Proton Suprima S Archive

  • Proton Suprima S R3 bodykit available from RM1,017


    Now you can make your Suprima S look like the Super Premium range-topper – Proton Motorsports has announced on its Facebook page that the R3 bodykit for the Proton Suprima S is now open for booking.

    Available for all Suprima S colours, prices start from RM1,017 excluding installation. The prices vary depending on the colour chosen, and those who book the bodykit before September 28 will enjoy a 20% discount.

    Left: Proton Suprima S with R3 bodykit, Right: Proton Suprima S Super Premium

    The car pictured here appears to be wearing the same seven-spoke 17-inch R3 gunmetal alloys we saw on the Suprima S Super Premium, as well as the R3-bodykitted Proton Preve in August 2013 – the a la carte price was then estimated to be RM2,500 for a set of four wheels.

    The bodykit is body-coloured here; on the Suprima S Super Premium it’s non-glossy black. R3’s signature ‘notched’ front splitter and side skirts are familiar, but the rear side skirts (aft of the rear wheels) here are also notched; on the Super Premium they’re not.

    Proton Suprima S Super Premium

  • Proton Suprima S Super Premium launched – RM88k


    Proton has unveiled the new Proton Suprima S Super Premium at the Proton Sales Carnival in Melaka today. The new variant is now the range-topper of the Proton Suprima range, positioned above the Executive and Premium models.

    During the Suprima S launch in August last year, Proton deputy CEO Datuk Lukman Ibrahim had intimated that plans for a R3 performance version (as well as a manual variant) were in the pipeline.

    The Proton Suprima S Super Premium isn’t quite that, but has some R3 elements – the variant adds on an R3 bodykit, which includes a revised rear bumper finishing, front and side skirts, as well as R3 emblems on the side skirts. You also get 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels. The car is available in only two colours – Fire Red and Solid White.

    The Suprima S Super Premium is priced at RM87,929, which is an RM8,350 premium over the next step down in the Suprima range, in this case the Suprima S Premium.

    Read our review of the Proton Suprima S here.

  • Proton Suprima S, Preve and Exora heading to the UK – trio to spearhead brand’s upcoming major relaunch

    Proton UK relaunch

    It was mentioned last weekend that Proton has plans to properly re-enter the UK market with three new models beginning December, according to reports based on a briefing the automaker held for analysts recently.

    No mention was made of the models it will be introducing for the relaunch, but a peek at the Proton UK website offers the identity of two of the three vehicles – a graphic of the Preve sedan and Exora MPV lists both as “New products coming soon,” so we can surmise that the Exora Bold and Preve 1.6 CFE are the picked cards. The third new model should be the Suprima S.

    If the timeframe for the relaunch is correct, then the Suprima S is set to debut in that market in its seven-speed Protronic CVT guise. We already have indication that the five-door hatch will be heading to the UK in six-speed manual form, but this won’t happen until sometime in 2014.

    Australia, where the Suprima S was launched earlier this month, is also set to get the stick shifter version next year. The CVT-equipped hatch, which has also been introduced in Indonesia and Brunei, is due to make its Thai debut at the Thai Motor Expo this week. South Africa has also been mentioned as a targeted export market for the car, but no date of entry has yet been stated.

    Proton Suprima S and Preve

    The analyst reports added that September sales in the UK for the marque was a dismal three units because of a lack of models, and so the move to reinvigorate the brand in that market cannot come soon enough. Its current UK range is made up of the GEN.2, Savvy, Satria Neo and Persona.

    As it goes along, the Global Small Car (GSC) is likely to make its way to the UK too, but that’s well down the road – the car, which has just been spied undergoing evaluation at an automotive supplier’s facility in Europe, is due to be launched in first half of 2014. The word on the grapevine suggests that it could make its debut sometime in late Q1 or early Q2.

    The question is, is Proton set to hold the UK relaunch in December as intimated by the analysts’ reports, or sometime in early 2014 as initially believed, in order for the manual versions of the Suprima S and Preve to join the fold? We’ll know soon enough.

