Proton’s run of product updates continues with the preview of the facelifted Proton Persona today – the B-segment sedan has been comprehensively revamped with 303 tweaks for the 2019 model year.
Set to be launched later this month – at the same time as the also-facelfited Iriz – the Persona will be open for booking starting tomorrow, March 12. As with its hatchback sibling, there will be an online flash booking for the car until March 22, with a fee of RM9.99.
Let’s start with the exterior, beginning with the redesigned front end. The sweeping chrome trim, which spans across the entire width of the car, incorporates what Proton calls the “Ethereal Bow” design, now wrapping under the grille. This grille, by the way, features the new “Infinite Weave” pattern first seen on the X70 SUV.
The outgoing model’s massive lower grille has also been slimmed down, while the air intakes flanking it (now with LED daytime running lights) have been made larger; a slim gloss black strip ties it all together. At the rear sits a revised rear bumper with a chrome strip, plus a new rear bootlid garnish with the Proton script. New 15-inch two-tone multi-spoke alloy wheels complete the look.
Inside, the Persona keeps its black and beige colour scheme but gains a frameless rear-view mirror, new part-leather upholstery and a gearknob from the X70, complete with a leather boot. You also now get features such as automatic headlights and an auto up/down driver’s side window (previously only auto down), and like the Iriz, the Persona has a new instrument cluster with cleaner dials and a large colour multi-info display.
You’ll also find a new infotainment system – a version of the Geely Smart Ecosystem (GKUI) developed in collaboration with ECARX – with a seven-inch touchscreen and the same “Hi Proton” voice control function as the X70 (minus a few commands for some of the vehicle features). As with the X70 and Iriz, the Persona gets internet connectivity via a built-in eSIM, which Proton says is a first for the segment.
The powertrain remains unchanged – there’s a 1.6 litre VVT four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, paired to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT. Proton says that the CVT has been recalibrated to reduce fuel consumption by around three to four percent, and changes have also been made to achieve improved braking performance and refinement.
As before, there are three variants – Standard, Executive and Premium – and the specs are as follows:
Proton Persona 1.6 Standard MT/CVT
Gets as standard:
Engine and transmission
1.6 litre VVT engine
1,597 cc naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol
107 hp at 5,750 rpm, 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm
Five-speed manual gearbox or CVT
ECO Drive Assist light
MacPherson strut front suspension, torsion beam rear
Ventilated front disc brakes, rear drums
Reflector halogen headlights
15-inch alloy wheels
Monochrome multi-info display
Front and rear parking sensors
Two rear USB ports
ABS with EBD and brake assist
Rear ISOFIX child seat anchors
Proton Persona 1.6 Executive CVT
LED daytime running lights
Multifunction steering wheel
Colour multi-info display
Seven-inch infotainment touchscreen
Front USB port
Reverse camera with dynamic guide lines
Proton Persona 1.6 Premium CVT
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Leather-wrapped gearknob with boot
Frameless rear-view mirror
Voice command, navigation, music streaming
Six airbags (front, side, curtain)
Five colours will be offered, including Jet Grey, Snow White, Ruby Red, Rosewood Maroon and Armour Silver. All colours are new for the Persona and come from Geely’s colour palette, except from Ruby Red which is a Proton hue.