FIRST DRIVE: 2019 Proton Iriz, Persona facelift review

You’ve seen it, read all about it, but it’s now time to find out how the improvements made to the 2019 Proton Iriz and Persona facelifts fare out in the real world. We drove the car extensively to Tanjong Jara, Terengganu, to put them through their paces.

To recap, both models get subtle aesthetic revisions, now featuring the new signature grille with “Infinite Weave” motif. The rear end gets a Proton script instead of the badge, and completing the exterior pack is a new range of colours that have been lifted off the X70 SUV.

Inside, the cabin gets the usual nip and tuck, with range-topping models benefiting from the sleek new frameless rear-view mirror and seven-inch infotainment system with eSIM. Premium variants of the Iriz and Persona are the only ones to get the “Hi Proton” voice control functions, online music streaming and online navigation. Of course, this comes with a five-year data package (1GB monthly), as per the X70.

Mechanically, the engines and transmissions are carried over from before. In the Iriz, 1.3 litre four-cylinder engine makes 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.

The Persona, on the other hand, is only available with the 1.6 litre four-cylinder unit. There, it makes 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Both engines are paired to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT – the latter, Proton says, has been recalibrated to reduce fuel consumption by three to four percent. Other improvements include better braking performance and cabin refinement. As usual, enjoy the video, and let us know what you think!

GALLERY: 2019 Proton Persona 1.6 Premium


GALLERY: 2019 Proton Iriz 1.6 Premium CVT

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.

 

Comments

  • Pokjib on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Proton Iriz and Persona facelifts , the very last indigenous developed superior Game changing cars. Bravo go Go Proton!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 4
    • Pau sasau on Jun 15, 2019 at 8:58 am

      You forgot the saga, the one which consistently sold about 3k units month per months

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
      • Abu Bakar Awang on Jun 16, 2019 at 8:20 am

        Proton already announced 78% of their total sales come from Saga and Persona. The bulk remainder of 12% comes from Proton Perdana sales to the Government.

        The rest of the lines are kaput

        Of course now Geely’s X70 is giving life la

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5
    • Kuih lapis on Jun 15, 2019 at 9:07 am

      Both of these game overs should have been discontinue. When first day both of these cars launched, it was being called game changers but what we see today is that both of them are being tapau by game changing Myvi and Bezza. These cars are not successful and sales is very slow so it is obvious Proton is not making any profit from these cars. Giving facelift for both cars is clearly a game over strategy. Better discontinue it and replace with Geely China sedan and hatchback

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 40
      • Vendor still got stock of parts, after make profit then only able continue supply for new car model.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Ollie on Jun 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      Changed what game. Pity the people who were forced to buy this crap

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
  • Mario and Bros on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Better go for Persona and Iriz than Perodua Myvi, Axia and Bezza. Later, once people buy Myvi, Axia and Bezza, sure Perodua owners will have more regret because Perodua wheels have been stolen by thieves

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 5
    • Troll Hunter on Jun 15, 2019 at 12:32 pm

      Farmer A sells more rambutans than Farmer B selling Musang King durians. Does it mean Farmer A product is better than Farmer B just because of sheer volume? Ask the customers and there is no doubt they will reply Farmer B product is miles better than Farmer A. So why is Farmer A gloating like his was better?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 6
    • Proves people go for cosmetic. Not performance.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Abu Bakar Awang on Jun 16, 2019 at 8:15 am

      For 15 years Perodua sales has been leading. For 15 years millions of people cannot be wrong.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4
    • YTD only Peodua 3 times iver Proton sales not 4 times, dun give wrong info. Iriz accumulate around 5000 units for past 6 mths not 400 units only.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • citsalp on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Go for both Iriz and Persona than Hyundai Accent. Especially, it is safer to stick X70, X50 and New Proton Perdana than Santa Fe, Tucson and Sonata. Also, Hyundai Models looks more uglier than Proton. Also, Proton Service Malaysia is better than Hyundai Service Malaysia as well as Hyundai have lots of issues than Proton which Hyundai is unsafe than Proton

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 92 Thumb down 11
    • Abu Bakar Awang on Jun 16, 2019 at 8:18 am

      PRoton is like Hyundai. Both also no RV. Buy today Iriz RM55k, tomorrow sell RM35k also susah

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14
      • Muhammad arshad on Jun 17, 2019 at 12:43 am

        If u buy a new car just for it resale value.. wow… so pity.. well, u must be very2 very2 very2 stingy with ur moneys value and where u spend.. hehe.. just kidding

