Simon Lai road tests and reviews the 2015 Proton Suprima S GXR.
The Suprima S is a 5-door hatchback and is priced at $26,590 though Proton says it’s currently going for a special price at $1600 less. Meanwhile the base model GX retails for $21,790.
Surprisingly the Suprima comes with a decent range of features like auto headlights and wipers, electric mirrors, push button start, hill hold, front sensors, reversing camera and sat nav. This is all in addition to the GX features which include rear sensors, auto door lock, daytime running lights, front and rear fog lights.
The GXR also has black leather seats in the faded black interior and some silver trims giving it a slightly fashionable look. The fit and construction isn’t the best though, with a few panels that are misaligned or have a bit of give. There are also a few loose bits on the gear shifter which is itself is jiggly and too long.
Three standard dials make up the A/C controls and the touch screen is a 7 inch display. While it’s a great inclusion, the screen is a little matt in appearance and hard to see in certain light. The system is a tad dated as well as the sat nav.
The best part about the Suprima interior is probably the steering wheel. It has a nice look to it with glossy black highlights and the same rounded buttons as in the Prevé. Though the leather bound grip could do with a little extra thickness.
The black gloss continues to the paddle shifter that are large and not so ‘clicky’ making them comfortable to pull back. You may find yourself using them quite a bit even with the CVT which tends to over rev and in turn affects the fuel economy at an average of 10L/100km. At low speed the CVT can also be indecisive and there is a jerkiness when you let off the gas influencing the smoothness of the ride.
Acceleration is better than in the Prevé due to the smaller size but steering is heavy when at a crawl (though not as bad) and braking is spongy. The Lotus tuned handling is a standout and Proton is rightly proud of this in an otherwise lacklustre ride.
Fitted with the same 1.6 litre turbo petrol engine as the Prevé sedan it produces 205Nm of torque and 103kW of power. You may like the purr of the Suprima until you realise it’s noisy. The constant low drone during your journey will drive you bonkers. Proton could do a bit to improve the vibration and internal insulation.
Boot space is decent, however the rear seats don’t fold down very flat. Gaining access to the back is unique needing the remote key to open the hatch. It can’t be opened manually which Proton says is for added security.
Other internal storage is moderate – the glovebox is quite large, the door pockets are small and obscured as is the centre box while the arm rest lid is short on padding.
To wrap up, the Proton Suprima S isn’t the most refined option in its class but you get a whole heap of features you otherwise wouldn’t expect. That likely justifies the price tag despite its failings in performance. Having said that, the Suprima S is a great offering by Proton standards; possibly their best yet.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Proton Suprima S GXR
Engine: 1.6 litre turbo petrol producing 103kW and 205Nm
Transmission: CVT automatic
Warranty: 5 Years/150,000km
Safety: Five Stars
Price: From $21,790