  • Driven Web Series Episode 1: The RM90k shootout – Toyota Vios vs Proton Suprima vs Honda Jazz Hybrid

    Driven is back, powered by PETRONAS Primax! You’ve enjoyed our local news coverage, international highlights and pored over our car reviews, now it’s time to sit back and enjoy our latest Driven Web Series.

    This week, we find out the best way to spend RM80k to RM90k on a car. Is it the usual suspect, the 2013 Toyota Vios, Malaysian’s own unsung hero, the Proton Suprima S, or the green and mighty Honda Jazz Hybrid? Watch to find out our definitive verdict.

    As always, we do things a little differently here. A surprise awaits at the end of the episode, so be sure to watch it to the finish. As they say, it ain’t over till the (not quite so) fat lady sings. Don’t get it? Watch the final reveal and read this again ;).

    Enjoy the show, and remember to tune in again same time next week to catch our next episode. We’ll be taking things to new heights. Quite literally.

    Remember to check out Fuelled by Fans Powered by Primax to get a shot at winning RM100,000.

  • Proton Exora awarded 4-star ANCAP safety rating – Proton Suprima 5-star ANCAP rating becomes official

    exora ancap crash

    Another crash test results announcement, following on the recent ASEAN NCAP second phase testing results – Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) earlier tonight released official safety rating results for two Proton vehicles, the Proton Suprima S and Exora.

    The Exora was given a four-star ANCAP safety rating, applicable to all variants. It premiered in Australia at the Sydney Motor Show last October alongside the Preve sedan, but is only making its market debut this month.

    The MPV, which is equipped with dual frontal and side airbags with thorax and head protection for front occupants, scored 26.37 out of a possible 37 points. In the offset crash test, the Exora scored 10.55 out of 16 points – driver chest protection was acceptable and leg protection was marginal. In the side impact crash test, it managed 14.82 out of 16 points – driver chest protection was listed as acceptable.

    The Exora result – with testing carried out in July – reflected its performance in the 40% frontal offset test, where the risk of serious injury to the driver’s legs was high. Side impact performance was good, but overall pedestrian test results were poor, according to ANCAP.

    suprima s

    “The lack of rear curtain airbags is also of concern for a people mover which will inevitably be marketed to families” said ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh.

    As for the Suprima S, it looks like the five-star rating has been obtained without the car needing to undergo the actual crash testing procedure, as the six airbag-equipped hatch’s structural composition and mechanical integrity is virtually identical to that of the Preve. According to ANCAP, Proton has provided technical evidence to ANCAP showing that the Suprima S provides comparable occupant protection.

    To wit, the technical performance report listed for it is that for the Preve sedan, which received a five-star ANCAP safety rating back in February this year. The Suprima S is to be introduced in Australia from December – ahead of its entry there, the five-door hatch is expected to be launched in the Indonesian and Thai markets in the coming months, mirroring the Preve sedan’s export path.

    View the full results for the Proton Exora in the gallery below.

  • Proton Suprima S – infotainment system tested

    proton suprima s android system 01

    We’ve written about the Proton Suprima S quite extensively since its launch last month, the latest being our test drive review of the five-door hatchback and comparison photo gallery of it and the Preve sedan that ran last week. Now, we take a closer look at the car’s Android-based infotainment system.

    Our sister site Tech Attack! has sampled the Blaupunkt-based system and its accompanying bag of tech goodies, including the system’s Android and Internet capabilities as well as the in-car Lokatoo navigation system. How did it all fare? You can read the full hands-on test report at Tech Attack!

  • DRIVEN: Proton Suprima S 1.6 Turbo Premium tested

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 001

    Public opinion is an odd thing. Sometimes it’s absolutely spot on, while other times, well, the public is just plain wrong. But once faith has gone, it takes a painfully long time to rebuild. Once scorned, it’ll be a while before many of us go near that guilty party again, if ever. That is, if there’s even a choice.

    And so, to Proton. Public confidence in the national carmaker has been tailing off for years, and not without good and/or (most likely and, for most of us) frequent reason. There was the Waja, Gen 2, Persona, Exora, and last year, the much-awaited and hyped Preve. All promised a lot of things, but delivered few.

