Hello everyone! We’re at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre where Proton has just launched the facelifted Iriz hatch and Persona sedan. Here, we’re concentrating on the Iriz, which receives a multitude of new features and improvements – amounting to a total of 367 changes – wrapped in a fairly substantial redesign.

We’ll start with the one piece of information you’ve all been waiting for, and that’s the price. In a surprise turn of events, the new Iriz range kicks off around RM3,700 cheaper than before – despite the addition of around RM1,400 worth of upgrades and added kit, according to Proton – at RM36,700 for the 1.3 Standard MT, rising to RM39,700 (down RM1.1k) for the CVT version and RM44,700 (down RM1.7k) for the 1.3 Executive CVT.

The facelift sees the reintroduction of the RM46,700 1.6 Executive CVT variant, which was discontinued in 2017, while the range-topping 1.6 Premium CVT goes for RM50,700 (down RM4.1k). All prices are on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of an unchanged five-year/150,000 km warranty.

With that out of the way, let’s continue to the most striking change – the exterior design. The entire front end has been given a revamp, with the Iriz now sporting the Persona’s reflector halogen headlights (projectors previously), joined together by a full-width chrome strip. This strip has what Proton calls an “Ethereal Bow” design, with a scalloped centre section that goes under the badge.

Elsewhere, the upper grille gets a subtle Infinite Weave pattern that was first introduced on the X70 SUV, while the lower grille is now much smaller, flanked by larger fake air intakes (with LED daytime running lights on all but the base Standard variant). The front lip spoiler is finished in matte black with a chrome strip.

Moving to the rear of the car, there’s now a gloss black strip that joins the tail lights, complete with the Proton script that replaces the shield-shaped badge. The bumper gets a larger diffuser with the same chrome trim as the front, framed by fake air vents. New 15-inch two-tone alloy wheels on the Executive and Premium models (the latter also gets a black roof) complete the look.

Inside, the changes are fewer but no less significant, with the addition of black headlining and – on the Premium variant – a frameless rear-view mirror and a black-and-silver gearknob from the X70. There’s also a redesigned instrument cluster with clearer, more legible silver-ringed dials and a colour multi-info display on the Executive and Premium models.

These variants also gain a new infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen – a version of the Geely’s Global Key User Interface (GKUI) found on the X70, developed in partnership with Chinese tech company ECARX. The Premium model gets 4G connectivity (1GB free per month for five years) that adds the “Hi Proton” voice control, online music streaming and live navigation data, plus a WiFi hotspot for your devices.

In terms of equipment, the 1.3 Standard model now has a shark fin antenna, a rear wiper and front parking sensors, joining a kit list that includes 14-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lights, fabric seats, a Bluetooth-enabled 2-DIN radio/CD head unit, twin rear USB ports, two speakers and reverse sensors.

The 1.3 Executive variant adds automatic headlights and an auto up/down driver’s side window – items that were removed during the 2017 product update – along with keyless entry, push-button start, a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines and four speakers. The 1.6 litre version gains auto-folding door mirrors, another reinstated feature.

Safety kit remains unchanged, with dual airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist and rear ISOFIX child seat anchors being standard fare. Only the Premium model gains side and curtain airbags for a total of six airbags, and autonomous emergency braking is still nowhere to be found.

Also unchanged are the engines, which consist of two VVT naturally-aspirated petrol engines. The 1.3 litre version produces 95 PS at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, while the 1.6 litre unit bumps those figures to 109 PS and 150 Nm.

An improved CVT – which has been worked on to improve response and fuel efficiency, combining its learnings with Geely’s – is fitted across the range, with the Standard model also getting the option of a five-speed manual gearbox. Changes have also been made to enhance braking performance, improve build quality and reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

Here’s the variant breakdown in detail:

2019 Proton Iriz 1.3 Standard MT – RM36,700
Gets as standard:

Mechanicals

  • 1.3 litre VVT DOHC engine
  • 1,332 cc naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol
  • 95 PS at 5,750 rpm, 120 Nm at 4,000 rpm
  • Five-speed manual
  • MacPherson struts (front), torsion beam (rear)
  • Ventilated brake discs (front), drums (rear)

Exterior

  • Halogen reflector headlights
  • LED rear combination tail lights
  • 14-inch alloy wheels with 175/65-section tyres
  • Power-adjustable door mirrors
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Rear wiper

Interior

  • Urethane steering wheel
  • LCD multi-info display
  • Power windows with driver’s side auto down
  • Black fabric seats with manual adjustment
  • 60:40 split-folding rear seats
  • Manual air-conditioning
  • 2-DIN radio/CD player with Bluetooth connectivity
  • Two speakers
  • One front USB port, two rear

Safety

  • Dual airbags
  • ABS with EBD and brake assist
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • Hill start assist
  • Rear ISOFIX child seat anchors
  • Front and rear parking sensors

2019 Proton Iriz 1.3 Standard CVT – RM39,700
Adds on:

Mechanicals

  • CVT

Exterior

  • Tailgate spoiler

2019 Proton Iriz 1.3 Executive CVT – RM44,700
Adds on:

Exterior

  • Automatic headlights with follow-me-home function
  • LED daytime running lights
  • 15-inch alloy wheels with 185/55-section tyres
  • Keyless entry

Interior

  • Push-button start
  • TFT LCD colour multi-info display
  • Driver’s side auto up/down window with anti-pinch
  • Seven-inch touchscreen head unit with smartphone connectivity
  • Four speakers
  • Reverse camera with dynamic guidelines

2019 Proton Iriz 1.6 Executive CVT – RM46,700

Adds on:

Mechanicals

  • 1.6 litre VVT DOHC engine
  • 1,597 cc naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol
  • 109 PS at 5,750 rpm, 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm

Exterior

  • Auto-folding door mirrors

2019 Proton Iriz 1.6 Premium CVT – RM50,700

Adds on:

Exterior

  • Black roof

Interior

  • Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped gearknob with silver trim
  • Part-leather upholstery
  • Frameless rear-view mirror
  • Built-in 4G connectivity with WiFi hotspot
  • Voice control, music streaming, live navigation data

Safety

  • Six airbags (front, side, curtain)

To sweeten the deal, Proton is throwing in a few extra goodies, including free labour for the first three scheduled services, financing interest rates starting from 2.93% per annum and two years’ free road tax (the latter for the first 1,000 customers).

The company is also offering benefits in terms of insurance coverage, such as a waiver of betterment for up to 10 years, agreed value coverage for up to 12 years, key care coverage of up to RM1,000, a flood relief allowance of up to RM1,000, personal accident coverage for policyholders and insured drivers of up to RM15,000 and coverage for all drivers at no extra cost.

As for colours, the existing Ruby Red paint joins a new colour palette that includes the Ocean Blue hero colour, Snow White, Armour Silver and Jet Grey – the last three hues are lifted from the X70. You can read our first drive review and browse full specifications and equipment on CarBase.my.

GALLERY: 2019 Proton Iriz 1.6 Executive CVT


GALLERY: 2019 Proton Iriz 1.6 Premium CVT