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New Proton Iriz - Is It Finally A Better Car Than The Perodua Myvi?

The Proton Iriz was conceived back in 2014 as Proton’s effort to counter the ever-popular Perodua Myvi. Back then, the Iriz offered considerably more safety equipment than the Perodua Myvi, but response from the market remained lukewarm at best.

Proton updated the Iriz a couple of times, with the latest update being introduced earlier this year.

Five variants are available in total, up from the four variants from the 2017 update.

Specifications for Proton Iriz 1.3:

  • Engine: 1.3-litre VVT four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated
  • Transmission: Five speed manual or CVT-type automatic, front-wheel drive
  • Power: 95 PS at 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 120 Nm at 4,000 rpm
  • Price: From RM 36,700 to RM 44,700
  • Origin: Manufactured in Tanjung Malim, Perak

Specifications for Proton Iriz 1.6:

  • Engine: 1.6-litre VVT four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated
  • Transmission: Five speed manual or CVT-type automatic, front-wheel drive
  • Power: 109 PS at 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm
  • Price: From RM 46,700 to RM 50,700
  • Origin: Manufactured in Tanjung Malim, Perak

Here’s a brief summary of the equipment difference between all five variants of the Proton Iriz. Starting with the cheapest Standard 1.3L MT variant, standard equipment include:

  • Reflector-type halogen headlight
  • LED tail lights
  • 14-inch alloy wheels
  • Side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Segmented LCD multi info display
  • Eco Drive Assist
  • Fabric upholstery
  • Standard audio with 2 speakers
  • USB and Bluetooth connectivity
  • 2 USB ports for charging
  • 2 airbags
  • ABS, EBD, BA, ESC, TCS
  • 2 Front & 2 Rear parking sensors

Standard 1.3L CVT adds:

  • Tailgate spoiler
  • CVT-type automatic transmission

Executive 1.3L CVT adds:

  • Automatic headlights with Follow-Me-Home function
  • LED DRLs
  • Remote Trunk Release
  • TFT LCD multi info display
  • Keyless entry with push start button
  • Driver’s window with anti-trap
  • 7-inch touch screen head unit
  • Smartphone mirroring (MirrorLink only)
  • 4 speakers
  • Reverse camera

Executive 1.6L CVT adds:

  • 1.6-litre VVT engine
  • Auto folding side mirrors

Premium 1.6L CVT adds:

  • Black top roof
  • Leather steering wheel with audio switches and hands-free telephone
  • 4G connectivity
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • “Hi Proton” voice command
  • Baidu Maps navigation
  • Music streaming
  • Semi leather seats
  • Rear view mirror with clear plastic bezel
  • Unique CVT gear shift lever
  • Side and curtain SRS airbags

Which variant to buy?

For the updated Proton Iriz range, our pick would be the Iriz 1.6L Premium variant, as it offers all the bells and whistles one would expect from a B-segment hatchback.

How well does the “Hi Proton” voice command work?

Before we get started, it’s best to address the elephant in the room – the “Hi Proton” voice command system found in the Iriz differs from the system found in the more expensive Proton X70.

Unlike the more sophisticated system found in the Proton X70 that can control the air-conditioning system, sunroof, and windows, the one system found in the Iriz is only capable of music streaming, weather forecast, and navigation features.

It is also worth noting that the infotainment system, although built on the Android platform, is designed heavily around Baidu’s services, so no Google applications to be found here. Instead of Google Maps or Waze for navigation purposes, you get Baidu maps. As for music streaming, there is no Spotify – drivers will need to make do with Joox.

Granted, owners can take advantage of the system’s MirrorLink feature to get Google Maps and Waze to display on the display, but MirrorLink is a rather clunky system to begin with. Apart from being compatible with limited Android devices, MirrorLink requires the phone’s display to be constantly turned on and will drain your phone battery rather quickly.

Does the Proton Iriz drive well?

In short, the Proton Iriz drives really well.

Proton engineers have perfected the ride and handling aspect of the Iriz, allowing the little hatchback to strike the fine balance between ride comfort and handling.

When driven at lower speeds, the Iriz soaks up road irregularities with ease, without jolting the occupants.

Even when driven at a quicker pace, the Iriz takes it up in stride, largely due to its rigid body structure which allows the suspension to do its work effectively. Even its electric power steering is able to provide ample feedback to the driver, elevating the driver’s confidence behind the wheel.

It’s safe to say that the Iriz is perhaps one of the best in its segment when it comes to ride comfort and handling, and definitely punches well above its segment.

Our only gripe with the Iriz is in the powertrain department. Although the Punch-sourced CVT has improved leaps and bounds since it was first deployed in 2014, overall refinement remains subpar when compared to contemporary alternatives such as the Honda Jazz or Toyota Yaris. Rubberbanding can still be felt when the Iriz is given the beans, though cabin quietness has improved marginally since the last update.

So should I buy the Myvi Or the Iriz

To be fair, both B-segment hatchbacks are excellent choices, and both have their advantages and shortcomings.

If ride comfort is your top priority, then the Proton Iriz should be on your shopping list, as it offers a sublime ride comfort when compared to the Perodua Myvi. The Myvi's harsh ride and average handling cannot come close to the Iriz. 

In terms of infotainment system, the infotainment system found in the range-topping Iriz 1.6L CVT Premium is considerably better than the touchscreen unit found in the Myvi 1.5 AV, as it offers voice command and 4G connectivity. 

 

However, the Perodua Myvi counters back by offering more advanced driver assistances systems, such as Pre-Collision Warning, Pre-Collision Braking, Front Departure Alert, and Pedal Misoperation Control. In addition to that, the Perodua Myvi also boasts more cabin space than the Iriz.

The Perodua Myvi also offers better resale value, proven reliability, and good after-sales support.