Priced from RM 30k, a used Proton Suprima S is worth shortlisting
Eric · Jul 9, 2021 10:00 AM
When the Proton Suprima S was launched in Malaysia back in 2013, it was priced at the RM 80,000 mark – right smack in the growing non-national B-segment sedan market. It was conceived as a Malaysian alternative to European rivals like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
At that time, the Suprima S seemed like a pretty solid deal, considering that it offered six airbags and stability control – features that the Toyota Vios and Honda City didn’t have back then.
These days, prices of a used Proton Suprima S have dropped to the RM 30k mark, making it a formidable option for those in the used car market.
Preve Hatchback would have been a nice name
16 months after Proton launched the Proton Preve, the hatchback Suprima S made its debut. At launch, Proton offered two variants of the Suprima S: Executive and Premium. Both variants are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine that does 140 PS and 205 Nm, mated to a CVT-type automatic.
A Standard variant was introduced a year later, which saw features like side and curtain airbags, stability control, and traction control stripped. Proton also removed the 7-inch Android-based infotainment system found on the Executive and Premium variants, replacing it with a regular 2-DIN audio system.
Doing so allowed Proton to reduce the Suprima S’ starting price to just RM 69,888 – RM 6,800 cheaper than the Executive variant.
Despite spyshots and rumours of an improved Suprima S surfaced in 2017, that never materialized, as Proton discontinued the model in 2019.
Which variant should I pick?
If possible, aim for a used Premium variant of the Suprima S. It gets all the bells and whistles, including LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, 6 speakers, engine push start button, cruise control, and Hill Hold Assist.
The cheaper Executive variant is also worth considering, as it also still gets six airbags and stability control. Just avoid the Standard variant.
Prepare your wallet / bank account
Let’s face it – like the Proton Preve, the Suprima S isn’t exactly the most reliable car by Proton. Like other turbocharged Proton models, the Suprima S is also affected by the oil cooler hose (OCH) issue.
Being a hatchback version of the Preve also means that the Suprima S inherits some of the problems associated with the Preve, like a problematic fuse box, steering rack, and Body Control Module (BCM). The CVT in the Suprima S is also prone to issues.
Needs to be changed every 35,000 km - 40,000 km
Not really a problem, but the steering rack can get noisy
Usually causes the air-cond to stop working properly or headlamp (one-eyed jack) problems
Some owners have report CVT failures at 50,000 km mark, needs to be well-maintained
2-3k to repair
4-5k to change the unit
Controls various aspects of the vehicle, including automatic wipers and automatic headlights
550 - 700
Mechanical bits aside, those eyeing a used Proton Surpima S should also pay attention to the cabin, as these are also known issues like gear knob that breaks and a rather fragile dashboard. It costs RM 50 to RM 70 to replace the gear knob and RM 700 to RM 800 to repair the dashboard.
The table below provides a rough estimation for the cost of repairs.
Every 10,000 km / every 6 months
Depending on service centre
Usually needs to be changed around 100,000 km mileage / every 5 years
~150 per piece
Every 80,000 km / 100,000 km
~700 original for Proton parts
Every 80,000 km / 100,000 km
When the brakes starts squeling
150 - 400
According to driving style
250 onwards for 17-inch tyres
For the Proton Suprima S, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to workshops familiar with Proton models, as they have prior experience and know what workarounds can be used.
How much is the minimum monthly salary needed?
If you have decided to put your money down for one, here's how much it costs for the monthly installment.
Factoring in that a used Proton Suprima S is priced about the RM 30,000 mark and a 10% downpayment, you're looking at a monthly installment of around RM 500 a month, for a 5-year loan at a 3.1% interest rate.
Based on the recommended guideline that you should not be paying more than 20% of your monthly salary on the car's monthly repayment, that's a minimum net salary of around RM 2,500 a month.
With the cost of insurance, maintenance, tyres, and other associated running costs factored in, your car-related expenses should not exceed 30 percent of your monthly salary.
Should you buy or not?
For the RM 30k budget, it’s hard to argue against the value proposition brought by the Proton Suprima S. Barring its sedan counterpart, the Preve, there are not many used cars out there that offers a turbocharged engine, six airbags, and stability control.
While those are definitely plus points for the Suprima S, bear in mind that it’s far from a fuss-free vehicle ownership experience. If you prefer a fuss-free ownership experience, perhaps a brand-new Perodua Axia is what you’re looking for, not a used Suprima S.
However, if you do decide to go with the Suprima S, you will need to do your homework before buying one.
With the MCO in full force, inspecting a used car physically is practically impossible. As such, if you want to buy a car online but want none of the risk associated with it, enter Carsome's Promise, which includes a 1-year warranty, Carsome Certified inspection, and a 5-day money back guarantee.