When it was first launched in 2007, the Proton Satria Neo was a sporty compact hatch that was priced above its nearest competitors – the Fiesta’s and Polo’s of this world – but for the 2015 Proton Satria Neo, the price tag has dropped (again), which now makes this car more realistically affordable. Let’s take a closer look at what the new 2015 Proton Satria Neo offers.
The Malaysian brand Proton nowadays own Lotus, which essentially means that the new 2015 Proton Satria Neo benefits from this connection with one of Europe’s most iconic manufacturer of sports cars. As such, the chassis here has good dynamics and makes for a very drivable – and enjoyable – ride. But one thing Proton have said is that their new Proton Satria Neo is aimed at the youthful and sport drivers out there, claiming that this car is the “ultimate hot hatchback.”
It is perhaps aimed at the fountain of youth and beauty, but this car is not the ultimate hot hatch. Sorry. Still, it is a decent performer, although we would prefer it if there was more than one engine choice. The unit in question is a 111bhp 1.6-litre petrol power plant that is sprightly and certainly has a spring in its step, though on the acceleration front it isn’t as fast as its rivals – 0-60mph in 11.8 seconds – and requires hard work when out on straight roads. You can either wed a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission to it.
Handling is good – perhaps even best in class – and the 2015 Proton Satria Neo is very accomplished when tackling quick bends, resisting understeer and turning beautifully and confidently. Indeed, this car is at home on a roundabout.
Lack of Space
Inside, let’s just say that the 2015 Proton Satria Neo is not the tallest vehicle in the world, with a roof lining limiting headroom for most adults – even the much shorter ones. Tall drivers will certainly have a struggle with the windscreen obscuring their view. And when we say tall, we mean 6ft and above. The seats are leather and suede covered and, although they cannot be lowered very far, they offer good support. It is a tad unfortunate that they can’t be lowered too low to compensate for the lack of headroom.
Space in the cabin is overall decent, and the handbrake lever is situated in a nice, easy to reach position. The steering column is height adjustable, whilst the dash is nice and user-friendly, although drivers might find that a bug bear are the awkwardly placed electric window buttons. The boot is moderately sized – at best.
Facts and Figures
The new Proton Satria Neo price range starts out from around £8,275, which makes them much more competitive with their closest rivals than last time around. There is only one engine offered, a petrol which develops 111bhp and 109lb ft of torque. Running figures are pretty good, with this unit returning 42.8mpg if you opt for a manual transmission and 39.2mpg if you go for the automatic. Emissions are not too shabby, with the 2015 Proton Satria Neo manual emitting 157g/km of CO2.
The new 2015 Proton Satria Neo certainly has a few plus points; lowered price, excellent handling, dynamic driving, and a six year warranty. But there is no doubt that it also has a number of cons too, such as lack of space, poor build quality. But the brand have labelled this car a hot-hatch – okay, the ultimate hot hatch – and perhaps space is not necessarily a concern for the sporty hot-hatch enthusiast. Indeed, with its Lotus chassis underpinning proceedings, this budget hatch might just be a real goer for many people. Worth a sample.
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