Published on March 15th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Proton Satria GTi, used car review_still desirable
The Proton Satria Gti has been a hot favorite with many in Malaysia with its responsive and highly tuneable engine and nimble chassis. Priced new at RM68,000 it was a must have for many young single men and some women also. Sold in only one colour it was later superseded with the Satria Gti R3, which sold out a few short weeks after introduction.
Based on the previous generation Mitsubishi Colt, the engineering behind the Proton Satria may not have been the very latest but it was at least proven. Mechanically most models were closely related to the larger Wira range and the story was the same inside. Boasting development from the chassis experts at Lotus, which Proton owns the Gti was kitted out with Recaro seats and stylish alloys.
Today a used Satria GTi is worthy of a first and second look as it still offers excellent handling making for an entertaining drive. The black and silver-grey Recaro seats take you in their grip and suggest a full racing harness would not be ostentatious. The solid alloy gear-lever knob is at first cold and uncompromising and hints at short ratios and peaky performance, a promise reinforced by the white-faced tacho that red lines at 7,500 rpm. Since torque peaks at 5,500 rpm and horsepower at 6,500 rpm allowing you to potter around also.
The Satria Gti runs exceptionally well against a number of its competitors in all gears and around corners. The mock-aluminum on the center console is a bit plasticy to the touch and the air conditioner controls are crude and the fan is noisy but these details are forgotten as soon as you startup the engine. The high-stepping engine sound signature, aided by twin exhausts, says push me and pushing this hatchback is what most owners do. So take heed that the used Gti would have been well used even in the hands of a dainty women. Not only are men attracted to this beast as they have a loyal following with yuppie women.
Creature comforts are a must and the GTi comes equipped with ABS, electric front windows, height-adjustable leather-clad steering wheel, alarm with auto-lock, electric mirrors, immobiliser (still a huge hit with car thieves), metallic paint, and so on. Details touches include monogrammed carpets, kick plates and aluminum pedals. The best is the body hugging Recaro’s that many of its competitors fail to install as standard. This is much-needed in hard cornering and for the image. My advice is simple, unless you know the owner of the car for sale and trust the reasons for sale try and negotiate a price that suits both of you. Alternatives are plentiful and the first one that comes to mind is the Putra which may not handle as well but is a better all round car in my opinion. Why was there never a Putra Gti? In intermediate gears through twisting lanes, the GTi is almost flawless. There is a hint of torque steer, which is nowadays rare on front-drive cars, and it will under steer if provoked. But the handling invites commitment and the almost total absence of roll, combined with the figure-hugging Recaros provoke entry speeds that would deter some more illustrious metal. be prepared for a rattling interior, paint touch-up almost everywhere and a worn interior. Prices hover between RM12,000 to RM24,000.