The Road Ahead : February March 2014
NEW CAR REVIEW | MOTORING proton prevé gx KEY STATS MLP: $31,490^ (with Premium Pack). SAFETY: Dual front, side and front/rear curtain airbags, ABS, electronic stability and traction control, emergency brake assist and understeer control. MAIN FEATURES: Dual-zone automatic climate-control with air quality sensor, auto headlights, hill start assist, CD/MP3 player, bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, USB and auxiliary sockets, front fog lights, height adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support. ENGINE: 2.0-litre, petrol 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 103kW @ 6000rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 195Nm @ 3750rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 10.6 sec. 80KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR AVERAGE): 7.9 litres/ 100km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: N/A. EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Load carrying versatility, more dynamic drive than Dynamique. AGAINST: A few quirky ergonomic issues, tight on rear legroom. KEY STATS MLP: $15,990^ (driveaway). SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, ABS, electronic stability control, traction control, EBD, active front headrests, front seatbelt pretenesioners. MAIN FEATURES: 16" alloys, climate-control airconditioning, reversing sensors, bluetooth/iPod connectivity, CD/MP3 player with auxiliary and USB ports, steering wheel audio/bluetooth controls, remote keyless entry, alarm. ENGINE: 1.6-litre, 16-valve DOHC, petrol 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 80kW @ 5750rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 150Nm @ 4000rpm. 0-100KM/H: 12.0 seconds (claimed). 80KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 7.2 litres/100km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Safety, warranty, capped price servicing. AGAINST: Lacks dynamics, engine response, comfort. renault megane gt-line wagon QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 53 MEET THE RENAULT Sport-inspired Megane GT-Line wagon, which is 264cm longer and 76mm taller than the hatch and boasts one of the biggest cargo areas in its class. Indeed, load carrying versatility is a strong point, as evidenced by not only its back seats folding flat, but also the front passenger seat. When all seats are folded, total carrying capacity is a handy 1600 litres. The GT-Line spec adds a host of features and dynamic enhancements above that of the base model Dynamique. Tick the boxes for 17-inch alloys, stiffer springs and dampers, lower (by 30mm) front roll centre height and lower (by 112mm) overall centre of gravity. Ditto sport seats, Renault Sport speedo display, rear parking sensors and integrated satellite navigation. But that's not all -- our test car also came with a Premium Pack (heated front seats, leather upholstery, front parking sensors, rear-view camera with park-assist, panoramic glass sunroof and Renault's new Visio System). One of the better examples of Continuously Variable Transmission, the GT-Line's CVT works well in extracting broad driveability from the 2.0-litre petrol engine. Handling is sharp and responsive, yet the ride quality is agreeable over most surfaces. Overall, this is a thoughtfully-designed, well- equipped wagon with relatively sporty drive and no major vices. FIRST, THE GOOD news. Proton's new Prevé four-door sedan is the first of its make to come with five years' free servicing. It also boasts a five-star ANCAP safety rating and a five-year warranty. The extensive safety inventory includes six airbags, electronic stability and traction control, ABS, active front head rests, reversing sensors and an automatic, speed- sensitive, door locking/unlocking system. The ride is compliant, thanks to suspension tuned by sports car supremo Lotus. Standard equipment extends to 16-inch alloys, bluetooth and iPod connectivity, 60-40 split-fold rear seat, central locking and steering wheel audio and phone controls. Now, the not so good news ... Prevé lacks the wherewithal to exploit the handling benefits of its aforesaid, sporty suspension. The steering is devoid of feedback, the gearshift on our five-speed manual (a CVT is a $2000 option) was abrasive and imprecise (particularly shifting from second to third) and the 1.6-litre engine struggled to climb even a reasonably sized hill. There is seating for five and acceptable interior (and cargo) space, but the seats are hard and flat. As the first Proton product we have tested in some five or more years, Prevé shows welcome improvements in some key areas, but it still falls well short of best in the small car class. FEB/MAR 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD REVIEWS BY BARRY GREEN.