    You hear all the time that the new one is the turnaround car, but it isn’t quite so simple. Even if they’re very good – and the Preve did come very close – it’ll take several years to build up that vital public confidence back again. Strike gold, and the absolute best Proton can hope for is stabilisation.

    The real turnaround will come only a few years down the line, when buyers get confident and feel they can put their hard-earned cash behind the vehicles from the first national car company once more. That’s the upside, provided the new Proton Suprima S – now ready to be tested – really is good enough to start the brand back up again. Well now, is it?

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 004

    If it isn’t, then Proton really is in trouble. We’ve driven the new model a fair bit to shake out the truth. When the Preve was launched, you may remember, it was pitched, in theory at least, against the Civics and the Fortes of this world. It did well and we rather liked it, even if we did have some reservations.

    Now though, the Suprima S has been moved upmarket and is aimed at the mid-sized hatchbacks – the Golf, Focus, 308 and the like. The new Proton hasn’t just changed its gunsights in class and price – it’s also trying to be a bit more sporty.

    Out goes the boot, replaced by an intricately designed rump that – take this subjectively, if you will – grows on you the more you see it. I enjoyed a striking moment when it was parked back towards the sun for photography. The light play around the protruding, complex rear panel clearly shows that a lot of work has been put here.

    It’s an intricate design that calls upon a fair bit of interplay between seemingly stray lines and surfaces. The Gen 2 had a similarly busy-looking rear end. But they both work, and very well at that. The Suprima S appears taut and low from behind, with no way of telling that it’s ever based on a sedan. It’s just too bad the exhaust pipe is hidden behind the non-functional rear diffuser.

    The whole design looks purposeful, like this is exactly the way it was meant to be in the first place. There’s no awkwardness present in the way the rear end dips downwards to create a clean hatchback look, and this is despite the Preve and Suprima S sharing identical rear door panels – check them; they’re the same exact doors.

    It has to be said that of the two, it’s the sedan that appears to be less cohesive in terms of proportions. The rising window line fits the hatchback design better, the Suprima S clearly benefitting from not having an awkwardly high bootline. You’d have expected the spin-off to be the one taking compromises, but it ends up looking better than the original. Funny, that.

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 011

    The front stays much of the same, with little changed from the Preve. But hey, that has always been a handsome looking car, strutting a defiantly chiselled look. So, a minor product differentiation update was all the Suprima S needed. At least to look good.

    Taken from the updated Inspira 2.0P are the new 17-inch wheels, now with titanium-like finish on the inside and matte diamond-cut surface on the outside. They do well to add some visual sophistication to the car, which is good, as Proton isn’t known to necessarily make the best decisions with wheels. Remember the original Satria Neo’s blingtastic turbine alloys, anyone?

    It’s not all good news, though. The snazzy new LED strips – now daytime driving lights over the Preve’s dimmer position lights – have a very narrow viewing angle (tighter than most DRLs). It looks almost unlit unless viewed from dead on centre, which is to say that it’s more visible through a car’s rear-view mirror rather than to oncoming traffic.

    Also guilty of fashion faux pas are the new lower air intake covers. The simpler horizontal slats design may open up the intake more to increase the radiator’s efficiency by a stonking 14%, but it does make the innards of the car more visible. Too visible, by our view.

    Then there’s the rear LED light guides, i.e. rear night light. Proton claims to have achieved the same level of luminance from the Suprima’s two LEDs (per side) compared to the Preve’s 14. It sure looks good, but unless it’s very dark, the light guides appear too thin to be discernible from afar.

    Similar to the Preve, the stop/brake lights are still bulb-based, which forgoes the use of LED rear-illumination’s main key advantage over incandescent bulbs – its significantly faster response speed. Used the way it is here, the LEDs are merely an aesthetic feature with no real function, which is a shame.

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 058

    Inside, the new trim panels and on-dash multimedia system are the main changes. The Preve CFE’s dark wood trim has been replaced with silver panels with fine cubic print, and the additions of leather upholstery and gloss black trim on the steering wheel, paddle shifters and gear knob complete the visual overhaul. The rest of the dashboard is still grey and hard in most places, as per the Preve’s.