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
      • Kassim on Jun 17, 2019 at 11:13 am

        Hyundai got quality. Korean workers work hard. That’s why hyundai now can sell millions of cars globally. PRoton cannot even sell cars in singapore since 2018, because of the lack of Euro 6 engines

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 18
  • (Like) Proton
    (Dislike) Hyundai

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 57 Thumb down 11
  • P1, Geely, Mesidis, VolvoCar, Volvo Trucks, Lotus, Polestar, L&C, SMART > all

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6
    • Ollie on Jun 16, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      The mentally deranged have survived years and still not cured from mental illness

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7
  • Better pickup, better FC, better kit & safety, lower noise levels, lower servicing cost makes these cars a nobrainer when selecting a local car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2
  • Dylan Ch'ng on Jun 14, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I think that nobody should buy the Axia SE or Advance and just buy a Iriz Standard or Iriz Executive

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1
  • Oh no! It CamPro & punch cvt again! Eeeuuuwww!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 17
    • What’s the problem with Punch CVT?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
    • Tun F on Jun 15, 2019 at 11:09 am

      Little Missy. I’m sure you never have a Proton and only bashed base on people’s perception right…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
      • i drove a saga flx. and my goodness. the cvt.

        i mean proton cars have their strengths right.. let’s just say that their cvt ain’t one of it.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
        • Serious: I have one Iriz with CVT and one other car with 4 speed auto. I like the CVT more and I never had any problems with (no problems with 4 speed auto too)? Possibly, because I usually don’t have to force my way through traffic jams? Would you please so kind to explain: What problems do you have with the CVT?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
        • Safety First on Jun 15, 2019 at 7:57 pm

          Try driving with Honda’s CVT, it will take you ages to get where you want to be. At least Proton’s one can get the car to speed much faster than Honda’s snail.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
          • Budak gemok on Jun 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm

            Then why current honda city 1.5 vtec besar cannot tailgate my saga vvt 1.3 doing 180? Just slight plus highway corner only..

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • 4AT mkn minyak juga dan enjin 1.3 dvvt tak sempurna lagi teruk dari campro 1.3 vvt

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Muhammad arshad on Jun 17, 2019 at 12:40 am

      I dont think proton nowdays ( 2019 )using campro anymore except preve..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Nothing super bad about the new iriz, I got it today. Truthfully moving from a suzuki to Proton, the CVT did give me some headache and need to use to it.. but I see no problem except when you wanna go from a complete stopped car. After that it is very smooth for me.
      Just my own personal opinion. I got it, I’m happy with the car after reading most of these critiques about Proton CVT engine I can find. It trully came out better than what I’ve read from people bad mouthing their engine.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • tokmoh. on Jun 15, 2019 at 2:31 am

    1. Persona’s bulbous look never bothered me, remember that this serves the lower end of the market, beggars can’t be choosers. Design isn’t a top priority here, not any in this segment can lay claim to being a looker. Bezza was famous with being tonggek, doesn’t stop it from selling. Almost every Vios gen gets nicknamed with animals like dugong, keli etc, doesn’t stop it from selling well and have strong RV.

    Everyone in this segment do that to maximise space. Over a decade ago, having 500+L boot space and a comfortable non-claustrophobic rear seating were only possible with D-segment sedans, but today, I’m mind blown it’s possible in a B-seg sedan. If bulbous look is the price, it’s an absolute bargain, no brainer everyone would do that.

    2. Using halogen reflector is no deal breaker, and it shouldn’t. Having LED headlamp is nice and fancy, but when you need to replace it, Myvi’s LED headlamp can cost about rm900 per piece. Target market won’t be pleased about this.

    Proton is still in the red as we speak, so keep your expectation in check. They can’t give everything, so sharing headlamps now for both Persona and Iriz is very justified, brilliant even to kill 2 or more birds with 1 stone. Light output is not compromised by switching to reflector, coupled with better volume, economies of scale, cost management, simplifying inventory etc, sharing headlamp is the right decision.

    3. I wished they could’ve kept instant fuel consumption info on instrument cluster, but i understand their difficult position. The new instrument cluster is so good looking, legible, it’s near impossible to fault it.

    4. Agreed in the past they could only offer driving dynamics, forgetting that they’re running a business. Thanks to Geely, now they’re run properly like a business. Now the Iriz and Persona offers an unbeatable complete packaging to the market : safety, refinement, comfort, affordable selling price, cheaper finance cost thanks to better negotiation with financial institutions, comprehensive insurance packaging, affordable service cost and transparent pricing, upgraded 3S/4S facilities, Volvo’s standard practice for quality assurance, quality control, etc.

