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2007 Proton Savvy Review
2007 Proton Savvy Review

When Proton announced a significant price cut for the struggling Proton Savvy, I simply had to go drive this car. In case you’re not aware, I am not a fan of cheap and nasty cars. I have taken most of my anger out on the Holden Barina so far this year but something tells me I have a new target, the Proton Savvy.

Test Model: 2007 Proton Savvy 1.2-litre Manual

CarAdvice rating:

Options Fitted: None

Starting at just $13,990 driveaway for the manual, it almost seems like the bargain of the century, even more so when you consider the features.

With a Renault sourced 1.2-litre engine that produces 55kW of power (5.7 litres/100km fuel consumption), a five-speed manual transmission, ABS, dual front airbags, 15 inch alloys, rear parking sensors and keyless entry, I couldn’t fault the car on paper… so I went for a drive.

2007 Proton Savvy Review
2007 Proton Savvy Review
2007 Proton Savvy Review
2007 Proton Savvy Review

I am delighted to say that as far as this Proton goes, you really get what you pay for. With an interior resembling a 1990s Hyundai Excel, a gear stick that vibrates in 3rd and 4th gear and an engine which can deafen you in less than 5 minutes, I couldn’t run away fast enough.

Let’s start with the looks, although styling is subjective – this is an ugly, ugly car. It’s not like other small cars where it can be ugly but still cute, this car is just ugly! The front is barely passable, but from the back, the sagging rear lights resemble a baby rat stuck in a mouse trap.

Proton obviously doesnt’t have focus groups in Malaysia to seek public reaction before designing a car. I can’t imagine any young driver walking out of a Proton dealership thinking “damn, that savvy is hot”.

If you buy this car, what you will end up doing is approaching it with your eyes closed as much as possible, just so you don’t have to look at it too much. But the real horror starts inside.

With uneven and unfinished edges as well as plastic sharp enough to cut your skin, the Savvy gives a hint of what we should expect from other developing manufacturing nations (such as China) in the next few years.

My biggest problem with the car is engine noise. There is next to no sound proofing and given the 1.2-litre powerplant struggles, you really have to redline on every gear change if you intend to keep up with traffic.

2007 Proton Savvy Review

As I attempted to join the highway, my ear drums were ready to explode from the screaming whine of the engine – this can scare you at first since no engine should sound like Avril Lavign on drugs, but no – its just part of the fun! If you intend to go past 5,000 RPM, make sure you bring some industrial strength ear muffs because you’ll need it!

But wait, there is more, cruise along in 3rd of 4th gear and the second you lift your foot of the accelerator the gear stick vibrates like a race dog trying to shag your leg. So along with unbearable engine noise and the vibrating gear stick, the Proton is not exactly a fun car to drive.

Surely I had a broken car? Nothing can be this bad! I took the car back and kindly informed the lovely gentlemen (who was keen to tell me the Savvy is Lotus inspired) that he owes me a set of new eardrums and a new Savvy.

He decided to come with me so I can point out the problems, he informed me the engine noise is normal, at least for a Malaysian car and as for the vibrating gearstick, “oh yeah that happens in the Gen.2s as well sometimes, it goes away after a while… I wouldn’t worry about it” uha… a car with 150kms on the clock should not have vibrating issues!

In fairness, it’s not ALL bad, the Savvy does have some Lotus blood in it after all. As far as handling goes, it would run circles around the competition (once it gets to speed). Comparing this to the Rio, Swift and Colt, the Savvy is easily the best handling small car. But that’s a small victory in war Proton have already lost.

  • C9NGQBiztOOiUEdtng_r0EiDLrdw_VEjOiLlbTFSMJ8.


    Your much to kind in your report

    The punters wont be fooled, its a P.O.S. every vehicle from that brand is, always was, always will be

    $13,990 LOL is that for 10 of them?


  • http://www.caradvice.com.au tony

    I’ll steer clear of this car and the Proton brand as a whole.

    I’ve driven the Kia Rio with an auto box and for a few bucks more – you get a decent car that looks quite good.

    The only thing I actually like about the Proton is the single, centre mounted exhaust tip!!! Perhaps KIA and Hyundai can use this in their future cars as it seems about the only thing worthy of mention, from this rubbish from Malaysia.

  • Stevo

    You would either be blind, female or both to buy this car.

