2011 Proton Savvy Hatchback Review

The Savvy is one of the cheapest new cars around. It rides and handles reasonably well, and has a unique look. However, The 1.2 is lacking in space, the cabin looks old and cheap and the engine is rough.

The 75bhp 1.2-litre engine should have much better performance. It doesn’t feel much quicker than the 1.0 and the engine doesn’t want to rev. This makes for slow progress and the gearshift is awkward.

Rides smooth and handles quite well for a smaller vehicle. It has a light turning circle but it is short on feel and the steering seems unresponsive.

The engine changes from being wheezy to noisy to gruff. Road noise isn’t bad but wind noise can be an issue at speed. Rival minis did better for providing refined transport.

The Savvy is one of the most inexpensive cars available to buy. Running costs are low, but it only gets 50mpg and has low resale value.

Proton failed in their attempt to make the cabin look modern. The plastics seem dated and hard to the touch. The exterior fared slightly better. Included is a three-year warranty, but some owners have reported problems with the build quality and air conditioning.

Unfortunately, there is only the barest of safety kits included. It has two front airbags, and ABS with brakeforce distribution.

The seat base can be slightly tilted but the steering is fixed. The dashboard is logical and easy to use. Some owners may find that the strange yellow color is not to their liking.

Like most of its rivals, there is limited interior space. Four can fit comfortably although headroom is not extensive. The boot is tiny, but it is shaped well, and when the 50/50 split seats are lowered, there is a capacity of 909 litres.

Single trim is the badged Style and comes with a CD player, alloy wheels, remote central locking, power front windows and air-con. The only options available are an auto gearbox and metallic paint.

The owner of this nifty little machine gets plenty for their money, and most drivers will not be disappointed. Low running costs and unique styling add to the positives that are already listed.  You’ve got to be savvy to choose a small car, and the Proton Savvy will reflect your smart intentions in an economical and clever fashion.

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