New 2021 Proton Iriz – Active variant and everything else you need to know
Seeing that the number of spyshots of the upcoming 2021 Proton Iriz have been steadily increasing over the past couple of weeks, it’s not surprising that the launch of Proton’s B-segment hatchback is just around the corner.Let’s take a closer look at the upcoming 2021 Proton Iriz1.... View News
Alongside the facelifted 2021 Proton Persona, the 2021 Proton Iriz facelift was also launched. Prices have seen an increase, starting from RM 40,300 to RM 54,000. These include SST discounts that are valid till 31-December 2021.The 2021 Iriz facelift kept its 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engin... Read More
Proton Iriz Price List (Variants)
The 2021 - 2022 Proton Iriz is offered in 8 variants - which are priced from RM 36,700 to RM 54,000, the base model of iriz is 2019 Proton Iriz 1.3 VVT Standard MT which is at a price of RM 36,700 and the top variant of Proton Iriz is 2021 Proton Iriz 1.6 Active CVT which is offered at a price of RM 54,000.
What do you look for in a daily runabout? I would hazard a guess and say – fuel efficiency, space, and low maintenance cost. With those criteria, it’s little wonder that the Perodua Myvi tops the sales chart year after year.
Proton’s attempt to steal the thunder was, and perhaps still is, with the Iriz. Evidently, that didn’t go as well as Proton had hoped, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Proton Iriz. The biggest bugbear personally is the CVT despite the continuous updates.
Has the 2022 Proton Iriz facelift finally ironed out all the kinks? Well, I’d say nearly, and we shall get into that in a moment.
Exterior - Cladding galore
The Iriz we have here is the range-topping Active variant, with crossover styling elements such as the black cladding along the sides of the car and roof rails. General feedback on its exterior has been rather negative, most of it aimed at the cladding.
Personally, I’m inclined to agree. The lower rung Executive variant does without the cladding and I find that it looks cleaner.
Headlights are now LEDs on this range-topper, though halogen position lamp triggers my OCD with its disparity in colour temperature. Swapping it out for LED units might be the first thing on my to-do list if I were to get the Iriz Active.
The bow-shaped chrome piece on the front grille is no more, it now gets gloss black treatment along with the roof and rear spoiler. I find that these are the more agreeable visual updates but then again, it’s entirely subjective.
Wheels are 16-inch items now, wrapped with 185/55 profile rubbers, which makes it literally an inch larger than before with 15-inch wheels on the same width and profile tyres. It partly explains the increase in overall height, the other part being the roof rails.
Interior - Welcome revisions
Inside is where it gets even more interesting. The redesigned dashboard sees a floating-style infotainment display and there’s also a completely new centre console with an armrest.
Let’s talk a bit about the star of the show here – the new 8-inch touchscreen unit. And I’ll just cut to the chase, it’s been rather underwhelming. Boot up time takes longer than I would appreciate, the screen itself isn’t bright enough during the day, and the operation is a little clunky.
The Proton Saga’s infotainment system feels more fluid to use and interact with (yes, I’ve tried them both back-to-back). The voice command feature mishears instructions half of the time and the situation ends up looking like an elderly couple having an argument.
Having said that, these are quirks that can be rectified via software updates and I trust that Proton and ACO Tech will continue refining the software.
The new digital control unit for the air-conditioning is as straightforward as it gets to use, and there’s a slot beneath it that is decently sized for most modern smartphones. Though your phone wouldn't fit if it's charging as the cable would be obstructing.
Now onto the build and material quality. Material quality is commendable for its price point, better than the Perodua Myvi with less sharp edges around the plastics. Build quality is said to be improved but to be frank, there were buzzing noises coming from the touchscreen on our test car.
We had the 2022 Proton Persona at the same time as well and it too suffered from similar noises. Generally, we refrain from commenting on such a matter as it could be an isolated case, but having two cars with very similar noises make it compelling to point out.
Elsewhere in the cabin, it’s pretty much identical to before. Space wise, there’s two tennis balls of kneeroom and one tennis ball of headroom for a 175 cm tall individual. Not as spacious as a Myvi, but it’s adequate.
All variants of the Iriz gets ESC and traction control though only the entry Standard variant gets 4 airbags. The rest of the variants get 6 airbags.
Only the top-spec 1.6L Active gets semi leather seats while the Standard and Executive get fabric seats and leatherette seats respectively.
The Iriz 1.3L Standard uses a base audio head unit with Bluetooth. From the Executive variant onwards, it gets the 8-inch floating-style touchscreen display. The Active variant adds voice commands that controls the windows and air-conditioning.
Proton offers the Iriz with 2 engine options. A 1.3-litre engine that produces 95 PS and 120 Nm and a 1.6-litre engine that produces 109 PS and 150 Nm.
2019 Proton Iriz Engine
1.3-litre DOHC VVT
95 ps @ 5,750 rpm
120 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
1.6-litre DOHC VVT
109 ps @ 5,750 rpm
150 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
The manual variant has been dropped. All variants are equipped with a CVT.
