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by Tim Beissmann

The Proton Preve has been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating, making it the Malaysian manufacturer’s first model to earn top marks from the independent crash tester.

The small-sized Proton Preve sedan scored 34.25 points out of 37 in the local assessment, earning praise for its standard inclusion of electronic stability control (ESC), six airbags (dual front, side and curtains) and the strength of its basic structure, which ANCAP says is “much improved over previous Proton models”.

ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said Proton’s first five-star safety rating was testament to the commitment of the company’s senior management and engineers to incorporate high levels of safety into their vehicles.

“Proton hasn’t let the previous poor results for its vehicles hold it back, rather they’ve used this as incentive to strive for the top safety rating for the Preve,” McIntosh said.

“A lot of time and effort has been invested in improving the design and safety equipment of the Preve and it is reassuring to see Proton reach this mark.”

McIntosh said ANCAP encouraged Proton to work on improved pedestrian protection, however, with the Preve scoring a ‘Marginal’ rating (the second-lowest ranking, just above ‘Poor’) in that component of the test.

The Proton Preve is one of the most affordable small cars on the market, with the 80kW/150Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder five-speed manual priced from $18,990 driveaway and the CVT variant starting at $20,990 driveaway.