I must be frank that the Proton Preve is the model I anticipated the most from Proton. Specs and design has been leaked well before the launch of the Preve, and both aspect flabbergasted the entire nation. The Preve proved to the world that Proton is stepping up their game by offering more equipment and safety features than its close competitors at a much lower price.
Let’s take a look at Preve’s design. Some say it looks like Kia Forte from the front, but I beg to differ. The Preve looks smarter with the daytime running light on, and has more road presence on the road thanks to its bulkier front end. However, Forte’s low-slung front end makes the car sportier looking than the Preve.
The rear end of the Preve bears some resemblance of the Volvo S60, which is a good thing considering the S60 is an amazing looking sedan. But the lines can be cleaner in my opinion, where the line from the Proton badge doesn’t flow well into the taillights and suddenly diverted down to the bumper.
The boot space (508litres) is ample for weekend ‘balik kampung’ trip, but the boot lid is hard to close…
… with a chrome strip which is found on Preve Sapphire.
I’m sure many would want to know how the quality of the cabin is. All I can say is slightly above average. The fit and finishing is Proton’s best efforts so far, but still the buttons and knobs doesn’t feel solid enough or provide nice tactile feedback. Bear in mind that the Preve is situated in the C-segment, where it competes with some models (even the Koreans) which offer tip-top interior quality even though the Preve is selling at a much cheaper price.
With a wheelbase of 2650mm, height of 1524mm and width of 1786mm, I’m glad to say that the cabin of the Preve is very spacious, almost on par with larger D-segment sedan’s interior space. I have more than enough legroom at the back even with the front seat adjusted to my rather tall 5′ 8” size. My head still have some room to spare albeit the sloping roofline.
The top-of-the-line Preve comes with a 1.6litre Charged Fuel Efficiency (CFE) engine which comes with a low-pressure turbocharger, has no turbo lag when stepping the pedal to the metal. It provides constant, strong acceleration from 2000rpm onwards, thanks to the generous 205Nm of torque available from 2000-4000rpm. The engine was smooth and hushed even when it is pushed hard. Other than that, road noise and wind noise were greatly suppressed, a sign of good NVH.
Thumbs up to Proton for making the Preve as one of the best handling cars in the C-segment! The Preve corners flatly and holds on to the road like a hungry leech. Even though the steering still needs a little more weight, it is accurate and have adequate feedback for us to tackle the corners with confidence. I dare to say, like what other journalists mentioned after trying out the Preve, only Ford Focus truimphs the Preve in the C-segment in terms of handling. The brakes also performed very well, felt solid with no sloppiness or whatsoever.
The ride was on the firm side, something like continental setup, but still provide decent comfort for the occupants when going over bumps or potholes. Those who are used to the soft setup of some Japanese cars might need some time to get used to it.
Some issues though. The Preve seems to jerk (but not as bad as in the Saga FLX) when I was slowing down without stepping on the brake or acceleration pedal at low speed. This might present discomfort to the occupants. I suspect the CVT gearbox is the culprit of this problem. There was also rattle sound coming from the steering column of the test unit when the engine is pushed.
Well, I’m not going into more technical stuff or the list of equipment offered in the Preve, but I’m proud to mention that the Preve CFE comes with four airbags (with two side airbags for the front), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and other safety features which are rare to be found in C-segment. After 27 years in the market, Proton is finally on the right track and may the future models keep getting better.
+ Ride and handling, refinement, cabin space, safety.
– Questionable quality, jerkiness.
Written by Simon Har