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Tested: Proton Suprima S

Proton claims it’s their boldest outcome for now, but can it be a recommendable C-segment alternative to start off?

Price: RM79,988

Tech highlights: 4 cyls, 1561cc, 136bhp, 205Nm, Top Speed 200km/h (tested)

What is it?

The latest offering from our nation’s biggest carmaker, the Suprima S is basically a Prevè without a boot. But that’s only a visual effect to the public’s eye, because if you dig in deeper, you’ll soon find out why Proton is promising so much with their latest breadwinner. The Suprima S is what Proton describes as the most sophisticated offering yet to roll off the assembly line.

The front of the Proton Suprima S

The rear of the Proton Suprima S

What is it like?

It all started when the Prevè made its debut last year, Proton has finally shifted their focus onto the global market. By providing a car that knows no boundaries for the masses, it was also a challenge for them to regain the consumers’ favour and show how far they have come. So to answer that, Proton has finally introduced the Suprima S to impress us all.

Toys such as a full-size SatNav screen and silver trim inserts are new.

To start up, the key needs to be slotted in before pushing the ignition button.

Auto headlamps are now standard on the range-topping variant.

Apart from the new rear-end, the Suprima S is currently a better car overall when you're comparing with the Prevè. Although fit and finish inside is below par when compared against foreign rivals, the Suprima S comes with leather seats and silver-trim upholsteries to differentiate itself away from its saloon sibling. Besides that, Proton has also finally fitted better sounding speakers all around to boost better quality feel.

Although the engine remains a carryover, throttle mapping has been tuned for better response.

As judged by the ‘Handling by Lotus’ badge tacked onto the rear, steering feel and driving dynamics are greatly enhanced over the Prevè. Body roll is lesser than before (even though they share the same chassis) and road holding ability is surprisingly good enough to challenge European rivals in the C-segment. Despite all of that sporting attributes, ride comfort remains good, although it tends to feel unsettled over uneven road surfaces.

The rims are based from the Inspira but its topped-off with a chrome finish for a more premium feel.

Should I buy one?

The Proton Prevè and the Suprima S.

Yes, that’s the definite answer if you’re on the hunt for a cheap C-segment car. The Suprima S is generously-specced for its class and none can come close enough to challenge its ‘fully loaded with built-in value’ philosophy. Yes, it might be flawed in some ways, but if you could go past the badge once known for a dreary past, then you’ll agree with me that the Suprima S is currently Proton’s best model to date.

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