Published on January 3rd, 2018 | by Subhash Nair2
10 Tiny Things the Persona Does Better Than Some Foreign Alternatives
The Proton Persona is a B-segment sedan that’s been on sale in Malaysia since 2016. By now, any Malaysian would have noticed just how popular the car has become. It’s even beginning to replace older taxis in parts of the country.
We tested a 1.6 CVT Executive last month and found ourselves wondering if it made the lower-end foreign-branded alternatives redundant – particularly the Nissan Almera E and Volkswagen Vento Trendline.
Turns out, there were at least 10 things the Persona offered that the other two could not.
Obviously, being a local manufacturer puts Proton at a significant advantage. This is neither Nissan nor Volkswagen’s fault, but it’s going to be hard to ignore the difference here. The Persona Executive comes in at under RM54,000, while the Almera E and Vento Trendline come in at under RM82,000 and RM81,000 respectively.
2. Colour choices
Colour variety won’t matter once you’re in the car, but it definitely adds some value.
Both the Almera and Vento are sold in 5 colours. Both can be purchased in white, black, and silver. The Almera also comes in blue and bronze while the Vento has a grey and red colour option.
The Persona? 6 colour options. White, black, and silver, of course, as well as red, brown and grey are the colours you can get it in.
The cars here are pretty much neck and neck in terms of power, but the Persona ends up with the highest horsepower by just a hair.
The Almera has 101hp, Vento has 103hp, and Persona has 107hp,
4. Fuel Efficiency
In spite of having the largest engine and most horsepower, the Persona manages the best official fuel-efficiency with 6.1L/100km. For reference, the Almera gets 6.7L/100km, Vento 6.5L/100km.
5. Boot Space
Proton really hit the mark with this one. Bootspace is essential to Malaysian families. The Persona comes in with 510L, while the Almera has 490L, and the Vento just 454L.
With any B-segment sedan, space in the rear is going to be an issue. Sure, there are three seatbelts on the bench, but how comfortable are the occupants going to be? It’s still a concern in the Persona, but it does technically have the widest body here at 1722mm. (Almera, 1695mm. Vento, 1699mm).
7. Stability Control
If you’re scanning through the brochures without knowing what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll not notice that the Almera and Vento Trendline don’t come with Electronic Stability Control. This feature is extremely important, especially to less experienced drivers. It comes standard in all Persona models. Great job there, Proton. It may seem like a tiny detail, but it’s a proven lifesaver.
8. USB ports
Yes, it’s nice to have 12V sockets. But not everyone has a 12V-to-USB adapter handy all the time. And fewer still have cables long enough to charge devices for rear passengers in their cars. In the Persona, this is covered. You have actual USB ports! Not just in front, but located behind the handbrake in two different outputs. Nice!
9. Front Parking Sensors
It’s no secret that cars today have gotten really difficult to look out of. Pillars are getting thicker, driver seats are placed really far back and cars are generally taller all-round. In the Persona, this is no different. It’s all done in the name of passenger safety, so we can’t really fault manufacturers. But the Persona does get around this visibility problem by having front parking sensors on the Executive model. The others don’t have this.
10. Hillstart Assist
Another little thing the Persona Executive gives you is Hillstart Assist. This stops the car from rolling backwards when you let go of the brakes, if only for a couple of seconds. Sounds small, but can prevent little fender benders for sure.