    The new Android-based seven-inch touchscreen system is designed by German car audio specialist Blaupunkt, and has a long list of features including GPS satellite navigation (by Lokatoo; identical to the one found in the Perodua Myvi), audio and video playback (USB, SD card or Aux input), plus Wi-Fi (a YES 4G dongle comes with the car) and Bluetooth connectivity.

    It uses a resistive touchscreen rather than the newer and more commonly-used capacitive unit – a decision made to aid usability and tactility. It requires you to press on the screen to register an input, compared to a capacitive display’s touch-sensitive screen. Proton claims that it offers better tactile feedback, and it can be used with gloves on too.

    But, the screen’s display quality is poor, and even at its maximum brightness, it struggles under bright sunlight. What’s worse, it’s not the most user-friendly system either, requiring quite some learning to master all the available features (of which there are lots).

    Also new are the two extra tweeters mounted on the A-pillars, making up a fuller, better sounding audio system with a good level of customisation through the touchscreen display (only on the Premium variant).

    Integrated into the display is the rear-view camera, now paired to a visual aid along with the new front parking sensors, which is a nice addition. The front sensors, however, are turned off by default, and require you to operate the dash-mounted button when needed. This is opposed to every other manufacturer’s choice of automatically turning them on below a certain speed.

    At least, the Preve’s folding side mirror issue has been addressed. They now unfold as you unlock the car, and not after you drive off – a jarring oversight as evidently Proton forgot that you may need them when manoeuvring the Preve out of a parking spot. Good to know they listen to customer feedback/complaints, though.

    Perhaps something that not enough people have complained about is the flawed seating position. You still sit too high in the Suprima S, and the steering rake adjustment (there is still no reach adjustment) doesn’t allow the wheel to be moved high enough to suit the elevated seating position. More often than not, you’re looking down on the steering wheel rather than at it.

    On a more positive note, the Suprima S does offer a suite of six airbags as standard, on top of ABS with EBD and BA, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control. It’s claimed to qualifiy for a top-notch five-star ANCAP crash safety rating, which surprisingly betters the new Honda Accord, Jaguar XF, MINI Countryman and Range Rover Evoque, among others.

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 096

    The rear quarters have been revamped, to match the new car’s hatchback form. The new headrests sit flush to the seat back to improve rear visibility, and practicality is a strong point back here.

    There’s just as much passenger space as there is in the Preve, so that’s more than you’d get in a Mazda3, and on par with a Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus. Additonally, ISOFIX mounts are fitted as standard in the back, but unfortunately, there are still no rear air con vents.

    Boot space is down from the Preve’s class-leading 508 litre to just 309 by ISO/VDA measurement, but you do gain a much larger/taller cargo area with the seats folded flat. One issue though; there’s no external boot release. You either have to hold down the unlock button on the keyfob (no dedicated boot release button here) or open the driver door and pull the switch hidden in the door pocket. Seriously, Proton?

    But that’s enough complaining. Let’s move on to the more significant changes that are apparent on the new model, beginning with the substantially revised drivetrain package. It’s astounding that Proton failed to mention this at the Suprima S’ launch event, because it’s the new car’s most improved feature.

    There’s now an enhanced mounting structure for the drivetrain, with the inclusion of a new transmission mounting bracket and rear roll bracket. An additional noise insulation layer has also been added to the enhanced transmission, which is now named the VT3+ as opposed to the VT3 units used in the Preve and Exora.

    Improvements applied to the secondary and pinion gears as well as the crown wheel (now made from a stronger material too) bring about significantly reduced transmission noise and vibration. The CVT whine that plagued the Preve has largely been addressed in the Suprima S.

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 053

    On the move, the changes translate directly to improved refinement, as the Suprima S is clearly quieter than the Preve. Move slowly from a stop, and there’s less judder from the transmission. Likewise, lift off the pedal to cruise, and voila, there’s no more annoying whine. It’s not quite as good as CVTs from Toyota or Nissan, mind you, but it’s getting there. Slowly but surely, then.

    There’s also a new hill-hold assist feature, curiously only on the Premium variant. It holds the car in place on inclines, so it no longer rolls backwards as soon as you come off the brakes. A simple feature, but one that most current Preve owners would kill to have.

