August 23, 2016 @ 08:30 PM

Persona takes on the B-segment

Don’t go calling the Persona an Iriz with a derriere because the new Proton sedan is more car than that... heaps more.


Proton has finally launched the all-new Persona amidst much fanfare that included more teasing than Dita von Teese which culminated in a short video of the cars being stolen starring local leading men and ladies.
 
Getting the important digits out of the way first, the Persona will be available in four variants from three trims; the Standard, Executive and Premium, with a CVT available in all three and the entry-level Standard getting a manual option as well.


 
The Standard Manual is priced at RM46,800 and opting for the CVT will increase that to RM49,800. Pricing for the Executive CVT starts at RM55,800 and the full bells and whistles Premium CVT will set you back RM59,800. All the prices are on-the-road and inclusive of insurance.
 
Built on the same platform as the Iriz, which it shares more than a passing resemblance with, the Persona’s exterior is completely redesigned save for the front doors, front windscreen and front three quarter glass panels; the rest of the bodywork is a fresh design.


 
Sitting under the hood is the very same 1.6-litre VVT inline-four found in the Iriz as well but and this displacement will be the only option available for the Persona while its Saga sibling will now only be offered with the 1.3-litre mill to avoid any overlap.
 
The CVT from the Iriz carries over but Proton has further refined it to cut down on the dreaded CVT droning that plagued the Iriz. If you are one of the handful that opt for the Standard Manual variant, it will be a five-speeder. Claimed fuel figures for the CVT are 6.1L/100km and the manual does better at 5.6L/100km.


 
Inside the cabin, you will find an Eco driving indicator; the first for a Proton. Much of the cabin was carried over from the Iriz and that is nothing to frown at as the hatchback marked a noteworthy improvement in cabin quality.
 
The added derriere has also resulted in a substantial 510-litre boot; larger than the outgoing Persona that was a C-segmenter whilst this successor will battle it out in the B-segment.


 
Even the naked eye will tell you that the new Persona covers a smaller footprint than its predecessor and the measurements set it in stone. It is shorter, narrower and has a smaller wheelbase but edges it in the height department.
 
Safety has been a cardinal focus for Proton it its latest models and the Persona benefits from a five star Asean NCAP rating across the range. That means that Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control is standard in all variants, as is ABS and Hill-hold Assist.


 
However, only the Premium trim gets the full six airbags whereas the Standard and Executive lines make do with just two. Furthermore, to maximise rear legroom the Persona loses the rear multi-link suspension setup and disc brakes of the first generation. Instead, the rear now rides on a torsion beam and drum brake setup. Nonetheless, Proton reassures us that the stopping distance of the new car is shorter.
 
The Persona is now available for test drives at Proton Edar showrooms and can be had in six colours; Cotton White, Quartz Black, Sterling Silver, Graphite Grey, Fire Red and Carnelian Brown.

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