Proton Waja Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services

21 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Proton Waja Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services
Proton Waja

Proton Waja

Car Review

Author: NRMA Motoring Date: 24 May 2002

The last quarter of 2001 saw the launch of a new medium-sized car, called the Waja, from Malaysian vehicle manufacturer Proton. The Waja is a four-door sedan and it is the first car designed and built from the ground up by Proton. The Waja complements Proton’s existing Australian range comprising the Satria hatchback and the Persona Aeroback models.

The Waja is available in two different specifications, the entry level 1.6 and the premium variant called the 1.6X. The same 1.6 litre double overhead camshaft engine that provides quite lacklustre performance and drinks PULP powers both Waja variants. The engine produces a peak power of just 76 kW at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque figure of 140 Nm at 2750 rpm.

The recommended retail prices for the Waja models start at $27,990 and $29,990 for the manual versions of the 1.6 and the 1.6X respectively. An automatic transmission is available on both models as an option for an additional $1,850. Dealer charges and on-road costs are on top of the above quoted prices.

Like all new Protons sold in Australia, the Waja has a three year/one million kilometre warranty and 24 hour roadside assistance for the duration of the warranty period.

Proton believes the Waja delivers good value compared to similar sized European cars, quoting equipment levels and safety as two of the Waja’s strengths. Both model Waja’s are fitted with a good level of equipment and some of the standard features of the base model include airconditioning, power steering, electric mirrors, alloy wheels (space saver spare), six-speaker single CD radio, power windows and remote central locking. Additional inclusions found in the 1.6X are leather upholstery, woodgrain trim and climate control airconditioning.

The Waja’s standard safety and security features are common to both models and include anti-lock brakes (ABS), driver and front passenger airbags, traction control, alarm, engine immobiliser, side airbags and seat belt pretensioners.

Styling of the Waja is pleasant enough, although a bit bland in comparison to many new models from other vehicle manufacturers. The Waja is built separately from Proton’s established models, in an all-new production facility at Shah Alam in Malaysia. Our test vehicle displayed quite a good standard of finish and the solid feel on the road suggested an acceptable build quality.

Proton claims the Waja platform will be used for the development of a new range of vehicles that will include a station wagon, a people-mover and a four-wheel drive.

As a mid-size vehicle, the Waja offers a reasonable amount of interior space for both front and rear seat passengers. The driver’s seat has adequate seat travel and head room to accommodate quite tall drivers without impinging greatly on rear seat leg room. Even with the front seats extended to their most rearward position, most adults should have sufficient space to occupy the rear seats.

Despite the luxury of leather upholstery, I found the driver’s seat was very firm and not particularly well shaped (causing some discomfort after extended periods behind the wheel). A 60/40 split-fold rear seat provides an added element of versatility to the interior.

Proton Waja

The layout of instruments and controls in the Waja is relatively straightforward and shows some European influence. Notably, the indicators and headlight switch are located on the left-hand stalk, while the radio volume and search controls are steering wheel mounted.

The Waja is an easy vehicle to drive with nicely weighted power steering and a light clutch pedal. The Waja is let down by a pretty uninspiring engine that delivers below average performance. In order to compensate for the lack of power, the engine needs to be revved higher and more gearchanges are required to keep the engine spinning.

The gearbox lever has quite a positive action that is pleasant to use, although it requires a particularly firm movement at low speeds.

Lotus Engineering, a subsidiary of Proton, was responsible for giving the Waja its ride and handling characteristics. The suspension in the Waja provides a fairly firm ride and good handling at the expense of some ride comfort. Four-wheel discs and ABS brakes do a good job of pulling the vehicle up in an emergency situation.


The Proton Waja is a mid-size four-door sedan that complements Proton’s existing Satria and Persona models. The Waja features a good level of standard equipment and competent handling (Lotus inspired). Unfortunately, the 1.6 litre engine delivers lacklustre performance and the high purchase price places the Waja up against some stiff competition.

Proton Waja
Proton Waja
Proton Waja
Proton Waja
Proton Waja
Proton Waja
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