    The throttle pedal map has been updated too, giving it a more linear but direct feel compared to the Preve. Proton claims that for any given pedal input (other than fully open, at which they’re identical), the Suprima S commands more power from the engine than the Preve does, which links to a more sporty feel.

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 009

    Though on paper the Suprima S is slower than the Preve (0-100 km/h in 9.9 seconds versus the sedan’s 9.6 seconds), it feels more immediate on the go, more reflective of the available 138 hp and 205 Nm of torque. It darts forward to the throttle, particularly at medium revs. At highway speeds, it delivers top-gear pull most 2.0 litre C-segment hatches can’t match, though it makes itself heard at anything more than half throttle.

    The throttle response through the CVT gearbox still isn’t great, but there’s more than enough poke available when needed. You’ll quickly learn to avoid stamping on the right pedal, as the engine and CVT noise will have you reaching to cover your ears. Feed steady pressure on the pedal, and the impressive mid-range torque will get you where you need to go, quickly.

    As for the suspension setup, very little needed improving. The basic MacPerson struts up front and rear multi-links are unchanged, with only detail revisions to the stabiliser bars and minute fine-tuning to suit the larger wheels made. Those detail changes do give it a strikingly perkier character, so there’s nothing wrong with detail, if it’s detail done well.

    If it’s sporty you want and hang anything else, the Suprima S is the family hatchback you want. It loves being pushed, prodded, made to spring about the place in whatever direction you can think up. The steering is well weighted, and is quick and full of life as the car zaps into corners.

    The Suprima S is easily balanced somewhere between very mild degrees of understeer and oversteer, with the 17-inch Achilles tyres delivering decent grip at all speeds. It responds in an impressively considered way, adding to its dynamic competence. Somehow it manages to feel effortless, yet spirited, on the curvy stuff.

    This car changes direction with plenty of communication between it and the driver. It’s very well balanced, even more so than the already excellent Preve. Its superbly sorted handling is made even more impressive by its pliable ride quality, the car striking the right balance between drivability and comfort.

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 037

    It rides well, both at urban speeds and on lumpy back roads. For a family hatchback, it feels nicely planted, whereas the Mazda3 and Peugeot 308 would feel small and insubstantial in comparison. There’s a nice weight to all the driving controls, and it soaks up bumps with pleasing aplomb, with a bonus from the silence of its suspension.

    Newer contenders in the C-segment family hatchback class like the C346 Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf Mk7 still have much better ride and handling, but it’s a big plus for Proton to even be compared to such segment contenders. Next to cars in the same price range (B-segment cars), the Suprima S is much more spacious, has a lot more usable performance and is far better equipped.

    Sure, it has its flaws, as we’ve covered above, but at this price range (RM77k to RM80k), it puts up a valiant fight against its size rivals, let alone similarly priced and smaller alternatives. It’s without a doubt Proton’s best car yet (bar the Mitsubishi-sourced Inspira), substantially improving on last year’s Preve on which it’s based.

    DRIVEN_Proton_Suprima_S_review_ 102

    It has a huge amount going for it, the Proton Suprima S, but alas, the company’s image and the national mood are the strongest opposition that it will face. However many corners Proton has turned, no matter how many comeback gigs it has staged, correcting public perception is its biggest hurdle.

    The car itself is just fine – ranging from good in most key aspects (performance, interior space), excellent in some (ride and handling, value for money), to poor in others (build quality, top-end refinement). It definitely has the depth of ability as well as character to convert cynical Japanese and Korean car buyers.

    It’s simple then. Proton can now compete realistically without leaning too heavily on price advantage alone. It’s just up to you to believe that it can.

  • Proton Suprima R3 and manual variants on the way?

    Now that the Proton Suprima S has been officially launched, the question is of course whether there are plans to introduce a manual version of the hatch, or indeed, a R3-type performance variant, given that the hatchback bodystyle invariably invites such an approach.

    We’ve already seen what the Suprima R Concept, an unofficial rendering by Theophilus Chin, would shape the five-door hatch to be if it was sported up.

