The 2015 Proton Ecologic is basically a Focus-sized hatchback that uses LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), which essentially results in half-price fuel for the driver. And whilst LPG was all the rage a number of years ago, things have since changed thanks to the UK government changing their mind about subsidising LPG conversions. But because LPG does save the driver cash in the long run, the anticipation is that the new Proton Ecologic is about to tap into an all-new demographic. Let’s take a closer look at what the new 2015 Proton Ecologic offers.
The 2015 Proton Ecologic is a money saver, no doubt about that. Families can run a car for peanuts here. But does this essentially mean that the platform is, well, made of peanuts? Well, the 2015 Proton Ecologic is actually the third generation version of the Gen-2, and whilst kit levels are pretty good, there is little doubt that this is still very much a budget car. Driving position is best described as irritating, although suspension is a plus point. The 1.6-litre 110bhp engine itself records pretty poor 0-60 times (13.8 seconds), but it’s what we’d like to call “willing”. It’s actually pretty lively too, to be fair and has a top speed of 124mph.
But the real selling point here is the LPG. The extra fuel tank is smartly positioned in the spare wheel, and as a result you only lose about 3 inches of your boot. And instead of £1 per litre, you’ll be paying 55 pence per litre, whilst at the same time dropping down a VED tax band. Carbon content is lower than you get from petrol, meaning you save almost 15% in CO2. Moreover, switching between LPG and petrol is simple, with the performance remaining pretty much exactly the same.
Anyone who owned this cars’ predecessor will know it lacked two things: Space and a bit of quality. Both these issues have been addressed for the 2015 Proton Ecologic, with leather trim now implemented as standard across the range. There is also a plethora of red piping, which although seems uncalled for and just too much, is still a nice touch and demonstrates that Proton, as a brand, are trying hard to improve the market feel of their cars. Surfaces – and switchgear – are still a distance off class best, but this is an improved interior, and you also get the feeling that the Lotus engineers are just born in such a way that they fear adding weight to their vehicles – which is why surfaces are as they are. Also, it’s worth mentioning that this car looks great on the outside.
Facts and Figures
The 2015 Proton Ecologic price range starts out from around £8,975, whilst you’ll be able to get hold of a used Proton Ecologic for a little less. Standard equipment across the range includes remote central locking, ABS with EBD, twin front airbags, electric front windows and 15 inch alloys. Running costs are pretty good, with the Proton Ecologic returning 42mpg, whilst emitting just 160g/km of CO2.
Proton is trying to build up a presence in the UK, and perhaps the remarkably cheap to run new Proton Ecologic is the way to make itself known. Consumers might have to decide whether or not they want to trade cheap thrills for cheap fuel, but if you do, you’ll certainly be rewarded with a car that looks pretty fine, and which offers some nice interior touches. How much it benefits a driver in the longer term in terms of running costs remains largely to be seen, but because these cars still remain largely unknown to the public, you’ll certainly be turning a few heads with your 55 pence per litre car.
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