All Iriz variants have an Electric Power Steering with a minimum turn radius of 5-metres.
The Iriz is front-wheel drive only.
Driving Experience - Third update's the charm
Having driven all iterations of the Proton Iriz since it first launched, I’ve experienced the progress of refinement. In its early years, the Iriz felt rough around the edges; the transmission was an example of a poorly executed CVT and the cabin can get quite boomy at times from the vibration and resonances.
The 2017 update improved the refinement and transmission calibration, which made the car quieter and the CVT more responsive. However, it was still inconsistent in stop and go situations, lurching forwards at times at crawling speeds.
The 2019 facelift made the Iriz even more responsive, but the transmission is still a let-down in traffic. It lacked consistency; at times it would lurch forward at a gentle prod of the throttle, and other times it can engage smoothly.
In this 2022 Proton Iriz, I am pleased to report that the CVT is now acceptable in traffic. It creeps forward naturally when the brake pedal is released and gently accelerates as throttle is applied.
If you were to jab the throttle pedal and be unsmooth in general, it would still give that characteristic lurch. It’s just how a clutch-based CVT behaves and no amount of calibration can change that.
But it is now consistent enough and at a point that I find to be unintrusive in daily driving. And I don’t think the CVT should be held against the Iriz anymore.
The CVT gets two additional features – Neutral Idle Control that disconnects the clutch at idle to reduce strain on the transmission, and Eco Mode with clutch disengagement during coasting at under 70 km/h.
The calibration work has also somewhat dialled down the enthusiasm; it’s no longer as eager to rev as the 2019 model and has a more matured response. Selecting the stepped ratio mode will bring the eagerness back.
Apart from the transmission calibration, the Iriz drives as well it always have been. Steering is well-weighted and feels natural. Suspension is pliant and yet maintains a good level of body control. It does feel a little heavy around bends, but the communicative chassis means you’ll know what’s happening at all times.
The facelifted Iriz still doesn't have the quietest interior with measurements starting at 70 db at 110 km/h.
The Iriz rides on Macpherson Struts up front and Torsion Beams at the rear. The setup is one adjusted to give the car the title of a "driver's car" but it still offers an incredibly supple ride so passengers are comfortable even after long hours of travelling.
Fuel Consumption - An improvement from before
Two fuel consumption tests were conducted with the first returning 7.4-litre/100 km from a 101.8 km trip and refuelling 7.57 litres.
The second test returned 8.8-litre/100 km from a 115.1 km trip which required 10.11 litres to brim the fuel tank.
This gives us an average calculated fuel consumption of 8.1-litre/100 km. The 2019 Proton Iriz returned 8.4-litre/100 km, which means the 2022 Proton Iriz has indeed improved its fuel efficiency as Proton claims.
The 2022 Proton Iriz is the most refined it has ever been. While the tech upgrades appeared promising at first, it fell short in execution, though it can be improved over time with updates.
The CVT is now consistent enough to be unintrusive in daily driving and the changes also made the Iriz more fuel efficient.
However, the Proton Iriz is still not as efficient nor as spacious as the Perodua Myvi. On paper, the Myvi trumps, especially with the inclusion of ADAS. But we don’t drive paper and if you enjoy driving, the Proton Iriz might just win you over on a test drive.
Would I pick the Iriz over the Myvi? Despite its flaws, yes. Like I said, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Iriz and now that the CVT is tolerable, I’d go for the Iriz. Not the Active variant though, the cheaper Executive variant is where it’s at.
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Following 12 pandemic-affected months, national car maker Proton ended 2021 on a high note. By selling 14,147 units in December, total sales for the year closed at 114,708 units (domestic + export), the highest closing figure since 2014.This represents an increase of 4.5% over 2020 and is the third consecutive year of volume growth for the company. The achievement is particularly noteworthy as overall Total Industry Volume (TIV) for Malaysia is estimated to have shrunk by 4.6% to just over 505,0
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Both were recently updated Both are now equipped with CVT Both are of nearly the same priceWhether you’re a fresh graduate or a retiree, the Perodua Myvi will fit the bill. It truly is the people’s car. But let’s not forget the Proton Iriz, because if you look specifically at the Executive variant, it actually offers a compelling argument against the Myvi.First and most importantly – the price. The Proton Iriz 1.6 Executive is priced at RM 47,100. The closest variant of t
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There is a good chance that Proton has improved the Iriz’s safety features, as the B-segment hatchback was awarded with a 5-star rating by ASEAN NCAP under the new 2017 – 2020 protocol.
A quick recap: in order for a car to score a 5-star rating under the new 2017 – 2020 protocol, it must be equipped with some form of advanced driver assistance features, be it autonomous braking or blind spot warning.
As such, all signs seem to point to the fact that Proton has fitted the Iriz with some these features – hopefully putting it on par with the Perodua Myvi.
If all goes as plan, Proton could introduce the updated Iriz as soon as February. That said, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic current wreaking havoc on the automotive industry, the updated Iriz’ debut could be delayed to April.