We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

1 out of 5 stars

For Very cheap, and all come with decent engines with a 100,000-mile guarantee

Against It has no image, handles poorly and the cabin feels flimsy and cramped

Verdict It's adequate for budget A to B transport, but has too many faults to be seriously considered

Go for… 2.0 diesel

Avoid… Old high-milers

Proton Wira Saloon
  • 1. There were reports of the automatic gearbox failing on some Wiras, and Proton issued a recall on 1.5-litre manual models
  • 2. Walk away from scruffy examples with tired interiors
  • 3. Fiddle with every switch and knob to check they work before you commit to paying anything
  • 4. There’s only room in the back for two passengers, and even then it’s cramped
  • 5. A lot of drivers will find it difficult to get comfortable; there’s not enough adjustment on the steering wheel or driver's seat
advertisement

Proton Wira Saloon full review with expert trade views

Available as a four-door saloon or five-door hatch, the Wira isn’t what you’d call an accomplished handler. There's too much body roll through corners, and there’s no suppleness in the chassis, either at town speeds or on open roads.

You feel every ripple in the road, and things don’t improve the faster you go. The steering is sloppy, giving no clues about what’s going on at the wheels.

Above the 30mph limit the noisy engine begins to give you a headache. And, the tyre rumble and the sound of the wind buffeting against the windscreen and A-pillar just make things worse.

Even if you can put up with that, a lot of drivers will find it difficult to get comfortable; the steering wheel and driver's seat do adjust for height, but not enough. To cap it all, the dashboard looks and feels cheap, and there’s only room in the rear for two passengers. And, even then it’s cramped.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Cheap and reliable but unrefined. Makes a good taxi

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There are four petrol engines to choose from. Starting off with a 1.3, the range runs through 1.5-, 1.6- and 1.8-litre models, with power ranging from 74 to 133bhp, but none is a sparkling performer.

The two larger ones are the best, particularly if you’re going to be doing motorway miles with any kind of load. The smaller engines are fine around town, but even with their lack of power, they show all the failings of the chassis.

For the same reason, the diesel’s not really much better, even with just 80bhp, but at least the fuel economy is better - and that's enough to make it our recommendation. Manual or four-speed auto gearboxes are available.

Li is the basic trim, with power steering, driver’s airbag and electric front windows. LXi gets central locking, a manual sunroof and body-coloured mirrors, while Lux adds air-con, powered windows all round and a rear spoiler.

Never a desirable motor, the Wira is best bought privately at used car showrooms, or – for older models – the classified ads.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Dismal demand means must be priced to sell, Lux has the spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Savage depreciation meant the Wira was a very cheap used buy right from the off, and prices have dropped further as time has gone on. If you’re looking for cut-price motoring and don’t care about much else, this car ticks the right boxes.

However, there are still the running costs to consider, which aren't great. For a start, fuel economy isn’t very impressive. The petrols offer between 29 and 37mpg, depending on which you choose, and the diesel can't do any better than that upper figure.

Insurance ratings start at group 9 for the 1.3, but rise to a lofty group 14 for the 1.8. That’s high for a car of this calibre.

The one thing you don't need to worry much about is servicing. The company’s budget image means maintenance bills won’t cripple you, but this car needs to be in the garage every 9000 miles, which is way below the figure for any of its rivals.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Cheap and reliable but unrefined. Makes a good taxi

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There's not much to worry about here. There were reports of the automatic gearbox failing on some Wiras, and Proton issued a recall over possible power failure in the 1.5-litre manual models. Check out if the recall affected the car you’re considering and whether the necessary work has been done.

Walk away from scruffy examples with tired interiors. The cabin didn’t feel particularly well put together when the car was new, and creaks and rattles are known to occur with regular use. Also, fiddle with every switch and knob before you commit to paying for a car whose controls may be well past their best.

Beyond that, the car has proved surprisingly trouble-free transport, if utterly uninspiring. The 100,000-mile powertrain warranty is worth having in case of problems, but it's probably just better to look for a car with fewer miles on the clock.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Dismal demand means must be priced to sell, Lux has the spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014