    • jason

      its a good car, 2011 model is fantastic

    • Nic-la

       Steve I know it’s a year ago since you commented…but I’m betting you’re still single!

  • Foggy

    I guess that’s the last Proton you’ll be receiving for testing Alborz! …for a while anyway.

    Does it have a “tuned by Lotus” badge on it? …those always give me a chuckle, just like the Ssangyong Musso owners deluding themselves with a Mercedes badge.

  • Nick

    I actually quite like the looks but i would still never buy a malaysian car (especially since mitsu no longer owns Proton) or a Korean car for that matter.

  • Benjie

    Proton don’t make ANY good cars, the Savvy looks so damn ugly that it’s just not funny!!


  • Stevo

    In Protons case I think “Tuned by Lotus” means that a Lotus staff member tuned the radio stations in.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    ahahaha @ Stevo!
    I am just trying to spread the word, DONT BUY THIS CAR, spend the extra 2g and buy a car you wont hate driving everyday

  • auto

    The vibrating gearstick is due to direct rod linkage to the gearbox – it has more solid feel compare to the cable type mechanism.

    You can get the right timing for the gear shift if you could hear the engine note properly. The auto version of this car has a manual gearbox with clutchless transmission, you still need to lift off the throttle a bit when you feel the gearbox starts to shift.

    This reviewer doesn’t his stuffs.

  • http://ezralimm.blogspot.com ezra

    This car wasnt really targeted at Australians used to larger ~1400-1600kg cars. It’s a supermini so dont expect the same levels of comfort as a ford falcon.

    It’s a 1000kg car, and a budget one at it. Dont expect top quality but from what i’ve read, it is still a decent car for the price you pay.

    Remember 14000 is an OTR price. If you got a Swift, for example, you’d have to cough up another AUD6k. ..That’s 6k to spend on fuel and whatnot extra.

    It has good fuel economy and has proven itself safe in a number of crashes (back in msia and singapore).

    I’d like to know how the engine noise compares to the Yaris’ – that i find just.. em, bad. Yet few people complain about it because it’s from toyota.

    This model was aimed at the supermini market in Europe, and i guess it’s doing better over there.

    • Sid

      I would have to agree, its not all bad to start off with the negatives aftr we changed a computer part for the transmission it hasnt been behaving erratically nd it also had some ball bearing break down off its axle lucky it was under warranty. The inside is not that pretty i agree very basic but better than those of the hyundai’s nd kia’s… now for the positive its jst been acknowledged one of the cheapest cars to run in its category, the milage is excellent and the handling cant be complained about. Bottom line is its not a bad car at all.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Auto, regardless of how the manual transmission is setup, there should be no reason why the gearstick should vibrate at such an excessive rate while cruising, it is simply unbearable!

    The timing for gearshifts was not an issue, it actually changes gears rather smoothly and I was happy with the gearbox, the issue was when cruising, the gearstick would vibrate! The reality is, it doesn’t matter how its built, if it makes THAT much noise.. its not worth it!

    As for engine noise, having driven the Rio, Swift, Yaris, Fiesta, I can tell you, this car is the loudest.

    I didn’t get to drive the auto as the Auto version is priced at $17g! There should be no reason to buy the auto Savvy over say an Auto Yaris which costs less!!!

    As for Ezra, the Kia rio starts at 14,990, and you can walk out of a dealer with that price if you haggle, so your only saving $1,000 with the Savvy and the Rio is a far better car.

  • http://ezralimm.blogspot.com ezra

    ? The links i posted seemed to not appear – maybe this blog doesnt allow links.

    Google “Proton Savvy Review” and do check out other reviews – UK sites seem to rate it better than the aussie sites.

    Personally i can understand why a supermini wouldnt appeal to the Australian masses.

    Kinda wished i got to try the Savvy before getting the Jazz. Couldnt find the dealer. Oh well, If anyone is looking for a small car, do check out the Savvy in addition to the Fiesta, Swift, Jazz, Rio, Getz and Mazda2. Have fun with the test drives. Who knows, a supermini may be to your liking.

    I’ve not driven a savvy, but i’ve been a passenger in one. I think it’s quite ok.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Ezra, post the links again, since we get so much spam they get automatically removed sometimes.

