Proton Savvy 1.2 Style - PROTON SAVVY Car Review

Review

Added: 26 Jun 2008
Last update:

THOSE designers at Proton must have a touch of Nostradamus about them.

They looked into their crystal balls, saw the scale of the oil crisis and tailored their car designs accordingly to produce the Savvy, a car that's big on room and low on price and fuel consumption.

A touch of exaggeration of course, but the Savvy is certainly an interesting option with fuel prices going through the roof.

The base model will set you back less than six grand, with the premium model around £1,000 more with deals aplenty for the determined buyer.

For that you get a chunky and funky five-door runabout with a lively, if noisy engine, that has the capacity to carry four adults in reasonable comfort.

Having said that, there would be scant room for a larger than average purse or wallet once the seats are filled and the boot space would accommodate a set of golf clubs, toy golf clubs that is.

You might squeeze the fifth person in, but be prepared for a punch-up.

But the Savvy is a city car, designed for dashing around on short trips like the school run, shopping or a short commute to work where tiny parking spaces are no problem at all.

It even looks quite sporty, with neat alloys wheels and a single, centrally-placed chrome exhaust pipe

Equipment levels are also good with neat alloys, remote central locking, alarm and immobiliser, electric front windows and air conditioning.

On the down side, door mirrors have to be adjusted manually and there is no adjustment for reach and rake with the steering column, a real pain for taller drivers.

The airy cabin has good all-round vision and the dual dial dash controls are neat and functional with a decent radio/CD players.

The finish is functional and probably hard-wearing but does feel cheap, but it is a cheap car.

For safety driver and passenger airbags are supplemented by anti-lock brakes and the Savvy also has rear parking sensors which never worked for me.

On the road the 1.2-litre 75bhp engine has plenty of urge, but the revs need to be kept high.

You can forget a conversation at high speed and it is just best to turn the volume up on the radio. The engine may be noisy, but it's not thirsty and around 50mpg is possible with low emissions of 134g/km taking into the lower car tax bracket.

The handling is good however, the Savvy feels very stable on corners and the ride is firm, but quite comfortable.

A decent city car but up against some formidable opposition including favourites such as the Ford Ka, the Fiat Panda, the Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1.

But it is cheaper, offers five doors and is well equipped. It also offers group four insurance and almost 50mpg.

FAST FACTS

Proton Savvy 1.2 Style 5dr

Price: £7,295

Mechanical: 75bhp, 1,149cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 99mph

0-62mph: 13.9 secs

Combined mpg: 49.6

Insurance group: 4

C02 emissions: 134g/km

BiK rating: 15%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 6yrs anti-rust

Words: Bill McCarthy

Keywords: PROTON, SAVVY