Automotive

Published on August 23rd, 2016 | by Subhash Nair

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Proton Launches 2016 Persona – The Best Value-Oriented Malaysian Car of 2016?

Proton today launched the all-new Persona, the first major update to the nameplate in nearly a decade.

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Based on the same platform as the Iriz, the 2016 Persona brings a new level of safety and comfort to the B-segment in the form of a well isolated cabin and extensive use of Hot-Press Forming steel (which is 5 times stronger than regular steel). It also features electronic stability control (ESC), one of the most effective technologies in the prevention of vehicle rollover.

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Also standard to all models of the Persona is ABS, Brake Assist and Traction Control. While the base model comes with 2 airbags, the top-of-the-line Premium model comes with 6, making it almost on par with the safest German and Japanese B-segment offering.

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Even with all this standard equipment, the all-new Proton Perdana is being priced very competitively. The Standard model with a 5-speed manual comes in at just over RM46,000 and sips just 5.8L/100km. The Standard model is also avaialble with a CVT (RM49,350) for those who prefer an automatic gearbox and don’t mind the slightly higher 6.1L/100km fuel consumption rating.

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The Executive CVT is priced at RM55,350 and brings in a ‘Titanium Chrome’ finish to the interior, steering wheel mounted audio switches, a double-DIN infotainment unit, Remote Trunk Release, the ‘Follow Me Home’ light feature, and a rear spoiler.

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Finally, the range topping Premium CVT variant comes in at RM59,350 and features larger wheels, auto headlights, folding side mirrors, leather seats and upholstery, a touchscreen audio system, push-to-start button, passive keyless entry, a DVD player, GPS navigation, a reverse camera and 6 airbags instead of 2. For an additional RM1000, you can even get a bodykit from Proton.

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The pricing for the new Persona is quite aggressive – and given the single engine choice available, the RM10,000 gap between the base model and the full-spec model seems very reasonable.

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From our short time on the track 2 weeks ago, we can say with confidence that the new Persona rides quite well, has better NVH dampening characteristics than the Iriz and seems to be an overall step in the right direction for Proton. Of course, there were some things that we felt could have been improved. The climate control knobs still felt a little cheap, rear headrests were fixed in placed and projector headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lights would have aided the design.

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But the price is right with this new Proton, and for that reason it might just work.


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