The Proton Satria Neo is well kitted and it offers decent handling, but it’s pricey to purchase and running costs are high. The ride is firm and it is light on safety features and space.
The only engine offered is the 111bhp 1.6-litre. It needs to work hard on the open road and isn’t as fast as some competitors, but it is still zippy. There is either the four-speed auto or the five-speed manual to choose from.
There is decent grip, it is well handled and body lean is contained well. Steering is sharp but the ride is too firm and bumps are really felt at high speed.
There is no refinement whatsoever in the Satria Neo. The engine is coarse and loud on acceleration, and it drones while driving on the motorway. Both wind and road noise can be heard from inside the cabin.
Resale values are not strong and neither emission nor fuel consumption figures stack up well against the Suzuki Swift, so it will also cost more to run.
The plastics look overly shiny and unappealing and the switchgear both feels and looks cheap. There is a three year warranty but reliability is still relatively unknown.
Only passenger and driver front airbags are available. There is no option for stability control and only the Satrias come with an immobiliser and an alarm.
The front seats adjust for height and the steering wheel only for height, not reach. Some of the controls seem to have been placed awkwardly but the dash is simple.
There is a lack of headroom in the front so even short drivers will feel boxed in. Both room for the legs and the head are in short supply in the rear and access is tricky. The boot is quite small as well.
All the Neos come with climate control, CD player with MP3 compatibility, remote central locking, alloy wheels, power windows and front foglamps. Sport versions are styled sportier and have leather seats, and the auto versions of both trims have standard cruise control.
The main disadvantage with the Proton Satria Neo is the slight lack of safety features, so keep your mind on the road when driving this car. Otherwise, all is well. With the simple-to-read dash, just dial in what you want, switch on the CD player, settle in to your comfy leather seats, and cruise on down the motorway.