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  • 2021 Proton Persona
    RM 451/Month RM 42,600

Key Highlights

ESC available in all grades Spacious and plenty of storage spaces Decent NVH
Good ride comfort 6 airbags in Premium variant 5-star Asean NCAP rating

Overview

Proton Persona 2021 Review

It’s easy to imagine the Proton Persona as being a sort of afterthought for Proton when they developed it, but the history of the Persona is a little more complex and intertwined than you would expect. For one, it is the technical successor to the Proton Wira – as the Wira was known as the Persona in some other markets, and of course the Proton GEN 2 would be the Wira Aeroback’s successor.

But more important than that is the fact that the second-generation Persona (or first generation to Malaysians) was technically succeeded by the Proton Preve. Depending on how you look at it, however, the Preve succeeds the Inspira, which succeeded the Waja – completely different model lines to look at. Regardless of what you want to classify the Persona as, it is a very important product and holds its own within the Proton range.

The current generation Proton Persona as we know it is designed to be a little more compact than its predecessor, and this is expected as it shares its strong backbone with the Proton Iriz. Effectively the Persona is an Iriz sedan, although there are a couple of differences when it comes to equipment and trim levels.

Launched back in 2016, the Persona has gone through one minor change back in 2019, and another minor facelift is expected in the coming year. There are four main variants to choose from, and one special Black Edition variant sitting atop the range. There is only one engine on offer, and either a manual transmission or a CVT-type automatic to channel power to the front wheels.

Proton Persona 2021 Specifications

In contrast to the Iriz, the Proton Persona only gets the 1.6-litre VVT petrol powerplant, pushing 109 PS and 150 Nm of torque. There is also a CVT-type automatic transmission as an option, with no manual override functionality, as well as a five-speed manual transmission specifically for the standard variant. This is in contrast to the Iriz, which only has a 1.3-litre variant with a manual transmission.

As you can gleam by the relation to the Iriz, the Persona also has a MacPherson strut front suspension setup with a torsion beam rear – though naturally the chassis tuning is slightly different to compensate for the longer body style and the potentially different loading of weight throughout the car.

In terms of the overall dimensions, the Persona shares that 2,555 mm wheelbase with the Iriz, with a width that’s ever so slightly larger at 1,722 mm, and a height similarly taller at 1,554 mm. The main dimensions that changes is the length, which grows to 4,387 mm – or over 400 mm longer than the Iriz. Kerb weights are not drastically different either, sitting between 1,155 kg and 1,210 kg depending on variant.

Proton Persona 2021 Exterior

There has been a surprising amount of work done in order to differentiate the Proton Persona from the Iriz, and not merely in terms of how there’s a much longer boot. It isn’t easy to mix the two models up from the front, and despite eventually having identical front grilles to match those of the X50 and X70, the Persona will still have a few styling elements that set it apart. All models get 15-inch alloy wheels in the same design, with only a slight colour variation for the Black Edition.

Proton Persona 2021 Interior

Despite having distinguishable exteriors, the interior of the Proton Persona is pretty much identical to that of the Iriz. The Standard variants get a regular head unit, while the Executive CVT and Premium CVT variants get a seven-inch touch screen monitor. Urethane is the material of choice for the steering wheel finish, save for the Premium CVT and Black Edition models that get leather instead. Steering wheel switches are reserved for the Executive CVT variant and higher, as is the semi-leather seat material in place of the more regular fabric offerings.

Proton Persona 2021 Safety Features

You want airbags? The Proton Persona gets front airbags across the range, with side and curtain airbags being reserved for the Premium CVT variant or higher. All variants also get rear ISOFIX with top teather anchorage, and your standard passive safety systems like ABS with EBD, brake assist, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, and Hill Hold Assist. All models also get two front and two rear parking sensors. Unfortunately there are no active safety systems here, though you could possibly expect that with its second facelift.

Proton Persona 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses

Ride and handling will always be front and centre for a Proton product, and the Proton Persona reflects these characteristics extremely well. Positive feeling steering, a chassis that behaves naturally and responds predictably to inputs – even with all the safety systems turned off – and damping that takes the abuse of Malaysian roads. As a Malaysian product, the Persona shows just what our local boys are capable of.

For the more practical consumer, the other obvious upside to the Persona is that it offers a decent amount of bootspace at the price point, without dropping in aspects like performance or level of functionality. It isn’t the most economical product – that’s reserved for the Saga – but it does present the option for those who can’t live with a compact hatchback.

On the flip side, the Proton Persona is an aging product – regardless of the updates that bring its design and functionality up to current Proton standards. It’s not very likely that there will be widespread calibration for the active safety systems, meaning that the next generation Persona is going to be the one you want if you value things like autonomous emergency braking.

