1 Dec 2001
Proton’s first non-Mitsubishi developed small car was the Waja, a conventional front-wheel drive three-box four-door sedan powered by a Renault-sourced 76kW/140Nm 1.6-litre SOHC 16V four-cylinder engine engaged to a four-speed auto or five-speed manual gearbox.
The problems with the Waja were four-fold: It was overpriced, especially from an economy brand it was too small for the cars (VW Golf, Peugeot 307) it was aimed at the quality and cabin ambience were also below par and it had a difficult name (allegedly Waja means warrior in Malay).
Two models emerged – the base 1.6 and 1.6 X. Both featured dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, side airbags, air-conditioning, power windows, traction control and a CD player.
Price drops were implemented when sales refused to rise, but the Waja is a case of having way too little for way too much.