Owner Review: The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review

Owner Review · Oct 23, 2020 12:15 PM

** This article is the personal experience of a 2003 Proton Waja 1.6L(M) (MMC) Executive owner and does not necessarily reflect the views of WapCar.

Daniel James


Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 01

About my car

This is my 2003 Proton Waja 1.6L(M) (MMC) Executive, back in 2003 it cost about RM 57,000 for this sedan, but you can fetch it less than RM 6,000 a good one if you are lucky. During its earlier days, it used to push 102 bhp but had lost a couple of ponies over the years. Its clocked over 304,000 km over 17 years, low mileage, to be honest, the engine has not been overhauled till today and still running strong.

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 02

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 03

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 04

History of the car

Funny story actually this car was purchased by my dad back in 2003 and I inherited it from him, I still remember the day we collected the car from one of the proton EON branches in Banting, I was about 8 years old, amazed by the shining metallic silver colour and the astounding looks and curves. The car caught my attention at 8 years old! From riding in the back seat to riding shotgun, jumping around the car at a young age and learning to drive it at 13 years old, the bond between me and this machine was extraordinary. And here we are after 17 years, me and this machine still going strong hahaha.

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 05

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 06

Thoughts of selling it?

I was actually persuaded by my family to sell it or trade-in for a newer and better one. I actually did contemplate a couple of times and visited few showrooms (Local, Japanese & Continental) but with all the visits and test drives I could not get the drivability and comfort of the Waja, most cars that I tested lacked the looks and quality, it may have definitely had better technology, safety features and power, but all that still could not convince me to sell this car. Many have said but it is still an old Waja, and my reply? “It is my old Waja”.

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 07

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 08

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 09

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 10

User Experience

The handling of the Waja is definitely something is unrated, the build of proton did prove capable back in the days, it has clocked over 300k km and still has the capability to outperform most cars that I have tested with hahaha, around the same engine capacity range of cause. Overall experience of the car has been rather satisfying.

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 11

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 12

Changes done to the car

Performance-wise there are the basics (Drop-in intake, aftermarket oil filter, iridium plug), but I do have plan to drains all the ponies this 4G18P has to offer. As for handling, all around UR safety bars, soon to add some Zerone SSR 550 coilovers. As for the interior, changed the seats to the newer Waja CPS leather seat and upgraded the sound system to JBL front crossovers & 8” Soundstream underseat sub. As time goes I plan to maintain it and modify to be a sleeper try to unleash the max output of the 1.6 single cam engine.

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 13

Owner Review:  The underrated Malaysian Icon – My Proton Waja Review 14

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fuel economy (18.0 km/L) – Most mileage I have gotten from 1 full tank is 830 km.
  • Ride handling, stable at high speed and cornering.
  • Air-cond is cold.
  • Big boot capacity.
  • High torque for a single cam engine.
  • Plenty of PNP parts from other Mitsubishi model (Lancer, Lancer GT, Lancer Evo & etc.)

Cons

  • Power window issues/failure (Proton older model famous for this).
  • Hate the original seats reclining function, need to manually roll it.
  • Rear seat legroom is kind of compact.
  • Loads of suspension noise due to the age haha.

Ratings

Total Score: 4.5/5

Performance: 4/5

Quality & Features: 3/5

Space: 3/5

Ride Comfort: 4/5

Fuel Economy: 4/5

Price & Cost: 3/5

Comments

Up to 20% higher than average trade-in price

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