So Proton has launched a new model of the popular Satria Neo with the much awaited Campro CPS engine pushing out 125hp (up from the standard Campro’s 110hp).
It comes with an aggressive body kit and some subtle changes to address the oversteer problems the original Satria Neo had (they made the front track slightly narrower and the back wider).
Handling is dealt with by Lotus, as with the old Satria GTi (the car I drive incidentally) and it’s certainly taken some styling cues from the Satria GTi (like the flared and riveted wheel arches).
It looks fairly aggressive from all angles, especially with the single centrally placed exhaust.
One design aspect I really like is the rims, nice bronze colour 16″ alloys really suit the look of the car.
As for the interior and the features, it’s a well speced car with cruise control, controls for the stereo on the steering wheel, dual airbags and ABS, 2-tone full leather interior and seat belts with pre-tensioners.
The sound system is quite impressive with a Blaupunkt MP3-playable four-speaker audio system, the sound is crisp and clear and has quite good bass response. The Radio reception is very good with the system still receiving a signal on the 2nd basement level (my car already loses signal in B1).
The full leather interior includes the gearshift and steering wheel.
The interior is stylish and modern and seems well made, there were no squeaks, rattles or odd noises in the car I drove.
I did find a lack of compartments however, there is no ashtray or other small place to keep things like carpark access cards and your Touch & Go. There is a space on either side of the aircon controls but it’s not covered.
There is a 12v cigarette type socket, but no cigarette lighter – I guess it’s become a non-smoking world!
The dials are clear and bright and easy to see.
As for the driving experience, I’d have to say this car is definitely designed with Asians in mind! It’s not for someone of my stature. The seat is placed quite high so you in an elevated driving position for better visibility, but due to the curved roof it means the headroom is very limited.
Every time I leant forward to look out of the front my head would brush the ceiling, but then I am 6’5″! I’d say for the average sized person it’d be very comfortable with the shaped seats.
I also found the small windows awkward when reaching for parking tickets or using the Touch & Go as the lower lip of the window is quite high up.
My only other complaint would be that the side mirrors are rather small and with the relatively small windows of a hatchback it gives a rather big blind spot.
As for the handling, it’s excellent! I really enjoyed the cornering ability of this car, it has the crisp clean handling of a lotus tuned vehicle.
The turning circle is quite tight and I can maneuver in a noticeably smaller space than my current GTi.
As for the power I can’t judge well as I was driving the Auto version, the engine seems responsive and it gives a kick around 4500rpm (which I would guess is the Variable Valve Timing).
I’d love to have a go in the Manual.
Of course I’m waiting for the real GTi successor, a Satria Neo with a 2.0 Turbo!
The prices for the Satria Neo are as follows:
Proton Satria Neo CPS (white) – Manual – RM 57313
Proton Satria Neo CPS (black) – Manual – RM 57763
Proton Satria Neo CPS (white) – Auto – RM 60313
Proton Satria Neo CPS (black) – Auto – RM 60763
The black is more expensive as it’s metallic.
Full details here – http://www.proton-edar.com.my/