    Mini cars are taking of in Australia, the new Suzuki Splash and Nissan Micra are set to come back, so I think the Savvy is going to have an ever harder time competing. Nonetheless its a small car more than it is a mini car.

  • auto

    Alborz, I guess it’s the vibrating silver plastic trim on the gearknob making that noise. It could be easily taken out and put some foam tape underneath to dampen the noise. A little niggling problem that could be solved easily. This is one issue that some savvy is having but certainly not all Savvy experience that kind of noise.

    Sorry if I say you don’t know the stuffs. It’s good to have author to interact with his readers at such manner.

    Savvy is a driver’s car. Did you try to see if the engine noise is too loud from the rear & side passenger seats. It’s a good handling car we could overlook other small problems.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Auto, I dont think it was the plastic as the second I put my hand on the knob it would stop the noise, as I said, I had a feeling the car I had was a little .. well.. not well. but with only 150ks on the clock, it wasn’t exactly what you’d expect!

    The point is, you dont have to take apart the plastic and sticky tape things back together in a brand new car, it shows lack of QC and attention to detail.

    It definitely does handle better that all the other small cars, as I mentioned. If you want a car that handles, this is it, but as I said, people that buy these cars dont buy them for mountain runs, they buy them to get from A->B, and for that, this is not the ideal car.

  • Frugal One

    One work



  • auto

    It’s the plastic alright. The gear knob could be separated from the stick. There’s a silver plastic trim on top of the gearknob which is the source of noise.

    You’ve got a point there. Proton made a big mistake for over-engineered the chassis and exterior while the interior plastics are nasty. The chassis rigidity is much higher than some larger cars which contributes a lot to its good handling trait.

  • Nick

    Mitsubishi has plans to release the “i” car here too. Wheels had a review of it recently and loved it. It is already on sale in NZ and they sell about 40k a year in Japan.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au tony

    Like I have said before – buying a Savvy will only depress you – the Kia Rio, even with auto, could be said to be automotive heaven when compared to the Savvy.

    You Get what you pay for – most times!

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au tony

    what is the deal with those mags on the Savvy? They look like they have been laid out on Newspaper and sprayed by a can of silver paint in a backyard shed! UGLY

  • Lost out there…

    Thank god for some honesty in a road test. I know it is a POS and you do too but at the risk of upsetting advertisers, most journalists are too scared to say anything negative about rubbish cars like this.

    My local paper took one around the block (at most) and wrote a rave review. I expect the “Car Show” on TV would be the same (but it is such drivel I can not watch it).

    Keep it up !

  • Frugal One

    Ditto above about calling a dog-car a dog!


  • 280zx

    Vibrating gear stick im leaving this one right alone!
    Girls car for sure LOL….

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Lost out there… we do call it how it is, we are a blog afterall, advertisers or not, we built our reputation on honesty and thats how we intend to keep it – thanks for the comment!

  • http://ezralimm.blogspot.com ezra

    According to the author’s subjective opinion, the car is Ugly. Not so with other reviewers, especially in Europe.

    I know Aussies are not familiar with cars of this size – it’s a really far cry from the large falcons and commodores im sure most aussies are used to driving.

    …but those cars cost 30k+

    Compare apples with apples, oranges with oranges.

    Ultimately – If your budget happens to be 14000 OTR for a car, then the savvy is a contender. So is the Getz.

    Test drive both and see if you’re happy. The “jeremy clarkson” style review of this blog (eg. subjectively declaring it “ugly”; nitpicking; etc…) is nice to read but does not give a good perspective.

    I just got a feeling this car was designed for a different market with different needs. Im from malaysia and the parking sensors, for example, come standard on most cars. No insult to malaysian drivers. They have good driving skills actually…Traffic in msia is bad and more chaotic than in melbourne’s well planned streets. Why parking sensors? It’s just what the market here expects.

  • Benjie

    In response to Ezra…no, the car IS ugly! No ifs and no buts!

  • Stu

    I like the cutout in the top of the drivers door – looks just right for resting your arm on, the tops of the doors are just getting too high these days

  • Erien

    And here’s how a Savvy looks like after a very recent accident.

    Pretty strong for a little car, I say.


  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Ezra, the market here doesnt expect rattles, noisy engine ,cheap plastic parts and a design only the designers could love. The Parking sensors are a gimmick for a car that rates so poorly in every other respect.

