It’s finally here! The new Proton Persona makes its official launch debut today, the second entry in a four-model resurgence for the national carmaker that began with the new Perdana.
The Persona arrives in a total of three trim levels – Standard, Executive and Premium – all of which are powered by a 1.6 litre DOHC four-cylinder VVT petrol engine. You’ll also get a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating regardless of your choice, thanks to the safety kit fitted.
Before we jump into the details, you can read out first impressions test drive report to find out what we think of the new Persona, to get some idea of what the sedan is like. Now, without further ado:
Iriz platform, tweaked design
Based on the Iriz platform, the Persona shares the same 2,555 mm wheelbase length as the hatchback, as well as its width (1,722 mm) and height (1,554 mm). Obviously, the sedan body style sees an increase to the vehicle’s length, which measures 4,387 mm, an increase of 467 mm from the Iriz. This also allows for a more spacious boot at 510 litres compared to the Iriz’ 215 litres, which can be expanded further by folding down the 60:40-split rear seats (except on the Standard).
In terms of design, the Persona is very clearly based on the Iriz hatchback, but with a few small revisions. The headlamps and grille are slimmer on the sedan, while the lower grille features a redesigned number plate holder section. On models with front fog lamps, they are circular in shape as well. With the extension at the rear, the Persona also gets its own tail lamp design separate from the ones on the Iriz.
Moving inside, most of the Iriz’ interior panels have been carried over, including the “stitched dashboard, the pod-like centre console and instrument binnacle, three-spoke steering wheel and door cards. However, much like the exterior, there are a few differences to note.
For starters, CVT-fitted models receive a new gearlever featuring a side-mounted release switch instead. More noticeable is the light grey colour scheme – a contrast to the all-black interior found on the Iriz. Proton says the palette choice is meant to increase the impression of space, and to tie in with the design theme of “stylish executive.” On lower-spec variants, matte black trim accompanies the grey for a dual-tone look, while titanium chrome is for higher-spec ones.
Iriz engine, adapted for use
Under the hood, the Persona comes with only a single petrol engine choice – the 1.6 litre DOHC four-cylinder VVT unit lifted from the Iriz, which produces 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Drive is sent to front wheels via a five-speed manual (Standard only) or a CVT. Although mechanically similar, Proton has done a few changes for the engine’s application on the Persona.
The Persona’s engine uses three-point engine mounts (instead of four), which is said to offer better refinement (claimed to be six decibels quieter than the equivalent Iriz). Additionally, the car’s ECU has been calibrated for the sedan, a new exhaust system made by Faurecia – reducing boominess at low revs – has been added, and the Punch CVT has been tuned to offer a more linear power delivery than before.
Following the car’s ECO Drive Assist indicator (standard on all trims), the Persona is capable of consuming up to 5.6 litres per 100 km with the manual transmission and up to 6.1 litres per 100 km with the CVT, at a constant speed of 90 km/h.
While some might question why Proton decided to leave out the 1.3 litre VVT from the Persona’s engine line-up, despite it being available on the Iriz, the company has said the decision to so was to create a clearer distinction with the new Saga (which will only be available with the 1.3), its next introduction.
Proton Persona pricing and equipment
The high-spec Premium trim will set you back just under RM60k, and comes with all the bells and whistles, including steering-mounted audio controls, front fog lamps, two rear USB charging ports, remote trunk release, leather upholstery and a 2-DIN touchscreen infotainment unit. The latter comes with DVD playback capabilities, GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and accepts USB, AUX inputs.
In terms of safety, all variants of the Persona come with ABS (with EBD and brake assist), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, hill-hold assist and ISOFIX child seat anchors (with top tether). The airbag count stands at six for the Premium, while the Executive and Standard will have just two.
There are six colours to choose from – Midnight Black, Sterling Silver, Cotton White, Graphite Grey, Fire Red and a new Carnelian Brown. Prices for the three trim levels, on-the-road including insurance, are as follows:
- 1.6 Standard 5MT – RM46,350 (solid), RM46,800 (metallic)
- 1.6 Standard CVT – RM49,350 (solid), RM49,800 (metallic)
- 1.6 Executive CVT – RM55,350 (solid), RM55,800 (metallic)
- 1.6 Premium CVT – RM59,350 (solid), RM59,800 (metallic), optional bodykit is RM1,000 extra
Here’s the variant breakdown in detail:
2016 Proton Persona 1.6 Standard MT/CVT
- 1.6 litre VVT engine
- 107 hp at 5,750 rpm, 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm
- 5.6 l/100 km for 5MT (at 90 km/h)
- 6.1 l/100 km for CVT (at 90 km/h)
- Ecodrive Assist
- Reflector halogen headlamps (height adjustable)
- Rear fog lamps
- Front and rear parking sensors
- 15-inch wheels in grey (with 185/55R15 Silverstone Kruizer tyres)
- Unpainted side mirrors and door handles
- Power adjustable wing mirrors
- Body-coloured B-pillars
- Remote key fob and manual key start
- Single-DIN head unit with Bluetooth
- Fabric seats
- Height adjustable driver’s seat
- 510-litre boot with space saver spare tyre
- Isofix child seat anchors with top tether
- Two airbags (front driver and passenger)
- ABS with EBD and BA
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Hill-hold assist
- Front disc brakes, rear drums
2016 Proton Persona 1.6 Executive CVT
- Front fog lamps
- Body-coloured side mirrors and door handles
- Rear bootlid spoiler
- Double-DIN head unit with Bluetooth
- Gloss titanium chrome centre console housing
- Rear USB charging ports
- 60:40 split-folding rear seats
- Fabric door trim
2016 Proton Persona 1.6 Premium CVT
- 15-inch wheels in silver (with 185/55R15 Goodyear Assurance tyres)
- Black B-pillars
- Keyless entry with push start button
- Touchscreen head unit (Android-based) with Bluetooth and reverse camera
- Leather seats and steering wheel
- Leather door trim
- Power retractable wing mirrors
- Six airbags (dual front, side and curtain)
- All-around dual-tone bodykit (optional)