Proton Savvy - PROTON SAVVY Car Review

Review

Added: 09 May 2010
Last update:

CITY CARS are big business these days and each manufacturer is keen to field an economical option for those smaller journeys in life.

And Proton, the Malaysian pioneer of bread and butter motoring is up and running with its Savvy, a neat little four door hatch that makes no claims of grandeur, luxury or high performance, but offers basic motoring at a very low price.

One of the main attractions of the Savvy Style I drove is that it is four door and roomy for such a small vehicle.

Apart from being practical it offers such advanced features anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution, reverse parking sensors, twin front airbags, power steering and air conditioning.

Not bad for a car costing between £7,995 and £8,695.

Also with a combined economy rating of nearly 50mpg, this little car does make sense.

On the road the Savvy Style is reasonably capable but the 1.2 engine's 75bhp endows it with only average performance with a 0-62mph acceleration figure of 13.9 seconds.

The Savvy has neat and attractive frontal styling with a central chrome exhaust pipe at the rear which suggests that it has more get up and go than it really has.

It is the style of the vehicle that is probably its best selling point in addition to a good security kit.

It maybe perceived that small cars such as this may have a great pull on the retired drivers, but its sharp and very European looks go a long way to transcend age barriers.

The Savvy certainly has to work hard in the marketplace because there are some very serious contenders in the small hatchback market out there including arch rival, the Kia Picanto.

This is Proton's first venture into the city car market and it is proof along with stablemate the Satria Neo that this manufacturer is out to capture more small car sales.

As a first effort the Savvy comes out with a high ranking for style and a 'could do better' rating for interior trim and performance.

But it is a key player in Proton’s strategy of customer acquisition,and many could easily be won over with such features as the bee sting aerial, honeycomb light clusters, wide-bore exhaust and a new range of vibrant metallic paint that is available on all models.

There is also a good Clarion radio/CD player and flat-folding 50:50 split rear seats to add to this little car's rather unusual magnetism.

After driving it for a few days I wished the Savvy had more to offer in the power department, but its looks left some competitors in a cloud of dust.

FAST FACTS

Proton Savvy Style

Price: £7,995

Mechanical: 75bhp, 1,198cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed gearbox

Max speed: 98mph

0-62mph: 13.9 seconds

Combined mpg: 49.6

Insurance group: 4

CO2 emissions: 134g/km

BIK rating: 15%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

Words: Ian Johnson

Keywords: proton, savvy