It’s finally out! We’re reporting to you live from Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant, where company chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah unveiled the new Proton Iriz moments ago. You’d know that if you’re watching our live stream coverage of the launch event, so if you haven’t tuned in, do so now. Exclusive content such as interviews with people who matter, and a detailed walk-around of the Iriz, are coming up soon.
UPDATE: Our full comprehensive review of the Proton Iriz (1.3 and 1.6 engines, manual and CVT) is now up.
The Iriz, named after the circular structure in the eye, and formerly known as the PCC (Proton Compact Car) and GSC (Global Small Car), is a B-segment five-door hatchback that will take on Malaysia’s most popular car for the past decade – the Perodua Myvi.
That’s no easy task, but the Proton Iriz is well equipped for the battle, which will also happen in other markets with other superminis. The class counts the Volkswagen Polo, Peugeot 208, Honda Jazz, Suzuki Swift, Kia Rio and Ford Fiesta, just to name a few in our market. Plenty to talk about, but let’s start with the size.
The Iriz is 3,905 mm long, 1,720 mm wide and 1,550 mm tall, which makes it 215 mm longer, 55 mm wider and 5 mm taller than the Myvi. The Proton’s 2,555 mm wheelbase also beats the Myvi’s by 115 mm. If it sounds big on paper, you’ve got to see it in the metal – Proton claims ‘best in class’ cabin space. Boot volume is 215 litres, versus 208 litres for the Myvi. Not bad, but the Perodua Axia trumps all with 260 litres.
That big body sits on a new platform, and Hot Press Forming (HPF) tech is used for vital components of the body-in-white. More commonly used on European vehicles, HPF parts have three times the strength of mild steel, and was first introduced in the Preve and Suprima S. This helps safety, verified by the award of full five stars in the ASEAN NCAP crash test.
The Iriz scored 14.07 out of 16 marks in ASEAN NCAP‘s Adult Occupant Protection test, which is not just higher than the Myvi and Axia, but the Peugeot 208 as well; the latter a five-star EuroNCAP rated car. The variant tested by ASEAN NCAP had Electronic Stability Control and dual front airbags; the top-spec Iriz comes with six airbags.
Speaking of safety kit, all Iriz variants (there are three trim levels: Standard, Executive, Premium) get ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Assist, dual airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard. The top spec Premium version gets six airbags – dual front, side and curtain.
Reverse sensors are available across the board, with the Exec and Premium adding on a reverse camera. Stability control across the board is a commendable move by Proton.
“Safety is very important and customers should know which car is safe and which is not. Australia’s ANCAP differs from ASEAN NCAP as it takes everything into account, and we got five stars for that, so there is no issue for us,” Proton manufacturing and production COO, Khairudin Datuk Haji Yusoff told paultan.org in a recent interview.
Two new VVT (variable valve timing) engines power the Proton Iriz. A 1.3 litre kicks things off at 94 hp at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, while the 1.6 litre develops 107 hp at 5,750 rpm (peak arriving 250 rpm earlier compared to the 1.6 litre IAFM+ engine) and 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm.
Both have variable valve timing, but they’re not just Campros with VVT bolted on. With a new block, pistons and valves, this is the first of a new series of engines that will power future models and finally usher off the Campro into retirement.
Both engines can be had with either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic gearbox. Claimed fuel consumption for the 1.6L is 6.6 litres per 100 km (15.2 km/l) for the MT and 7.4 litres per 100 km (13.5 km/l) for the CVT car, on the European NEDC combined cycle.
As mentioned, there are two engines, two transmissions and three trim levels, and they interplay to create a total of eight variants – 1.3 Standard MT, 1.3 Standard CVT, 1.3 Executive MT, 1.3 Executive CVT, 1.6 Executive MT, 1.6 Executive CVT, 1.6 Premium MT and 1.6 Premium CVT.
In addition, there are seven colour options – Citrus Green, Silver Moon Dust, Tranquility Black, Fire Red, Genetic Silver, Atlantic Blue and Proton White. The first two are new colours for Proton and all but the white are metallic. While we can’t say that no two units of the Iriz will be identical, it won’t be so easy to find a unit exactly like yours in the parking lot.
Speaking of appearance, here’s how to tell the cars apart. The 1.3 Standard MT/CVT looks as basic as its name suggests, with no bodykit, no rear spoiler and no rear wiper, while the door handles and wing mirror caps are in unpainted black plastic. However, Standard avoids looking bargain basement as all Iriz’ share the same projector headlamps, LED tail lamps and aeroblade wipers.
