others and be liable of what they have said. They will in fact show themselves, and these people I respect a lot.

    I wont point at others, but I prefer to act as an example. You condemn me for trying to fool people, looking nor less than an Asian, and yet.. here in my blog, you can see how I look like in real life, and my name is written as my blog name. In fact, I have stated over and over in my blog that I am a Bidayuh, and I wonder how did you come to a conclusion that I am trying to fool ppl. FYI, my name is a combination of my Christian name with my Dayak name. I take full responsibility over what I say in this blog, but since you feel my name has mislead you to . That is not in any way my intention.

    Thank you for the lengthy comment and I hope you do not mind my lenghty reply as well. I believe I have to explain my article above to you because I do not want you to be misled furthur thinking I am writting sweet talks and trying to fool people. Like I said above, maybe my command of English isn’t as good as yours, and that may have lead to the mis-intrepetation. I hope its clear now.

    Thank you. 🙂

  17. Bet that Jon has never been to Sarawak, huh Cyril?.. Us here have a large group of ppl with beautiful names, combination of English and Dayak names.

  18. i bought a proton blm about nine months ago. i very much regret my choice. it has manufacturing defect and proton just doesn’t agree on this. the steering wheel does not have the recoil or returnability as a car should have and thus it is dangerous to drive this car. can anyone help me. this is a rip-off

  19. Hi, im planning to buy PROTON PERSONA ELEGANCE but i feel hesitant about it. to the blogger: hows ur car? any major/minor fault? does the power window decided to stop working (i heard that it is one of common problem of PROTON cars), does your dashboard have some weird sound?

    thanks in advance for the reply..

    • Well, my car has been fantastic to be honest. There is no problem with the windows, and there is definitely no weird sound coming from the dashboard.

      No major faults, and as for minor ones, nothing significant. 🙂

  20. I live in uk and have owned protons for over 30 years and have had fantastic reliability,never once had a breakdown,some very minor electrical issues .Only one i did not like was the Gen 2

  21. it was quite interesting debate. unfortunately, i have never had the chance to own/drive a Proton, so i must go with the owners’ opinions. I guess it would be fun for me to give it a test.


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