• Summary

    5 out of 5 5.0

    What does this car say about you?

    That you dare to break the trend. This car, surprisingly, feels every bit as good as my old Cavalier... It looks fairly striking due to the body kit and spoiler and whilst the badge is budget, people could be forgiven for thinking that you care about your image, depending on what specification you go for!

    What do your friends / family / neighbours think of the car?

    My family love it. Three generations of relatives find it comfortable, big enough and endure long journeys in it. My grandmother (73) prefers the rear seats due to the slightly softer seating conditions and my little brother (13) finds that he has enough room to play 5-a-side in the rear. My friends say that it's ugly from behind but from the front, they seem to like it. I'm used to reversing into parking spaces now...

    Would you buy this car again and why?

    Yes. Because it's simply the best value for money you'll find. A 2005 Vectra/Mondeo will burn oil, snap timing chains or need a new DMF/Clutch/Injectors every service... A Proton may need tappet adjustment or god forbid, a few little bushes on the suspension. It's certainly not faultless, but for the whole package of a car, you cannot fail the Wira for very much. Parkers disliked this car from the review, hence I like it a lot. Hopefully this honest review will speak louder than the drivel from the BMW 3 Series crowd.

    What are you likely to buy next?

    Proton Wira EXi or SRi.

  • Buying experience

    5 out of 5 5.0

    Type of dealer you bought from?


    Did you buy this car new?


    What price did you pay?


    When did you buy the car?

    January 2015

    Did you get a good deal and why?

    My particular car (Contrary to the nonsense 2003 that Parkers say my car is, it's a 2005/54), was the courtesy car for "Deal Of Kelvedon", Proton Dealer. The service history was good, the condition of the car was honest and it seems to have been looked after well. The vehicle has been used well and worn very well considering how many different users it has had, and still feels like a good example to drive.

    Is there any special reason why you bought this car?

    Price; It was cheap Reliability; Must be good, it's a Mitsubishi underneath, right? Size; Seems about the same size as my beloved Cavalier Engine Size; Not as slow as a 1.4, but doesn't sound as bad to insurers as a 1.6...

    What was the dealer like?

    Fine... The sales manager seemed to be an honest guy, he explained some of the quirky features of owning a Proton (The Air Con set up can take some getting used to, the button presses once for "Eco Mode" and again for "Max Cool". He also sourced a towing eye cover to replace the one that was missing. The tyres on the vehicle weren't in the best of order, which annoyed me slightly, but throw tyres in and the car was still sub £600..

  • Driving it

    4 out of 5 4.0

    What's it like to drive?

    As good as it can be... The engine protests a little if you get carried away (6000rpm+) but a lot of the power has gone by then. Quick gear changes through the revs make progress satisfyingly nimble. The ride around town can be described as choppy. At speed, it's fine. Cornering shows the body roll for what it is, but it take some seriously bad behaviour to make it let go (The back end goes before the front, which is unusual given the front engine/front drive layout), it it's always sure footed and recoverable should you drive with spirit! The comfort took some getting used to, a few days of seat adjusting can make a real difference to how it feels to drive.

    What's it like to park?

    Piece of cake. Opting for a LUX or an EXi with a rear spoiler makes life really easy. The front corners aren't as visible as I'd like, but then, I can still see the end of the bonnet. It drives like a small car in car parks and is as easy to park as a 2005 Fiesta. The steering makes manoeuvring easy too.

  • Living with it

    5 out of 5 5.0

    Have you had any problems with the car?

    No. It starts every morning, it deals with motorway speeds, town driving and blasts through the country without fail.

    What's most practical about your car?

    Split folding rear seats. The squab doesn't lift up as my old Cavalier did, but the seats fold virtually flat and make for a good load area. The general interior room is spectacular - I'm 6'6" tall and even with the seat height adjusted to it's highest AND the back rest virtually upright, I still have headroom. And my rear seat passengers have ample room behind me.

    Favourite gadget, option or accessory?

    Air Conditioning was standard on the LUX. Another nice feature is the mechanical internal boot release, most modern cars have silly electrical components that stop you from opening the boot if the engine is running, not the Proton!