The Standard also rolls on the same 14-inch alloy wheels (not steel wheels with caps) with 175/65 Silverstone Synergy M3 as the car on the next step up, the 1.3 Executive MT/CVT. 1.3 Standard to 1.3 Exec is quite a big step up in appearance; you get a full bodykit (body coloured) with a rear diffuser and (small, rounded edge) rear spoiler, plus body coloured door handles and mirror caps. Oh, and rear wipers too.
The 1.6 range starts with the 1.6 Executive MT/CVT. The bigger engine brings with it 15-inch alloys with 195/55 Silverstone Synergy M5 rubber, and the same bodykit in a two-tone colour scheme (body colour with Warm Grey -a colour which is like a mix of grey and dark champagne – inserts, rear diffuser in the same colour).
The B pillars and window outline are in black (body colour on the 1.3) and the bigger rear spoiler is of a more elaborate, sportier design. The ‘Proton wings’ strip on the grille is in chrome, as opposed to silver on the 1.3. Fog lamps make an appearance.
The green hero car you see here is the 1.6 Premium, available in MT and CVT like the other trims. The daytime running lights (DRLs) take the place of the 1.6 Exec’s fog lamps, and they also double up as positioning lights (a.k.a. small lights). The area where the dedicated positioning lamps sit (below the signal lamps) have been filled by a blank black strip as a result. The swap is not very noticeable – a good thing.
As for badging, the 1.3 Standard has a ‘VVT’ emblem and nothing more, with an ‘E’ added to the 1.3 Executive. The 1.6 Executive’s rear reads ‘1.6 VVT’, while the range topper has the full ‘1.6 VVT Premium’.
Now let’s run through the price and specs, starting from the bottom.
Proton Iriz 1.3 Standard
– 1.3 litre VVT engine, 94 hp/120 Nm
– ABS, EBD, Brake Assist
– Electronic Stability Control, Hill Hold Assist
– Isofix mounts on rear seats
– Seat belt reminder for all seats
– Dual front airbags
– Reverse sensors
– 14-inch alloy wheels
– Silver “Proton Wings” grille
– Fabric seats
– Three-point rear seatbelts, 60:40 split-folding
– 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth, AUX, USB
– Unpainted exhaust
Proton Iriz 1.3 Executive adds on:
– Bodykit (body colour)
– Rear spoiler (small, rounder design)
– Body coloured door handles, wing mirror caps
– Rear wiper
– Black painted exhaust
– Ash Grey centre console frame, Galvano Silver gear lever base
– USB chargers (1.5 Amp, 2.1 Amp)
Proton Iriz 1.6 Executive adds on:
– 1.6 litre VVT engine, 107 hp/150 Nm
– Android-based touch screen infotainment system with GPS navigation
– Reverse camera
– 15-inch alloy wheels
– Dual-tone bodykit
– Rear spoiler (bigger, square design)
– Front fog lamps
– Black B-pillar and window frames
– Fabric trim for door cards
– Patterned fabric seats
– Steering audio controls
– Piano black trim on steering
– Chrome grille
– Portable WiFi huddle
Proton Iriz 1.6 Premium adds on:
– Six airbags (dual front, side, curtain)
– Leather seats
– Leather on door cards
– Leather-wrapped steering wheel
– Extendable sunshades
– Chrome trim on AC vents, Ash Grey instrument cluster housing
– Keyless entry and push start
– Auto-fold wing mirrors
– Daytime Running Lights (replaces fog lamps)
Prices start from RM42,438 for the 1.3 Standard MT, rising to RM62,888 for the top-of-the-line 1.6 Premium CVT, on-the-road including insurance. Final prices for the Standard and Premium match the earlier estimated numbers, but 1.3 and 1.6 Executive prices see a reduction of RM1k to RM2k. Proton is throwing in three years (or 100,000 km) of free service, on top of a five-year 150,000 km warranty.
Proton CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah revealed that the company has 17,000 bookings in hand, to date. Full mass production will start in October, along with deliveries of the first customer cars.
Before you proceed to browse our exclusive studio gallery of the new Proton Iriz, tune in to the live streaming coverage of the launch event on our YouTube channel. What do you think of the new kid on the block?