    In an interview with Datuk Lukman Ibrahim during the launch, the Proton deputy CEO intimated that such plans were afoot, that a manual version of the car as well as a R3 performance version were indeed in the pipeline. Lukman also revealed that a R3 version of the Preve sedan would arrive before the Suprima S R3 – will it have elements seen on the Preve Sapphire, we wonder.


    Lukman also revealed export plans for the Suprima S, which conforms to ECE and ADR regulations – as mentioned in our launch report, the car will next make its way to ASEAN markets (Indonesia and Thailand) before the year is out. Lukman added that this will be followed by the car’s introduction in developed markets such as Australia and the UK, as well as a new export market, South Africa.

    The choice of Turbo badging to replace the CFE emblem was also explained – the adoption of a well-known descriptor makes it easier to distinguish, especially in international markets.

    suprima competitors
    Click to enlarge pic

    Some other points from Saturday’s launch. Highlighted was the fact that the car was benchmarked against a number of competitors in this segment, with four being bandied about during the presentation.

    Two cars in particular, a ‘RM148k German car’ and a ‘RM128k American car’, were evaluated against the Suprima S over nine aspects of technical competence, ranging from steering linearity and straight-line handling to body control.

    suprima technical competence aspects
    Click to enlarge pic

    Though no direct mention was made as to their identity, the nationality and pricing effectively cements them as the Mk 6 Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI (baseline form, sans foglamps, Bi-Xenon DCC headlamps) and the current third-generation Ford Focus Sport +. The other cars mentioned as benchmark competition were the Peugeot 308 Turbo and Mazda3, though no performance aspects were displayed.

    Save for four parameters where the two equal the Suprima S in one way or another, the Suprima S is supposedly to have aced the duo in terms of cornering ability, lane change, body control, wheel control and steering linearity. Those are certainly big claims, so we’re definitely curious as to finding just how good the Suprima S is during the upcoming media test drive soon.

  • Proton Suprima R Concept – unofficial rendering


    Proton did not prepare a sporty concept version of the Proton Suprima S to showcase at its launch like some of its previous cars, like the Proton Preve Sapphire concept, Proton Saga RED concept, or the Proton Exora Prestige and Proton Exora Prime concepts.

    To fill in the void, Theophilus Chin has prepared for us some unofficial artist impressions of a ‘Proton Suprima R’ concept, meant to be a thus far imaginary hot hatch version of the Suprima S with a more powerful engine (200 hp maybe?) and a six-speed manual gearbox.

    Chin thought the Suprima should look more different than the Preve sedan from the front given the completely different name so he changed the front bumper to a more aggressive version. The bumper is deeper with a bigger air intake, presumably to fulfill the increased cooling needs of a more powerful engine than the 140 PS CamPro Turbo engine currently available with the Suprima S.


    The grille surround is now in gloss black, along with the wing mirrors and the strip above the number plate on the rear hatch. This is to give the car some contrast in colour. The side skirts aim to give the car a less slab-sided look, and also lowers the side profile in line with the more aggressive front bumper.

    The most obvious change at the back is the bigger rear spoiler, befitting an “R” spec Suprima. It also gets dual exhaust tips, while the Suprima S doesn’t have any visible exhaust tail pipes. The rear bumper design also gets slight revisions.

    Finally of course you have the larger wheels and bigger brakes. The wheels should look very familiar, as they are a similar design to the one on the Ford Focus ST.

    What do you think of the rendering? Does it make you want a Proton Suprima R?

  • VIDEO: Proton Suprima S – new changes to Proton’s new hatchback versus the Proton Preve

    We hope you’ve enjoyed our weekend coverage of the launch of the Proton P3-22A, which now has an official name – the Proton Suprima S. We had an exclusive live streaming of the launch event on Saturday morning.

    For those who did not catch the launch live, we actually featured a walk-around of the Suprima S by our man Hafriz Shah, who explained the new features of the car versus the Proton Preve sedan, which shares many exterior and interior design features with the new model.

    Enjoy the video!


Browse Stories by Car Maker

  Alfa Romeo
  Aston Martin

  Great Wall
  Land Rover

  Mercedes Benz