  • 351XT

    I have actually sold a new Saavy, the customers love it. he was a big boy and the lotus suspension handles his weight great

    however I still have trouble sleeping at night and could not bring myself to sell another one again.

  • Benjie

    Erien, that Savvy looks much better the way it’s shown in that pic!

  • Frugal One

    U still gave it 2-stars [ok steering wheels]

    Was that meant to be NEGATIVE 2? :-)


  • Paul

    How many of you guys puttin’ sh** on the Savvy have actually driven one?

  • sexythang

    test drove one. it actually is shit. spend 2 weeks wages more and get a jazz or a swift. higher quality, bullet proof mechanics.

    saves you the nightmares looking at your car everyday.

    just 2 weeks will do. you’ll get the money back and more when it comes to selling time.

  • David

    At $13990 not really all that cheap for what it is as reported.There has to be better small car buys on the used or not so used market even if you go over this price by $1000-$2000 depending on the haggle & timing.
    To me the clutch & gear shift operation & engine noise are major issues & negates the handling advantage which may mean nothing in the real world of day to day use.
    Cheap car with a better than average sound system & the overrated parking sensors says it all.
    A manufacturer in 2007 that can’t execute the basics from the start should be left alone

  • JD

    I f**ked up and bought one, i wanted a cheap car with a warranty and good on fuel.
    What i got was a cheap car, that needs to be looked at by the dealer once a fortnight for issues like the keys not working, the gear knob rattling to no end, blown globes all over the joint. Oh and the fuel economy, not worth p*ssing on. I get 360 – 400 kms out of a 40 lt tank, And it is all highway driving, my old AU falcon did better figures than this.
    Oh and if you need support, no one knows how to fix them, and no one answers any of the proton customer care numbers, and if you try to email them, all emails come back rejected as they don’t exist.
    Please don’t buy one, don’t do it, buy a 10 year old falcon or commodore it will serve you better that this peice of sh*t.

    Proud Sh*t Owner


  • http://na Matt

    Learnt to be patient and to say thanks thats how we should live. Should you don’t prefer savvy that’s just fine, you have your own choice. But you don’t have to really smack them up.

  • Mr.Green

    Savy – as tougher which claimable by Proton with renault engine actually is a good car if it only manufacture by other Car Manufacture rather than Proton which only target on Max Profit with 3rd world mindset.
    Quality wise is the worst part where they appoint all their cronies to source a low quality parts at premium prices. So which ever new model came out from proton is equavalent to junk if they still using the same supplier from this cronies.
    Proton – the failure of the country’s pride.

  • David

    tony said
    July 19 2007 @ 8:07 am

    I’ll steer clear of this car and the Proton brand as a whole.

    I’ve driven the Kia Rio with an auto box and for a few bucks more – you get a decent car that looks quite good.

    The only thing I actually like about the Proton is the single, centre mounted exhaust tip!!! Perhaps KIA and Hyundai can use this in their future cars as it seems about the only thing worthy of mention, from this rubbish from Malaysia.


    IF you think a Kia Rio is even worth a mention its pretty obvious you don’t know anything about cars.

  • David

    Some of you need to be shot! One! Have you taken one for a drive? Doubt it! Now i own one and have done so for last 11 months!!!

    Never had to take it in to proton for this or that! Fuel econonomy is excellent! As for noise..yeah there is but so does getz rio etc…

    Has the best handling i have ever seen or felt!

    And not one person has told me its ugly…


    You anticipate so much for crappy chinese made cars but u seem to forget that alot of compromise on quality is because of the cost, enssentially you get what you pay for! It not that these Chinese can’t make cars, the VW polos here are made in China, but since the quality cars made there have no brand recognition or significant cost advantage with established brands its dictated by its market position to begin with cheap and nasty cars as Hyundai did in the beginning. Thats just how this market works. Sure they can make quality cars (eg the new Roewe W2 or 750 are examples) that are relatively cheaper, but whos gonna buy a no name Chinese car when for $1-2K more they can get a suposedly better Korean car? It seems that we are all too quick to dismiss Chinese cars without really recognising that at the end of the day, you get what you oay for, theres no miracles there.

  • damien

    Thanks guys wanted to buy one but changed mind now you save me time and money cheers

  • John

    Whatever you do never buy a Savvy as i learned the hard way. The car is very ugly, the interior is ugly. The tuned by Lotus is just to encourage you to buy it. Never buy a Savvy Never buy a Proton and Never buy a Malaysian car coz they are all crap.

