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!

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