The spotlight may still be shining on the new Proton X70, but that doesn’t mean that the national carmaker is neglecting its other models. Just a week after it previewed the facelifted Iriz hatch, the company held a separate event for the also-refreshed Persona sedan, giving us not only a closer look at all the changes but also a chance to take a short drive of the B-segment contender around a test track.

Proton claims that it has made a total of 303 changes to the Persona, with the most apparent being on the outside. The full-width chrome bar at the front now features what it claims is the “Ethereal Bow” design, and there’s also an “Infinite Weave” grille pattern, redesigned air intakes with LED daytime running lights, new 15-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels and a new rear diffuser design with a chrome strip.

Inside, you get a new gearknob, a frameless rear-view mirror and a new instrument cluster, complete with cleaner dials and a larger colour multi-info display. Also fitted is a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system derived from the X70, with internet connectivity and the “Hi Proton” voice control.

Although the 107 hp/150 Nm 1.6 litre VVT engine and five-speed manual and CVT gearbox options remain unchanged, Proton says that it has tweaked the car to improve fuel consumption, braking performance and refinement. But is all this enough to finally make the Persona a proper competitor to the best in this close-fought segment? Our man Hafriz Shah susses it out in our quick review, which you can watch above.


GALLERY: 2019 Proton Persona 1.6 Executive
GALLERY: 2019 Proton Persona 1.6 Premium