The Proton Gen-2 is a five-door hatchback designed to compete in the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf class. And, to its credit, it looks smart and handles quite well. Proton owns Lotus and got the sports car company to develop a sharp, yet subtle-handling chassis for the Gen-2.

The trouble is, Proton could do with help in a lot of other areas, too. Engine noise plagues the Gen-2’s cabin, and it doesn’t seem to matter how gently you apply the throttle. Road and wind noise are also only too obvious.

Inside, although both the driver’s seat and the steering column are height-adjustable, it’s still hard to find a good driving position. There’s reasonable room up front, but space is poor in the back.

The Gen-2 gets a good-sized boot, but doesn’t have a glovebox. And, while the cabin looks smart enough, the build quality and levels of safety equipment are poor.


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