Gen up on hatch


Proton Gen-2, side
Proton Gen-2, front

PROTON'S GEN-2 makes a decent second-hand buy with high spec and very reasonable prices along with any remaining of the powertrain warranty of six years or 100,000 miles.

It's a good looking five door hatch somewhere between supermini and lower medium, powered by either 1.3-litre, 95bhp or 1.6-litre, 110bhp.

Both engines are rather peaky, with main power at higher revs. This is no bad thing in some cars, but these get noisier and harsher as the revs rise, which puts you off, and performance is still below average.

Proton is Malaysian but owns British sportscar maker and designer Lotus, so the handling and ride have been sorted by them and are very good

There is plenty of grip and a minimum of roll and the power steering is direct and positive, with good feedback.

It's available as a five door hatch or as a saloon and, while dated by today's standards, reliability is good.

The cabin is a good place to ride, with space for five at a pinch, plus a good boot and a split folding back seat.

Standard equipment in the GSX includes front and side airbags, alarm system, electric windows, remote locking, aircon, alloys and electric mirrors.



Price: Pay about £1,700 for an '09 09-reg GLS five door, or £4,300 for an 11-reg GSX Ecologic

Mechanical: 110bhp, 1,597cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 12.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 39

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 172g/km