Proton Persona open for booking

Proton has issued a press release announcing that the new Proton Persona is now open for booking. The car will be officially launched next week on August 23. We know this already as the national carmaker recently posted an “open for booking” image on its Facebook page.

The booking fee is RM300, and the sum is refundable. A new bit of info is the Persona’s indicative price range – RM47,000 to RM61,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and from RM49,000 to RM63,000 in Sabah and Sarawak.

We’ve detailed the Persona’s specs, but here’s a recap. The “Iriz sedan” will be offered in three variants – Standard, Executive and Premium – with a Premium SE adding a dual-tone bodykit on top of the range topper. Active safety kit, including ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill Hold Assist (HHA) and Isofix child seat anchors, comes as standard across the range, just like the Iriz.

Kit count on the Standard variant includes dual airbags, grey 15-inch turbine design alloy wheels, power-adjustable side mirrors and a single-DIN Bluetooth-enabled radio. Move up to the Executive and one gains body-coloured side mirrors and door handles, front fog lights, a bootlid lip spoiler, a double-DIN head unit, USB charging ports and a 60:40 split-folding rear bench.

At the top of the range, the Premium gains six airbags, silver wheels, black B-pillar trim, power-folding side mirrors, keyless entry, push-button start, an Android-based touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and a reverse camera and leather upholstery.

Despite carrying the same wheelbase as the Iriz, the Persona feels bigger inside thanks to a scalloped front seat back and a more reclined rear seat; the boot is also a massive 510 litres. It’s around 20 kg lighter than the previous-generation model thanks to the use of high-tensile steel, but between 20 to 30 kg heavier than the Iriz depending on the spec.

All models are powered by the same 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated VVT engine as the Iriz, making 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm. The Standard variant gets a choice of either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT; all other models are only available with the CVT.

Notable figures include a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 10.9 seconds with the manual, plus fuel consumption of 5.6 litres per 100 km with the manual and 6.1 litres per 100 km with the CVT. Do note, however, that these figures were taken at a constant speed of 90 km/h. An Eco Drive Assist indicator, which lights up when the car senses you’re driving economically, is fitted as standard.

Buyers can choose from six colours – Cotton White, Fire Red, Sterling Silver, Graphite Grey, Quartz Black and a new colour for the carmaker, Carnelian Brown, which is the hero colour for the second-gen Persona. Proton is offering three years free service (parts and labour included) for bookings made by September 30.

We’ve driven the new Persona – read our first impressions test drive report to learn more.