Kuala Lumpur, 6 December 2014 – The usual modus operandi for auto makers is to launch all of their variants at the same time, but Proton goes against the grain by launching their variants in stages, and not necessarily in order of specification level. In the case of the Suprima S, Proton launched the Suprima S Executive and Suprima S Premium first, followed by the Super Premium variant, and today, we laid eyes on the Proton Suprima S Standard.
The Proton Suprima S Standard is the base line variant for the range, at least for now until we get some news of the manual version, which has been promised, but yet to be introduced. Anyway, the Suprima S Standard as we know it, is offered at the very competitive price of RM69, 438.00 for the non-metallic, with the metallic colour RM450.00 higher (prices are on-the-road for P. Malaysia), and is only available with CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission).
The good news is that the engine is exactly the same, i.e. the 1.6 litre turbo-charged engine found in the current range of Suprima S, and performance figures remain identical. The Suprima S Standard appears to be based on the Suprima S Executive specs with some of the more expensive items removed to bring the cost down to a more affordable level. To me, this is a brilliant move as it makes the Suprima S, a mid-sized hatch that drives and handles very well, has heaps of interior space, more affordable to those who want it, but simply cannot afford the price. Now there is a Suprima S to suit every pocket size.
For the difference of close to RM7,000.00, between the Suprima s Standard and the next higher up variant, the Suprima s Executive, there are some items that have been omitted. The Suprima S Standard retains the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), and the dual front SRS airbags found in the other models, but loses quite a bit in the other aspects of safety – items not present are, hill hold assist (which is also not available in the Suprima S Executive), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), Traction Control, side and curtain airbags.
Also removed from the list are the ‘active’ front headrests (replaced with standard headrests), anti-trap driver’s side window, and the front and rear fog lamps. Other items include the built-in GPS, tailgate remote release (which is also not available on the Suprima S Executive). Surprisingly, there is a seat height adjuster for the driver’s seat, which is not available on the Suprima S Executive.
At the unveiling ceremony held at Publika Kuala Lumpur, Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah, Proton’s CEO said, “The introduction of the Suprima S standard is a reflection of Proton’s commitment to our customers in not just meeting their demands, but to continue to produce a variety of products that offer driving enjoyment and satisfaction.” He went on to add that Proton has always been engaged in planning and undertaking ways and means to reduce cost whilst improving the quality of its vehicles, and that the introduction of the Proton Suprima S Standard is part of Proton’s effort to continuously provide a better value-for-money and affordable cars to Malaysians.
All things said and done, the Suprima S Standard will drive as well as the Suprima S Executive and even the Suprima S Super Premium under normal conditions. Under extreme conditions, the higher grade variants will have some advantage when the electronic driving aids need to come into play, and in the event of a collision, depending on the severity, the additional airbags and curtain airbags in the higher specification variants will be reassuring to have. In all honesty, I do have a Proton Suprima S Premium, and not once have I induced ABS or ESC or Traction Control to activate – and if my budget does not permit me to buy the higher end model, I would be quite glad to settle for the Standard.