Proton Iriz Facelift Has 367 New Parts, But Is It Any Good?

Adrian Chia · Aug 29, 2019 03:30 PM

  • 367 new components include styling & mechanical enhancements
  • Better braking performance, lower NVH and improved fuel consumption
  • Most importantly, better build quality

The facelifted 2019 Proton Iriz was the first Proton model in their current line up to be updated since Geely came on board as the national carmaker’s foreign strategic partner. Introduced to the market just 2 months after the Proton X70 made its local debut, the facelifted Iriz is more than just a cosmetic upgrade.

For starters, the facelifted Iriz now comes with the latest Proton family design language with the Infinite Weave and Ethereal Bow grille motive as well as PROTON inscription across the tailgate.

The front and rear bumpers are also revised, so is the new black trim across the tailgate. On more expensive variants there are also new 15-inch Fan-Blade alloy wheels (wrapped in 185/55R15 profile tyres), LED daytime running lights as well as a black roof and spoiler.

The cabin, on the other hand, is enhanced with high-tech items such as new instrument cluster with LCD multi-info display, 7.0-inch GKUI-based touchscreen infotainment system, white backlit illumination (replacing the amber colour) as well as a reverse camera with dynamic guide lines.

All these add to the little hatchback’s overall appeal and levels the playing field with non-national rivals. However, beyond the frivolous parts, Proton engineers have invested a substantial amount to improve the Iriz’s performance and build quality.

One major complaint of the Iriz of old was the subpar powertrain which is undoubtedly bogged down by the lethargic Punch-sourced Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). Together with Geely, which coincidentally uses the same transmission on the Geely Emgrand, Proton was able to leverage on their partner’s technical expertise to recalibrate the CVT on the Iriz.

The result is a transmission with a greater sense of urgency that delivers a more linear power transfer. Proton claims that fuel economy has also improved as a result. Efforts have also been made to better suppress the CVT whine at high loads, giving a more refined driving experience.

Thanks to Geely’s vast expertise in quality control and internal audit, Proton’s production and product division were able to rapidly improve on their product quality by being more stringent in their quality checks. As a result, every moving part on the Iriz are noticeably better put together, giving a satisfying feeling that is hard to be described in writing.

All in all, the facelifted 2019 Proton Iriz is better equipped, better build and most importantly brings even better value to consumers.