  • Nick

    I agree with David. Had one for the last 6 months and have never had to take it back for repairs or what not. I really wonder how many of you critics have actually owned one or are you just a bunch of wanabe armchair car critics. Half of you probably don’t even drive. This little car I have has only attracted great comments on its looks. On a last note for all you experts, this car may not be up to Japanese standards, but hey….neither is the price…Cheers.

  • http://profiles.friendster.com/richardcheng Richard

    HAHAHAHA ^_^
    So much of good & bad points!
    I’m going to trade in my beloved,
    2004 Gen 2 1.6AT for Savy 1.2AT HL 😀
    Gen 2 served me well!
    Raced with me against Mercs, Civic, Waja,
    JB-KL in 2hrs @ 185km/hr, in heavy rain,
    Handling good good good!
    In the middle of our little street race,
    Those rich balless Proudass retired!
    LOL Mercs & Civic RETIRED!

    Next was my little 20mins race,
    With a cocky Singapore white Fairlady!
    That balless gave up after 20mins!
    He cant even overtake me!
    I’d got totally nothing to lose!
    So I tried my bloody best!
    It was one of my blood boiling street race which i love!

    At times, it’s not abt ur ride!
    It’s our stubborn spirit to bow to big cars!

    LOL Fight on my strong brothers!
    They’ve nothing to be proud if they beat us with big cars!
    Strong ones used “Trash” to beat imported ones!
    They call “Trash” for they r themselves trash!
    LOL 😛

    • syafarah

      woot~!! i’m buying savvy 2007!!

      “They’ve nothing to be proud if they beat us with big cars!
      Strong ones used “Trash” to beat imported ones!
      They call “Trash” for they r themselves trash!”

      right on, bro! *high 20 including toes*

  • Luke

    Alborz, you’re a bit simple minded aren’t you, and very subjective. People judge books by their cover or from previous ascertions or popular opinion, which is a sign of stupidity. Sad, as you’re missing out. You clearly wrote off this car before you even saw it, due to previous Proton offerings. Dumb thing to do, especially as you are meant to provide all of us with a meaningful test of the car. The Savvy is actually a cute little car, quite different from the crap you spin about it’s looks. And the chassis is one of the best. What lets it down is the interior plastics, and a small engine. Other than that, this car is one of the mroe intersting propositions on the market in this area. Quite the opposite of the rubbish you’ve come up with.

  • jbot

    Luke, I’m inclined to agree with Alborz on this one. I don’t like the looks at all. Any review is the reviewer’s opinion on the car from their experiences with it, and it is not suprising that you and some others have varying opinions.

  • 68autobug

    Proton have always been overpriced in Australia IMHO..
    So far as i know, Mitsubishi didn’t own them
    they had an affilation with Mitsubishi , using their engines and old body styles ..

    I’ve never driven one, but have heard more bad things and no good things about them…
    They do own Lotus…
    they have been trying to affilate with other car companies
    for designs etc…
    I know Volkswagen stopped talks a while ago..
    there was another company involved but I can’t remember who…

  • Doug

    The reviewer makes a typically elitist report on the Savvy, in line with Top Gear rev heads and similar others – I can still read the contemptuous reviews of the Misub Colt – an excellent small car and innovative and well made.
    The Savvy does what it is designed to do – work as a city car. The parking sensors make a lot of sense when using tight car parks and street parking.
    The engine revs freely when it loosens up and it handles brilliantly. Looks are always subjective – some $100,000 plus cars are very ugly.
    Anyone who owns a Rio should receive a sympathy card.
    And for the record, I have owned a Rio, a Colt and now a Savvy.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Doug, if you look under car reviews, u will see that we have reviewed both the Colt and the Rio, with positive reviews, the Savvy is not in the same level of quality

  • maddriver

    this reviewer is a clarkson wannabe! as far as proton cars go, mine had completed 3 seasons of malaysian tarmac rally championships, one 12 hour endurance race, countless of track days and spirited driving on hillroads and of course, it being my daily driven car, has served me well for the past 8 years! besides a power window failure, the car has not broken down on me when i’l using it.

    let’s be fair, the korean cars are like their soap operas……… in one word, crap! parts are not cheap, servicing costs a bomb, can’t handle for shit, drinks petrol like an ozzie on free beer day, has the power of a sloth………..need i say more? do i also sound like a clarkson wannabe?

    drive a rio once, for about a week, and i was never so happy when i got back to my proton satria. maybe u guys in oz don’t have a reliable mechanic who knows the ins and outs of a proton, but if u need help, e-mail me at maddriversgarage@yahoo.com.sg.


