The new 2022 Proton Persona facelift was launched around two weeks ago, and as we pointed out previously, it now costs more to maintain the B-segment sedan compared to the outgoing 2019 model. This is mainly due to more frequent N95 cabin filter and radiator coolant changes, plus their respective labour charges, which means you’ll pay RM3,583.17 at the service centre over five years or 100,000 km.

In an earlier post, we compared the maintenance cost of the Iriz, the Persona’s hatchback sibling, against its direct rival, the Perodua Myvi. Keeping things within national car brands, we’re going to do the same for the Persona, which we’re comparing against the Bezza.

Yes, we know the Persona doesn’t compete against the Bezza in the same space, as the former occupies the B-segment, while the latter is in the A-segment. The Saga is definitely a more suitable candidate, but we’re doing this as a follow up to our March 2019 post, and there’s already a maintenance cost comparison for the Bezza and Saga, which you can check out here.

Before we start, a brief rundown of the specs. The latest Persona soldiers on with its 1.6 litre engine and CVT, which is the only pairing for the entire variant line-up, while the Bezza we’re looking at is with the higher-spec 1.3 litre engine mated to a four-speed automatic.

Looking at the latest service schedule sourced from Perodua’s website, we find that the Bezza is now slightly more expensive to maintain compared to the data we compiled in March 2019. Over five years, it costs you RM3,163.50 for scheduled maintenance compared to RM3,095.39, with increases to certain parts or fluids.

It’s clear that the Bezza is cheaper to maintain compared to the Persona, with the gap between two being just under RM420 due to certain service items; it was the reverse last time with RM49 in favour of the Proton. Looking at the itemised table, and just like the Myvi, the Bezza uses a regular cabin filter that is changed three times over five years, which is less frequent compared to the five N95 cabin filters that the Persona requires over the same time.

2022 Proton Persona service schedule (top), 2019 Persona (bottom); click to enlarge

The Perodua sedan also gets its radiator coolant changed twice compared to the three times needed for the Persona. Furthermore, the Persona needs its fuel filter changed every 30,000 km, but this isn’t required for the Bezza.

The less-frequent service items and certain parts being cheaper contribute to the Bezza’s lower overall maintenance cost, but there are individual jobs that do cost more than the Persona. For instance, the Bezza’s four-speed auto requires two oil changes instead of one for the Persona’s CVT, while the engine uses costlier fully-synthetic engine oil and iridium spark plugs, both costing more over five years.

Even though some of the Bezza’s service items like the engine air filter are changed less frequently at every 40,000 km, Perodua does recommend replacements to be made every 20,000 km under its opt-in Pro Care programme. At RM103.20 per filter, it is significantly more than the RM17.78 filter that the Persona uses.

Perodua Bezza service schedule with Pro Care options; click to enlarge

There are other service items listed in Pro Care too, including brake fluid changes, tyre servicing (alignment, balancing and rotation), spark plug changes and air-con major service. Should you choose to add them all in, and the new total maintenance cost over five years becomes significantly more than the Persona.

As always, running costs aren’t limited to what’s prescribed in a service schedule, as there are other things like fuel consumption and consumables that can vary depending on usage. If you drive more often, you’re going to use more fuel and wear out the tyres faster, and the latter will definitely cost more for the Persona, as its wheel sizes have gone up gone up from 15 to 16 inches for Executive and Premium variants, while the it’s 15 inches on the Bezza with the 1.3 litre engine.

In the end, the Bezza is cheaper to maintain over five years compared to the Persona, but if you spread the roughly RM420 difference across that time, it’s a similar story to the Myvi and Iriz comparison, where you pay around RM84 more per year for the Persona. If you want to see a similar comparison involving non-national car brands, we previously prepared one involving the Nissan Almera Turbo and Honda City.