We’ve shown you everything you need to know about the new 2016 Proton Persona, through our comprehensive launch report, walk-around video tour and spec-by-spec comparison gallery. Now, we’ll be comparing the national carmaker’s car of the moment versus its predecessor and the B-segment sedan competition, as well as the one-size-smaller Perodua Bezza and Proton Saga.

Firstly, the dimensions – at 4,387 mm long, the new Persona is smack in the middle of the pack in terms of length, splitting the larger models like the 4,440 mm Honda City, 4,410 mm Toyota Vios and 4,425 mm Nissan Almera and smaller cars like the 4,320 mm Mazda 2 Sedan and 4,278 mm Saga. The Mitsubishi Attrage and Bezza are downright tiny in comparison, at 4,245 mm and 4,150 mm respectively.

The new car is also some 90 mm shorter than the old Persona, which was a C-segment-sized car sold at Perodua Myvi prices. However, Proton claims that the new car has a similar amount of interior space as before, and boot space has swelled from 430 litres to 510, making it one of the largest in the segment, just behind the 536 litre cargo bay of the City. At the other end of the spectrum, the Mazda 2 has the smallest boot at 410 litres, while the Saga is nary any bigger at 413 litres.

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Other areas where the new Persona takes class gongs is in width and height – the 1,722 mm wide Proton is a little broader than the next widest, the Vios, and is over 100 mm wider than the Bezza; it is a measly 3 mm narrower than the old Persona, however. The new car is also the tallest; its 1,554 mm height shades class stalwarts like the City and Vios, both under 1.5 metres in height.

Under the bonnet, the new Persona’s 1.6 litre VVT engine is actually slightly less powerful than the IAFM+ engine in the old Persona, at 107 hp versus 110 hp; the new car counters by having 2 Nm more torque at 150 Nm. Although both cars have a five-speed manual as the base gearbox option, the new Persona swaps the old four-speed automatic option for a CVT.

Against the competition, the new Persona is actually rather impressive – it has more torque than all bar the turbocharged Volkswagen Vento 1.2 TSI’s 175 Nm, although in pure horsepower terms it is down on the 118 hp from the City’s 1.5 litre i-VTEC mill and the 114 hp from the Mazda 2’s 1.5 litre SkyActiv-G engine. Transmission-wise, most of the class are equipped a CVT; the exceptions are the Vios, Almera and Bezza’s four-speed automatic, the Mazda 2’s six-speed automatic and the Vento’s seven-speed DSG dual-clutch unit.

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Weight is the Persona’s biggest bugbear – at 1,210 kg in top Premium trim, it’s the heaviest here, at 15 kg more than the old Persona and 32 kg heavier than its next heaviest competitor, the Vento; the rest all weight around the 1,100 kg mark. The Attrage and Bezza are flyweights at 905 kg and 930 kg respectively, so while the Proton is significantly more powerful than either of the two cars, it narrowly beats the Mitsubishi in terms of power-to-weight ratios, and is comprehensively trumped by the Perodua.

In terms of value-for-money, the Persona is unbeatable – retailing between RM44,831 (OTR without insurance) for the base Standard M/T variant and RM57,472 for the top Premium CVT, it is priced slightly higher than the A-segment Saga and Bezza, but costs way less than the foreign B-segment competition – those are priced between RM74k and RM95k.

What’s more, it isn’t lacking in kit – all models get 15-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist and Vehicle Stability Control (making them all eligible for a five-star ASEAN NCAP crash test rating), while items such as six airbags, keyless entry, push-button start, twin rear USB charging ports, a touchscreen infotainment system and a reverse camera are available on higher-end variants.

Browse full specifications and equipment on all 2016 Proton Persona variants, as well as compare between different cars on the market on CarBase.my.

GALLERY: Proton Persona Premium CVT with bodykit