  • Doug

    When evaluating small cars, you must compare apples with apples. My 2003 Colt CVT cost $19500 on road. My 2002 Rio cost $13,000 on road – appalling dynamics came free. My Savvy cost $13,250 on road with metallic paint and a parcel of goodies that would add $3000 to the list prices of Jazz, Rio,Getz and Colt – the Savvy handles the best of these and is a safe car as well.

  • Craig

    I recently purchased a new Porsche 911 Carrera 2 (my dream car) but needed a reliable run around. After much research and test driving I purchased a Savvy AMT from the Melbourne dealer in Spencer St for $16,990 Drive away. I was also tempted by the Honda Jazz but have no regrets with the Savvy. This is an exceptional little car that is very easy to live with and there aren’t many on the road. Unlike the Jazz which is everywhere in Melbourne. I had no intentions of telling everyone about my little secret, except I felt compelled to offer my comments after reading this exaggerated review. He must be driving a different Savvy to mine. If you’re in the market for a small, cheap, economical and easy to drive car, you should test drive one for at least an hour to appreciate it. Then make up your own mind.

  • diezel

    great to hear Craig..Loved my Savvy AMT sonce i got it! Done 30,000k’s and still no rattles noises etc. I really think this car is a go-er

  • Picang

    I bought a Savvy 1.2 AMT and been using it for almost 2 years now. Made it run from KL -> JB and countless city driving and mind you that KL traffic is horrible most of the time. All this time i have only had 1 burned fog light bulb and i had it replaced in less than 5 minutes. It’s quite cosy, nice simple interior, fuel is economical, great a/cond, nice OEM stereo. It is a small city car and it serves its purpose, except for the engine noise which is quite load.

    In Malaysia, Proton has provided an R3 bodykit for the Savvy…

  • Hugo

    I first saw this car at the 2006 Brisbane International Motor Show. At the time, I had only ever heard of the ‘original’ Protons (the Mitsu- knock-offs) and I greeted this car with…

    …laughter. I kept walking around it, and laughing. From the funny window line to the honeycomb patter in the tailights, I thought this car was ludicrious looking.

    But it has grown on me though, and now the quirky styling sits alright with me.

    Though I haven’t forgotten my initial reaction :P.

  • Serene

    I’m Malaysian & the stuff they come up with embarrasses me alright! If you think that’s bad, I dare you to google ‘Proton Juara’. I’m not liable for any nightmares thereafter. They obviously forgot to put some research into consumers reaction. Oh wait, I’ve never seen one! I’d rather ride a bicycle to work.

  • Duck

    It is not a bad car but id rather own a KIA RIO!

  • Duck

    NOT A BAD CAR……………………………………What was i thinking i would defintly, a 100% sure rather own a KIA RIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Duck

    I would recommend deaf people to own this car, should by one for my dad (his not completley deaf, but he needs the radio up loud to hear it)! HA! HA! HA! HA!

  • lalala

    huh??everyone has their own opinion on things.besides,its a budget car.dont expect much.duh!!!i agree with ezra though.n i think that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.people who own this car would definitely say its a nice one.dont be too harsh.its easier being nice than being mean.

  • shorta

    serene.you’re an embarassment to malaysia.give the government a break.you dont have to say that extremely hate the car to other people of other countries.are not you embarassed by yourself?im proud to be malaysian.not everything is perfect.that is just the way it is.it is already good that the malaysians are making effort of trying to build the car models themselves and i agree with lalala.you people bore me.you people are typical barbarians.

  • hohoho

    Hell u such of selfish talking like this to malaysian, i had own this savvy and love it all the way.

  • Ess-001

    Having seen the responses from some of the passionate Malaysians trying to defend feverishly their well loved national pride even though the maker in reality is going nowhere after two and a half wasted decades, it makes me wonder if Proton’s management (or rather the owners) still feel the same way today. Because they should have chucked their flippin egos and sought professional help when it was clearly time to do so.

