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Proton GEN-2 Hatch interior, tech and comfort

2004 - 2012 (change model)
Comfort rating: 3 out of 53.0

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

For a car costing this much, buyers should expect a higher-quality interior than GEN-2 offers. From the cheap plastics to the old-fashioned cloth upholstery, the overall finish is disappointing. Things have improved with the latest facelift and the interior finish is much improved. But quality issues do remain and the indicator and window-wiper stalks clunk awkwardly into action.

The asymmetrical design of the audio controls is bold and the Blaupunkt integrated system produces a high-quality sound. The unusual layout makes the dashboard buttons hard to use while driving, although the audio controls on the steering wheel are more intuitive. Visibility is inhibited a little by the small door mirrors, so drivers must check their larger blindspots regularly when changing lanes on motorways.

The GEN-2 is quite roomy in the back for a car of this class. Legroom is good for two, though the sloping roof means that taller passengers may have limited headroom. The middle seat can be used by an adult for shorter trips and there’s good front space too. The seats are comfortable and offer enough support for motorway jaunts. Wind and road noise are kept under control, though the engine is nearly always audible – especially when it’s being worked hard.