    Perodua can only offer slightly better fuel consumption, but for what you’re missing elsewhere that Proton offers, it doesn’t make for a convincing case for itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 7
    • Jeremy on Jun 15, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      About this statement, “Perodua can only offer slightly better fuel consumption”, I have to correct you on that.

      It is better ON PAPER, but in actuality it performs much worse. One reason is caused by the engine underpowered which needs to be driven more aggressively thereby incurring higher fuel consumption. I have that experience first hand when I moved from my 1.6L Persona CM to 1.3L Myvi Lagi Best thinking it would reduce my petrol bill but surprisingly there is negligible reduction in overall liters that I use each week. You can imagine my exasperation that my Myvi 1.3L engine is drinking as much like my Persona 1.6L. How is this possible baffles me.

      If I were to be brutally honest, I believe Perodua is cheating their customers and one of them is me. I think many didn’t realise this lie and the consumers continue to believe in it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 0
    • Thank you China! on Jun 15, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      It is no secret that all Proton cars are gas guzzling. Inefficient Campro engines.

      Lucky good China engines are coming into Malaysia

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6
    • Tun F on Jun 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Dude… Isn’t it already there for your number 3 statement? The active instant fuel consumption and distance to empty is like a must nowdays even a car like vios J, E spec or even Honda jazz S and City S doesn’t Have that features… Check it out dude

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • tokmoh. on Jun 16, 2019 at 11:00 pm

        There is average fuel consumption, not instant. They removed it and changed it to green leaf eco indicator.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Addam on Jun 15, 2019 at 11:44 pm

      Well said.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Addam on Jun 15, 2019 at 11:45 pm

      Well said. Eyes opening writing.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Choose a driving car definitely go for PROTON.
    Choose point A to point B transport only can pick PERODUA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0
    • If want to transport from point A to point B safely, better choose Proton. The Lotus-tuned ride and handling not only for fun driving, but also for better control when things get hairy. Peroduas are too front heavy without proper handling balance to offset the front-heaviness.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
    • Safety First on Jun 16, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      Choose a driving car definitely go for PROTON.
      Choose point A to point B transport in safety can only pick PROTON

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • Brian on Jun 16, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    I drove my brother’s Persona when back in Malaysia, nice car to drive, wish they have it in Thailand. I am stuck with Toyota (Altis) here. Expensive and not marginally better. If I am in Malaysia, will not hesitate to pick up a Persona for a daily driver. Best value for money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  • rally_fan (Member) on Jun 17, 2019 at 10:30 am

    just booked a new persona exec cvt as a city run about, nearly 2 month waiting list now. having driven the pre-facelift iriz, and also the persona.. the first thing i noticed about the new car is overall quieter operation. cvt jerkiness in previous model seems to have totally disappeared. some of the updates like the dash meters, etc. are of a higher quality, same with the displays. best of all, the handling is really amazing for a car of this price.. looks might have to grow on you, but its such an easy car to drive fast on all road conditions.. shame about the silverstone tyres though.. really bad. overall, compared to perodua offerings.. the persona rides better, handles better, has a more premium feel to it.. better control going over bumps and the chassis stiffness is unbelievable. interior is decent and holds up well. the engine and transmission can be a bit noisy when you rev it hard, but quieter in the new model, and its not much quieter in a perodua anyways.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
    • Avenger on Jun 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Best of all, your overall service cost will be cheaper than a one segment lower Bezza.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • I test drove the face-lift Persona and found the CVT to be much improved and felt as good as those found in City and Vios. The NVH while on the move was good, only the tyres a bit noisy. My favorite are the new seats in the Premium. They are comfortably sculpted and wrapped in high quality leather and fabric upholstery. There are some noticeable cost cutting measures like the cheap feeling AC dials, but given that the new car is 5k cheaper I can’t really fault it. Overall, it’s a positive upgrade from the old car. If I am buying one, I would change to a bigger set of rims and better tyres.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • I owned the new MyVi top spec for almost a year now, and test drove the Iriz and Persona yesterday… alamak, menyesal bought the MyVi!!! The new Protons are just far superior in terms of comfort, handling and noise. And the transmission too! MyVi’s gear change and ratios are just bad!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • I owned the new MyVi top spec for almost a year now, and test drove the Iriz and Persona yesterday… alamak, menyesal bought the MyVi!!! The new Protons are just far superior in terms of comfort, handling and noise. And the transmission too! MyVi’s gear change and ratios are just bad!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
 

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