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Proton GEN-2 Hatch engines, drive and performance

2004 - 2012 (change model)
Performance rating: 2.5 out of 52.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

The range starts with a 1.3-litre but with 94bhp it feels sluggish and sounds coarse when revved hard. Most buyers opt for the 110 bhp 1.6-litre engine. Lotus has had more than a hand in its development, but it’s still rough, feels old fashioned, doesn’t deliver its power in a particuarly pleasing way and lacks high-end power. 0-62mph comes in 12.6 seconds (or 13.6 seconds for the auto) while economy is 39mpg.

Lotus (which is owned by Proton) was involved in the development of the GEN-2. But instead of inheriting the kind of razor-sharp steering and pin-point accuracy that made cars such as the Lotus Exige a big hit, GEN-2 is uninspiring and dull to drive. Drivers aren’t given much feedback from the steering wheel and the cornering is vague. The GEN-2 is also cumbersome at low speeds, though the standard rear parking sensors do make parking easier and safer.