Proton Persona 2021 Price

Hopping into a Proton Persona Black Edition will cost you the most at RM 55,600. From there, the Premium CVT variant goes down to RM 54,600, the Executive CVT variant drops to RM 49,600, the Standard CVT variant goes for RM 44,600, and the Standard MT takes the lowest price at RM 42,600. This kind of pricing is incredibly competitive, and it is the largest locally manufactured sedan on offer.

Proton Persona 2021 Features

Just as Proton only chooses to offer one engine with the Persona, it also stands to reason that functionality is fairly flat across the relatively narrow range of variant pricing. Keyless entry and start comes into play from the Executive CVT variant and higher, while the multi-info display also transitions from a segmented LCD to a full on TFT unit at this point. Smartphone connectivity and an upgrade from two speakers to four speakers also occurs at this point in the line-up.

Daytime running lights and follow-me-home headlamps are included from the Executive CVT variant and up, as is a remote trunk release function and a reverse camera. What is limited to the Premium CVT and higher are items like automatic headlamps, voice command, online music streaming, online navigation, and 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Proton Persona 2021 Fuel Consumption

There are no manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figures for the Proton Persona, but from our testing we have found that 5.03 litres per 100 kilometres is technically achievable if driven highly conservatively. This works out to just under 20 kilometres per litre. More realistic figures would be in the 12 or 13 kilometres per litre mark. 

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Key Details

  • Body Type: Sedan
  • Transmission: Manual/Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1597 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 42,600 - RM 55,600

Key Details

  • Body Type: Sedan
  • Transmission: Manual/Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1597 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 42,600 - RM 55,600

Reviews

  • Ferdinand

    14 Apr 2021

    Review: Proton Persona - Punching Above Its Weight, Mostly...

    It's comfortable enough. The part-leather upholstery never felt squishy or too hot to sit in even after being parked for more than two hours under our scorching heat. Over long distances in excess of three hours, you might start to feel a little uncomfortable but that's more than can be said for the Proton X50, it's lack of thigh support had me bum aching within an hour. Rear occupant room is wide, airy and perfect for two. Generally in almost any sedan, regardless of price, you're most comfortable with two in the rear, sure you could fit three but you are going to feel a little squished over long drives. Its 510-litre boot space will carry your scooter, two luggage bags, tennis bag and pet dog with ease. The 7-inch infotainment touchscreen unit was easy to maneuver and use. Connecting my phone via Bluetooth took all of 30 seconds. The sound emanating from the four speakers was clear even turned up loud, there was no 'cracking' of the speakers nor did it sound tinny. Again, more than adequate for us non-audiophiles who just like streaming their own music of choice while on the road. All throughout my time with the Persona, my biggest gripe was the sound that permeated the cabin at highway speeds but hey turn up the volume and 'whoosh' it disappears. There really is nothing else that I found that annoyed or bugged me about this little B-segment sedan from Proto

    View full review
  • Arvind

    17 Sep 2020

    Review: New Proton Persona 1.6 Premium CVT – Building Value Where It Matters

    On the outside, the facelifted Persona now comes with an updated front fascia featuring the 'Ethereal Bow' front grille, similar to what is found on the X70 SUV. Further down, new LED DRLs and a restyled front bumper help give the Persona a fresher look. The same treatment has been carried on the rear, with a new rear bumper and bootlid spoiler. The “Proton” script is applied across the boot lid trim in the same manner of the Iriz.

    View full review
  • Kon

    20 Oct 2017

    2016 Proton Persona – Smaller in Size, Bigger in Aspirations

    The Persona has been one of Proton’s most successful models in recent memory. At a time when Proton’s reputation was taking a beating and bleeding market share, the Persona in 2007 was the model that successfully stemmed the decline and helped atone for the series of less-than-successful hatchback models that came before, namely the Gen.2, Satria Neo, and Savvy.

    View full review

User Review of Proton Persona

4.0 Very Good
Overall Rating
Performance
Interior Design
Safety
Exterior Design
Showing 97 reviews sorted by Latest Year
4 Very Good
Roslan
Owner of 2020 Proton Persona

Good to drive equal to price

Very good in handling , easy speed up to overtake. Equal petrol used. - Less
2 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Lim
Owner of 2020 Proton Persona

Proton persona review

Overall nice, less problem and save oil - Less
12 person found this helpful
3 Good
Ashley
Owner of 2020 Proton Persona

improve budget car design

Malaysians have very limited options with regard to car choices that dont break the bank. Look at countries like India and Thailand, creating solutions for all. Things must change. More efficient engines are needed, better exterior appearance and more options must be introduced. - Less
6 person found this helpful
3 Good
Daniel
Owner of 2019 Proton Persona

Innovative but still can be better

Overall is good except the safety meed enhancement on door lock system and also site mirror auto close should be optional. - Less
7 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Mohammad
Owner of 2019 Proton Persona

Awesome cruising car

If wanna go value for money but you have limited budget this is the car for you no joke! - Less
10 person found this helpful
See all reviews

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2021 Proton Persona
RM 451/Month RM 42,600
2021 Proton Persona
RM 451/Month RM 42,600