    I too laughed when I first saw the Savvy and how they only had it in manual transmission initially and got trounced in its own backyard by what is really a re-badged Daihatsu. But then I also saw the mid-exhaust and thought that at the very least, they are still not a foregone conclusion. They just need help… as in a good shrink for their owners and a partner that can instill back the passion and love for cars. Did I hear someone whisper “aus liebe zum automobil” ?

  • malaysian

    i’m a malaysian and i wont even buy this piece of junk….here in malaysia, the goverment tax all foreign car about 100++% …it will cost us double or more…so they are forcing us to buy proton cars..a suzuki swift cost $23,990 in australia ,in malaysia in will cost around $45,000 or $50,000

  • malaysian

    what kind of idiotic fool buys a proton car…its a basic fact of life not to buy a proton car..it is a piece of junk…a waste of resources…bottom line is it is a shitty car…i would rather buy a bicycle than buy this car…..

  • tyre

    it is too ugly,why proton go for them self without other opinion,now fuel price rise,this rubbish cost for RM 46000.00
    in Malaysia, i rather immigrant to Brunei!!

  • franz chong

    for this sort of money I would rather an ex RENTAL ONE TWO Year old Corolla,Pulsar,Tiida,Lancer or any of the next size up proven cars or If I must buy New A Nissan Micra,Suzuki Swift or a Mazda2 or even the Public Transport Sysrem depending on where one lives in Australia is better than this and over a long time may even work out cheaper.If I had the Choice between a Proton or Torrens Transit(I am from Adelaide by the way)give me the latter anytime when I don’t need a car.

  • vogue

    I would think that most good looking cars are designed when designers are non-sobber or half sobber. However the malays, not allowed to consume alcohol, have to design it when they are sobber, while watching their chicken and duck livestock in their village!

    • syafarah

      tsk tsk~ pity you of not understanding the races in malaysia.. malays, chinese, indians, kadazans, iban etc are races. not religion. there are malays, but non-muslim as well. so, please choose your word well and please let go of your ego to learn other religions.

      thank you =)


    I have had a Proton Savvy and for over a year now it is the best car for the price. We do not all have endless budgets and i cannot fault it. Sure nothing is perfect but who is. The gear stick noise was fixed easy. The petrol i save is keeping my family afloat. I am a female and love the the shape of the car, i think it is cute. To be honest the only other car that interest me was the Suzuki swift but out of my price range. I like the rear sensors. Sorry but people are on a budget out here and have to toe the line.


    can anyone tell me how many kms do you get on the petrol.

    I have taken it up to 420 but i think there is more.

  • Craig

    I’ve had my savvy for a month and loving it. Its black so gives me and excuse to wash it more times than you can blink. Dispite of the issues mentioned in the artical its a really good car and No one else has one where I like so its abit different (which is awsome). Looking to make an improvement on the exhaust and would be good to put in the 1.2turbo engine from the renault twingo put the lotus suspension to the test.

  • Dexter

    To all the people who ask “have you driven one?” yes, i have, i ask you, ever serviced one? drama, try finding a bloody oil filter for the bugger, sure, good handling, but no guts what so ever, my 96 1.2l barina smokes it, noise, yes, shit fuel economy, yes, is the second most ugly thing ive seen. just horrible. a chick owns it and hates it, so does everyone else

  • heather

    Just purchased a proton savvy, love it. Sure its not powerful but great for city driving and great on fuel.
    Noise isnt that bad and looks great to me.
    drive it before you comment!!

  • One Malaysia

    One Malaysia, two national car maker, many models to choose from. This is simply wrong. One Malaysia, one Proton, one Save We!

  • Ninad

    I love your site and your car reviews and advice. However, I dont find your views on a car’s look acceptable. Whether a car looks cute or ugly is best left for the people to decide. I don’t find the Savvy to be ugly looking..relative to other cars for the same price..i think it has acceptable looks.

    Just my $0.02.

    Thanks for this website..has been very helpful in deciding a car I buy.

  • cellynn

    Never expect savvy got many problem. Just 2 & half years drive the savvy car too many things should be maintenance. till now i was spent almost RM5k ++..very frustrated..
    Even i want sale my savvy all dealers saying that the car got problem in malaysia…
    here are the lists of savvy problem (manual savvy): coil problem, sensor, cable, starter and jerking….

