What should I look for in a used Proton GEN-2 hatchback?
Arguably the best thing to look out for is someone selling a higher mileage, yet infinitely better Ford Focus. However, if you do find a privately sold Gen-2 in good condition at a very low price, then it's worth giving it a thorough check over.
Pay particular attention to the state of the cabin. Build quality was disappointing on these cars from day one and many of the controls have an insubstantial, flimsy feel to them and may not go the distance. Electrical components such as air-con and window motors also need checking.
Check the transmission, looking out for a jerky or reluctant gearchange with the automatic gearbox. And, ensure the manual five-speed unit allows you to engage all gears smoothly and that there's no evidence of the clutch slipping.
Also check on the Vehicle and Operator Safety website at www.vosa.gov.uk as the Gen-2 was recalled to have a battery harness problem rectified. If the car you're looking at was involved, check it had the work done.