A Proton is a positively charged subatomic particle found in the nucleus of every conventional atom. In the standard model of physics, Protons belong to the hadron family (you know, those elementary bits they fire off at the collider in Cern bearing the same name?). Pretty powerful stuff. It’s peculiar then that a Company known for producing cheap compact cars would choose to name themselves after a fundamental building block of life. So, how about the Company’s four-door hatchback, the Proton Savvy? Is it electrically charged like the particle sharing the same first name?
Here is what Steven Burns of Parkers in his Proton Savvy review says about his friends “They laugh but when they realise that it hasn’t skipped a beat and is that reliable they give it a lot of respect”
1. Driving Experience
By now, most are aware that Lotus was absorbed by Proton back in 1997. The sports car manufacturer still has a hand in the development of Proton products, and the Savvy is no exception. But, if you didn’t know the family history, you probably would never guess the four-door hatch has athletic DNA. The car handles decently, resisting body roll despite its high top, but that is the extent of the correlation. There’s only one engine offered and it’s the 1.2-litre unit that makes 74bhp. This little mill can hit 60mph in 13.9 seconds with a 98mph top speed.
2. Design and Build
The Savvy is cheap (like big-box store furniture cheap) and the build quality reflects that. Proton has tried to conceal this fact, but there is no denying that the interior materials feel ready to crumble at a glance. Despite this, there are some handy features to help you forget the abrasive textures surrounding you. To start, the interior is packing a decent amount of boot space, measuring 909-litres with the 50:50 rear seats folded flat. The overall length of the car is reasonable too, coming in at 3,710mm in length. This allows full sized rear doors for accessing the rear bench, though we wouldn’t recommend confining adults to hindmost region of the seating – especially three abreast.
Outside the styling is pretty sharp, even if it won’t earn any thumbs up from fellow motorists. The front lamp clusters and integrated rear wiper are notable styling traits. It has an appearance that could aptly be described as “cute”.
3. Market and Model
The Savvy comes in two different flavours, Street and Style. Higher end (if there is such a Savvy) Style models buy you air conditioning with a pollen filter and alloy wheels as additional standard items making the car well, savvy (oh yes we did). All models come with a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty and 3 years’ free RAC cover.
4. Cost of Ownership
If you’re in the market for a £7,995 appliance on wheels, the Savvy may be for you. In addition to a cut-rate purchase price, the car is inexpensive to own as well. The little hatchback racks up 49mpg combined fuel economy while producing 134g/km of CO2. These figures aren’t exceptional compared to the competition, but we will just chalk that up to reduced R&D expenditures needed to retain that sub-£8,000 price tag.
Unfortunately, the Savvy doesn’t aid Proton in living up to the brilliance of the nucleon the Company was named after. But, if cost is your primary concern the Savvy can’t be beat. In fact, it was the cheapest car to purchase last time we checked. It’s not a surprise that a few sacrifices must be made in order to attain the ultimate thrift machine. You can’t have your two-day old discount cake and eat it too – deal with it.
What do you think of our Proton Savvy review? Is the Savvy a car you would like to test drive? Leave us a comment below to let us know what you think or see our Proton lease deals.
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