  • Bezza

    I have had my Savvy for almost 3 years. Only a flat battery and a blown light bulb (after 2 years). Yes the plastic cap on the gear shift (man) did rattle like a bastard but service sorted that promptly and kindly.

    Handling is superb (better safety). Fuel usage is good. Stereo is decent (for the size) and the car is comfy on long country drives.

    I drive Peugeots all day now but for pure bang-for-the-buck I’d get another Savvy in a flash. My Father had an Auto Savvy and he was far more excited over it than his Kingswood or Corolla.

  • Anon

    How strange.

    Because all of the problems you mentioned in your article, are completely not found in my Savvy. And mine is Malaysian made too. It was made in 2005 but was never used for 2 years. After I got to drive it till today the only problem it had was my electric window. Nothing else: no gear rattling, no sound that makes you go deaf nor plastic that cuts you. As for styling, can’t be bothered, its fuel economical after all and it saves money.

    But then again, Malaysian cars are famous for being unevenly made. And when savvy first came out, Proton had to recall a heck lot of them. I can imagine what it must be like to be driving in such a car, god I wouldn’t want to be behind the wheel of this particular model. It’ll make me hate the only Proton car in my family which has no problems at all.


  • D is For Drive

    umm In 2007 this was a cheap car, it still is a cheap car, if you don’t like get something else. Pretty simple.

  • Jason

    Yo friends out there. A lot i heard that Savvy is a junk. Have you drive one? Have you try it 120km/h or 140km/h? i drive 1 for 6 years now & the only problem is a flat battery last 2 years. other than that, a flat tyre. i wonder which car doesn’t have a flat battery or flat tyre. i want to buy it. Anybody? Read the newspaper and see or make a statically which car always turn turtle, lost handling etc. For me, after a year i bought my savvy, i test drive many car of its kind too and what i can say? handling is the best for this savvy. Fuel economy. i can spend only RM80.00 for a 900km journey. Shape, design is not the important thing if you behind the steering. its safety is the most important. Like i said, try 120km/h or 140km/h ride and compare with other car that of its kind. Takes few bends and corners. Then tell the world that its really a junk. You people that didn’t drive or don’t have a car, just shut your mouth. You don’t have a clue of what you said.

  • ben

    Anyone who would buy this car over a good second hand car is a elitist. Who would want to be seen in this, or drive this thing everyday? And whoever said this car is a drivers car… wow, there are small cars that will handle and accelerate well and this is not one of them.

  • jasonCAREXPERTreview

    just bought one of these snazzy looking cars for one of my latest reviews. My hopes werent high at all after reading all of these comments. but the car is actually very good, Drives smooth good handling looks are fantastic and its really good on fuel. i own plenty of cars including a ferrari a porche and a lamborghini and still find myself driving this car most days of the week.

    • syafarah

      thanks jason!

  • Sk_hardy

    These comments by the tester are biased rubbish , I have had a Savvy for 4 years without a hitch, Done 60000 k and still going like a new car , no vibrating gear knobs or any of the points generally listed by the writer . It,s a great little car at the price. I would reccomend the product.

  • Jaco

    This may come long after all your discussions. I bought a Savvy 1.2 in 2007 and it’s just done 155000km problem free (apart from the rattling gearstick and a speedo drive problem that is actually a Renault problem and not Proton). It is in everyday use and was bought as a fuel efficient city car, still giving me around 14km/l now as it did when I bought it. It’s quite nippy for a 1200 and those distance sensors come in rather handy in cramped city parking. In our case it became our only vehicle about 4 years ago and as such had to carry heavy loads of all sorts. Yes, the looks may not appeal to all. Yes, it’s a cheap Malaysian vehicle. Yes, it’s stronger than it looks. It outperforms competitors in terms of handling and in the mini market in SA at the time, had the largest boot space. And few cars would have handled the beating as well, irrespective of brand, noise levels, visual appeal etc. This little Proton has won my heart.

  • Bluemoon2

    I have a 2010 proton savvy and am very happy with it. No way is it slow and is quite nippy. Great on fuel, parking cruising on highway effortlessly. I think you got a dud. Mine had a noise but turned out they did have faulty wheel bearings. Had them changed and now its ok. Mine looks fine, better than older models. I love it !!!!!