Before the GEN-2 was launched in 2004, previous Proton models had bought in design and engineering expertise from other companies. This family hatch though, was developed as a proper in-house project, with a chassis that was shared with the Impian saloon - a good start. Back at the turn of the century, the Impian was one of the better handling compact saloons of the period and that model's dimensions, when translated to the GEN-2, gave this hatch a squatly purposeful, wheel-at-each-corner stance. Its exterior detailing showed a number of well-judged contemporary features - from the sculpted headlamp units to the bold design of the hatch and the coupe-like window line.
First arriving in dealers in May September 2004, the GEN-2 received quite a lot of critical acclaim, many commentators observing that this was the car that would punt Proton onto the shortlists of a new cadre of car buyers. As it turned out, quite a lot of residual badge resistance remained and sales were slow as a result. Buyers were offered this five-door hatch with the choice of 1.3 or 1.6-litre petrol engines, both available with manual or automatic transmission. In 2008, a more fugal 'Ecologic' version of the 1.6 was introduced at the same time as 1.6-litre buyers were also offered a four-door model, the GEN-2 Persona saloon. The GEN-2 vanished from the price lists when Proton left the UK market in 2012.