The 2012 Proton S16 FLX has been launched in Australia, with the Malaysian manufacturer finally introducing a number of fundamental safety features to its entry-level city-sized sedan.

Previously equipped with only a driver’s-side airbag and seatbelt pre-tensioner, the upgraded S16 FLX now adds electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), passenger’s-side front airbag and seatbelt pre-tensioner, front fog lights and reversing sensors as standard.

The significant 2012 upgrade sees the price of each S16 FLX variant rise by $1000. The previous base model 1.3-litre S16 G, which was priced from $11,990 driveaway, has been discontinued, meaning the new S16 FLX range starts $2000 higher with the GX manual at $13,990 driveaway.

The existing 1.6-litre petrol engine carries over into the upgraded range, although with a mildly revised output that is down 2kW, now rated at 80kW and 148Nm. The five-speed manual continues as the standard gearbox while a ‘six-speed’ continuously variable transmission (CVT) has replaced the old model’s four-speed automatic.

Both variants are now marginally more fuel efficient than before, with the manual using 6.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle and the CVT 6.5L/100km.

On the outside, the Proton S16 FLX benefits from sharper styling, headlined by a redesigned grille, bonnet, bumper and headlights at the front, side mirrors with LED indicators, and LED tail-lights and a new bumper at the rear. Both models now also get 14-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the S16 FLX GX gets new cloth upholstery, an upgraded four-speaker audio system with AUX and USB ports, and audio controls on the steering wheel.

The S16 FLX GXR adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather seats, rear power windows and a rear spoiler.

The S16 is Proton Australia’s most popular passenger car, although sales of the light sedan have fallen 45 per cent so far this year, down from 229 units to just 127.

2012 Proton S16 FLX driveaway prices:

  • GX manual – $13,990
  • GX CVT – $15,990
  • GXR manual – $14,990
  • GXR CVT – $16,990

Note: Overseas model pictured.

  • Jax

    This is fresh styling?
    Looks dated by 10 yrs already.

    • D987

      I also was wondering where the fresh styling was. I would feel embarrassed being seen in this car.

  • Daniel

    I’m quite impressed. Not with this car, but with the fact that I’ve yet to see one of these or a Chery on the road. I’m impressed with the low income masses of Australia not being stupid enough to buy $12,000 new cars of questionable quality, styling and safety. And why would you? You could probably get a two year old Focus for the same price. 

    • vin

      I’ve seen several Chery’s on the road. You can pick them by the dull paintwork.

    • nickdl

      Of course they wouldn’t. You can’t do burnouts in a Proton like you can in a VT Commodore!

  • TG

    I don’t know what’s worse, this or the rubbish that comes out of China…?

  • Pete

    Yukky!  Why would you buy this when you could get a brand new base Ford Focus for $6000 more??? Stupidos out there….

    • Gan Tan

      For people on a budget $6000 is a lot of money. But still I’d rather get a 2nd handed or even a Nissan Tiida ( shudder)

    • Guest

       Agree with Gan Tan…$6000 is almost 50% of the cost of the car. Hardly a valid comparison. Although much better almost new 2nd hand options are available.

  • Sonic

    Wow… What a sexy beast!

  • Sam

    I will not buy any Proton ever in my life.
    You feel like sitting inside a car made from drinking cans material.

  • Ima_Hogg

    Oh my god it didn’t have seat belt pretensioners before? That is crazy.

  • nickdl

    And welcome to 2002 Proton!

  • Lincoln Limos

    Proton S16 FLX is good one car in the automotive Industry. The features updation like basic safety features, fresh styling is nice.

  • Malangsial

    This is what happen when you have a bunch of corrupted politicians running a car factory and engineers from the planet of apes. It is an embarassment to Malaysian to produce such a junk.

    • Fitwoodmere80

      A typical nutcase here.

  • Lewes

    Nice car, value for money with CVT 6 speed gear box made by punchpower train and manual gear box by gatrag which also supply to establised car manufacturers.  

  • Mikael Hansson

    It looks pretty good from the outside, but the inside feels really old and boxy.

    My coworker tried to get me to buy one of these. I got myself a Suzuki Alto instead $12490 driveaway, i love that little car, have a fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km which is far better then this proton, but the proton is a bit bigger, but the Alto is safer.