The 2019 Proton Iriz and Persona facelifts made their public debuts at the Malaysia Autoshow yesterday, unveiled by prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The show is happening at MAEPS Serdang till this Sunday.

If you’ve “seen them before”, it’s because the refreshed Iriz and Persona were revealed to the media in February and March respectively. The B-segment models – which are open for booking – have also been shown to selected customers at weekend events at selected Proton dealerships.

We’ve already detailed the facelifted duo, but here’s a recap. The Iriz face is now dominated by an “Ethereal Bow” grille highlighted in chrome, which leads into the top of the headlamps and “cups” the Proton logo. Look closely and you’ll find the “Infinite Weave” pattern that debut on the X70 SUV. There’s also a new bumper with LED DRLs nestled within the side intakes.

The hatchback’s rear is obviously changed, thanks to the thick black bridge between the vertical lights. That gloss black strip houses a Proton script logo as seen on the X70. There’s also a new bumper and a new Iriz model logo highlighting the ‘R’ in the name.

Inside, the 2019 Iriz gets an all-black theme, new fabric seat pattern, new instrument panel (with full-colour multi-info display), perforated leather on the steering and steering voice control button. The latter is for the new seven-inch head unit with “Hi Proton” voice commands for navigation, music and weather, among other things. There’s internet connectivity via a built-in eSIM. The top Premium CVT variant adds on a X70-style gear lever and a frameless rear view mirror.

This latest facelift pulls the Iriz and Persona further apart in terms of looks. If the hatchback attempts to look sportier, the Persona tries to look classy. The sedan’s face also sports the “Ethereal Bow” design, but that chrome element carries the whole grille, as opposed to just the logo on the Iriz. That results in the “Infinite Weave” pattern having more prominence.

The original car’s big lower grille has been slimmed down, while the air intakes flanking it (now with LED DRLs) have been made larger; a slim gloss black strip ties it all together. At the back, there’s a revised rear bumper with a chrome strip, plus a new rear bootlid garnish with the Proton script logo. Like the Iriz, there are new rims.

Inside, the sedan keeps its black and beige colour scheme but gains a frameless rear-view mirror, new part-leather upholstery and a gearknob from the X70 (with a leather boot). New features include automatic headlights and an auto up/down driver’s side window (previously only auto down), and a new instrument cluster as per the Iriz. Also present is the above-mentioned new infotainment system, which has 16 GB internal memory and mirroring for Android phones.

The powertrains remain unchanged – both come with a 1.6 litre VVT engine with 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, paired to either a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic. The Iriz has a 1.3L option with 94 hp and 120 Nm at 4,000 rpm.

Proton says that the CVT has been recalibrated to reduce fuel consumption by around 3-4%, and changes have also been made to achieve improved braking performance and refinement. According to carmaker, 367 improvements were implemented for the Iriz, while for the Persona, 303 improvements have been made to various parts.

“Proton is very thankful to the honourable prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for graciously unveiling the 2019 Proton Iriz and Persona. Our engineers and designers have worked very hard over the past 18 months to improve both cars and we are confident Malaysian car buyers will see and experience the benefit of their efforts the moment they step inside each car,” said Proton CEO Li Chunrong, who added that to date, 8,000 bookings have been collected for the two models.

Check out full specs and galleries of each Iriz and Persona variant and watch our walk-around videos to learn more about the cars.

2019 Proton Iriz 1.6L Premium

GALLERY: 2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium