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Proton upgrades S16 FLX

Malaysian flavour: Proton’s updated S16 FLX is expected to give the company a sales boost in the light-car segment.

Much-needed upgrade means Proton S16 FLX is no longer the cheapest car in Australia

19 Jun 2012

PROTON has unveiled a facelifted S16 FLX sedan, showing off a new look and upgraded comfort and safety equipment to appeal to price-conscious buyers.

The Malaysian car-maker has refreshed the exterior with an updated fender design, new grille and restyled front headlights to distinguish it from its predecessor.

The interior gets a light refresh as well, with new seat and door fabrics, a CD and MP3 player with auxiliary and USB ports, and audio switches on the steering wheel.

Proton has addressed safety concerns by including essential equipment such as electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes as standard across the range.

The small sedan also gets dual front airbags, driver and passenger pre-tensioner seatbelts and reverse sensors to boost its safety credentials.

The new model is yet to be crash-tested by ANCAP, but the outgoing S16 achieved a safety rating of only three stars when it was tested in 2010.

Proton’s budget-buster will be available in two specifications – GX and GXR – and both come with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and a choice of either a five-speed manual or optional six-speed CVT automatic transmission.

43 center imageWhile both models get alloy wheels and foglights as standard, the top-of-the-range GXR gains leather interior and a rear spoiler.

Proton Cars Australia general manager of sales and marketing Billy Falconer said that the new S16 FLX will appeal to budget-conscious buyers.

“The S16 FLX is again a manifestation of Proton’s commitment to provide Australians with exceptional value for money in terms of affordability in ownership, practicality, style, level of features and safety,” he said.

The model upgrade brings with it a price increase, which means the S16 FLX has lost its title as the cheapest new car on sale in Australia. That crown now belongs to the Suzuki Alto, which undercuts the Proton by $1,500 with a price tag of $12,490.

Sales of the S16 dropped 44 per cent for the first five months of 2012 compared with the same period last year, but it remains Proton’s top-selling car in Australia and should be boosted with the arrival in showrooms of the new model.

The Malaysian-built sedan comes standard with a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Proton S16 FLX pricing (plus on-roads):
GX (a)$15,990
GXR (a)$16,990

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