Proton Satria is fresh from Malaysia

Proton Satria is fresh from Malaysia

Malaysian car maker Proton announced at the Brisbane Motor Show that it is now selling its Satria three-door hatchback in Australia.

Based on the Proton Persona four-door sedan and five-door hatch, the Satria is aimed at a sportier market than the other Protons marketed here to date. The Persona is the new name for the Proton Wira, which first went on sale here in May 1995. The name change to Persona for the sedan and hatch took place on January 1 this year.

Slow sales in the Wira resulted in the original importer being sacked and the Proton company taking control of marketing the marque itself. The name change from Wira to Persona was one of its first moves, the introduction of the sporty looking Satria is the next step.

Satria is priced from $14,790 drive-away, making it competitive with the Korean brands that are dominating the bottom end of the Australian car market at present.

1997 Proton Satria_01All Satrias have three doors, but there is a big variety of models, engines and gearboxes within the range.

The lower specced versions, the GL and GLi use a 1.5-litre engine, the topline Satria XLi, a 1.6-litre unit. All three engines use a single overhead camshaft, but the 1.6 motor has four valves per cylinder, compared with three valves on the 1.5. Multi-point fuel injection is standard in all.

Price of the GLi is $17,490 drive-away. The most important difference between the GL and GLi is the fitting of power assisted steering on the latter. It also gains electric windows, a CD player as part of its stereo system, central locking and body coloured bumpers.

The latter aren’t necessarily a good thing as the paint can be chipped in the slightest of accidents, often necessitating a full respray of the bumper to set matters straight.

When an automatic transmission is specified with the Satria GL or GLi it is a three-speed unit, that on the LXi is a more useful four-speed one. The cost of the optional automatic is $1200 for the three-speed and $1700 for the four.

Satria GL and GLi are on sale now, the top of the line XLi won’t be available until May this year. It will cost $18,490 but, unlike its lower cost brothers, that price doesn’t include on-road costs. These vary from area to area in Australia, but are typically in the vicinity of $2000.

Satria, like the rest of the Proton range is covered by a generous warranty of three years with no limit on distance travelled in that period.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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