Proton launched the facelifted Iriz and Persona in August this year, and we’re now bringing you a side-by-side gallery of both in their range-topping guises. In the case of the Iriz, it is the Active which is priced at RM54,800, while the Persona is represented in Premium specification that goes for RM55,800 – these are on-the-road prices without insurance and factor in the ongoing 100% sales tax exemption for locally-assembled (CKD) cars.
Prior to the latest facelift, the Iriz had its own front fascia where a full-width chrome strip plunges downwards to cradle the Proton emblem. This is different from the Persona of the time that has its chrome strip running down the inner edges of the headlamps and across the base of the grille, which also comes with a different inlay compared to the hatchback.
With the latest models, both now carry a nearly identical front-end that features Proton’s Infinite Weave grille with the latest round badge. There is still a slight difference though, as the Persona has a chrome grille frame, while the Iriz has a black upper and red lower similar to the X50.
Lower down, the bumper has also been redesigned, with a broader lower grille and slimmer corner air intakes that house the LED daytime running light strips. As for the rear, it’s largely the same as per the previous facelift, but the bumper strip is now red instead of chrome on the Iriz – the Persona keeps the chrome.
The Active variant is exclusive to the hatchback and comes with SUV-style cues for a more rugged vibe. These include black plastic cladding, silver skid plates on the bumpers, silver roof rails, a black roof and side skirts, while the lower intake at the front is treated to a silver surround and a honeycomb mesh.
As mentioned in our initial launch post, wheel sizes have gone up an inch across the board, so the two cars you see here are wearing 16-inch alloys, with those on the Iriz being unique to the Active with their two-tone, multi-spoke design.
Moving inside, it’s again a case of similar but not identical, as both sport a revamped dashboard with a freestanding touchscreen measuring eight inches. The infotainment system in the range toppers come with the Geely Key User Interface (GKUI) and an eSIM for online navigation, music streaming, WiFi connectivity and the “Hi Proton” voice control system.
The placement of the screen forces the centre air vents, previously on either side of the head unit, downwards, sandwiching the hazard light and door lock buttons in the middle. Further down, there’s the manual air-conditioning controls and three USB ports instead of just one, with another being added near the rear-view mirror to make it easier to fit a dash cam.
Elsewhere, there’s a new centre console with a cleaner, one-piece design and houses the gear lever, three cupholders as well as switches for the front parking sensors, stability control and a new Eco drive mode. Joining this revision is a much-clamoured armrest, two more USB ports at the back of the console and a redesigned steering wheel airbag boss.
Like the front-ends of both models, the furnishings differ between the two, with the Iriz getting black, part-leather seats (with “Active” embroidered on the headrests), red seat belts, alloy pedals and red accents for some trim pieces. By comparison, the Persona goes for the classy look, receiving brown leatherette upholstery, normal black seat belts and silver trim instead.
The Iriz and Persona variants pictured here are powered by a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder VVT petrol engine that delivers 109 PS at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The mill drives the front wheels via a Punch CVT, which is the only transmission available – the previous five-speed manual has been dropped.
While the 1.6 litre engine is the only engine fitted across the Persona range, the base Iriz variant – the Standard – can be had with a 1.3 litre VVT unit that makes 95 PS at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm, also paired with a CVT.
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