Perodua Myvi vs Proton Iriz, the choice is obvious, or is it?

Shaun/May 25, 2020 11:47 AM

When the Proton Iriz was launched in 2014, it was set to go head to head against the Perodua Myvi. But things didn’t turn out the way Proton had hoped for as the Myvi outsold the Iriz multifold. Is the Myvi that much better than the Iriz? Let’s find out.

Powertrain - You might be surprised which is quicker

The Perodua Myvi gets a 1.5-litre Dual-VVTi engine with 103 PS and 137 Nm of torque. Transmission duty is handled by a good old fashioned, hassle-free 4-speed automatic.

Despite its modest figures, it gets up to speed rather quickly as it weighs just 1,015 kg. Being tuned for efficiency, the transmission can be a little hesitant to shift down which feels lethargic at times.

Perodua Myvi (left), Proton Iriz (right)

The Proton Iriz on the other hand, has a 1.6-litre VVT engine with 109 PS and 150 Nm of torque and is mated to a CVT. Its output figures might be higher than the Myvi but it is 163 kg heavier, at 1178 kg.

Looking at the stats on paper, it is difficult to tell which performs better but our friends at Autobuzz has done a drag race between the two.

And the clear winner was the Proton Iriz. It may get bogged down slightly during the initial launch, but once the engine is at its peak power band, it just pulls away from the Myvi.

When it comes to refinement though, the Myvi has the edge especially in stop-and-go traffic. Shifts are smooth and it behaves as expected from a 4-speed automatic.

The Iriz's CVT isn't the smoothest to get off the line, especially on an uphill. The response is much better compared to Iriz of before as a result of the improved tuning, but its inherent characteristics like the jerkiness and rubber band effect are still there.

Proton Iriz

While the Iriz’s engine and transmission drone at a constant note when you give it the full beans, it’s not quite as loud as the Myvi under full acceleration. This is likely due to the superior sound insulation in the Proton Iriz.

So, if outright acceleration is your priority, the Proton Iriz is actually the quicker car here. In day to day driving with stop-and-go traffic, the Perodua Myvi is the better companion.

Fuel consumption - No contest for the Myvi

Perodua Myvi

Let’s not beat around the bush, the Perodua Myvi is undoubtedly the more fuel-efficient car here. Owners, who described their driving behaviour as gentle, have been reporting figures close to 6-litre/100 km in mixed driving conditions.

The Proton Iriz achieved 8.4-litre/100 km during our test, which was in mixed conditions as well. It did include a couple of 0-100 km/h sprints but even so, we reckon at best and in similar driving condition, we could get it down to around 7-litre/100 km which would still be more than the Perodua Myvi.

Ride and handling - Synonymous with Proton

You may have read or heard many times that Protons have good ride and handling with its well-tuned suspension, and as repetitive as it sounds, they really do handle well and the Proton Iriz is no exception. 

The Iriz rides with a level of sophistication the Myvi just can’t match. There’s a sense of firmness to it and yet, sharp edges are rounded off and the car settles quickly over bumps, remaining composure at all times.

The well-balanced chassis is also a confidence booster to drivers when going around corners, it’s easy to control and doesn’t get unsettled by undulations.

In the Myvi, the suspension setup is on the firmer side as well but it translates to a bumpier ride when going over pockmarked roads. Although it has to be said that the firmer setup gives better body control over the previous generation “Lagi Best” Myvi.

But it still can’t quite match the Iriz. So, the Iriz is both more comfortable over bumps and more reassuring to drive in the twisty bits.

To make things even more dramatic, the Iriz is also quieter. At 110 km/h, the sound level meter recorded and average of 70 dB in the Iriz while in the Myvi, it averaged 72 dB.

Driven in isolation, the Myvi’s ride and handling is alright. In the presence of the Iriz though, the difference is apparent and it’s perhaps the strongest selling point of the Iriz.

Interior - Myvi is smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside

Earlier iterations of the Iriz had a few quality niggles to say the least. In this facelift model, some of the materials have been improved and build quality has taken a step up. It feels better put together and in our test car, there were no odd or rattling noises.

The Myvi gives a good first impression when you first step inside and see its rather well-designed dashboard. But once you start paying attention to the cabin, the material quality feels less than satisfactory. Most of the plastics are rather flimsy and there are noticeable sharp edges on the door panels and B-pillar covers.

However, the Myvi makes use of the available space much better than the Iriz. With better interior packaging, the cabin feels much more spacious despite the overall smaller dimensions. Space in the rear is comparable to the Honda Jazz, which is saying something.

Although the seats, both front and rear, are more comfortable in the Iriz as the seat bases are longer and the seat backs are better padded. The Iriz also utilizes the centre console better, with more partitions to store smaller items.

The infotainment system on the Iriz is the superior unit here. It runs on GKUI which features voice command, navigation, and music streaming. Putting aside those features, operating the system itself is impressive enough as the display is crisp and the response is fluid.

As for the infotainment system in the Myvi, it looks and feels aftermarket. Again, it works just fine in isolation but it’s just not as slick to operate as in the Iriz nor is the display as clear.

Proton Iriz (top), Perodua Myvi (bottom)

Overall, the Myvi trumps in space as well as neat features like the anti-snatch hook, seat side pocket and built-in toll reader. The Iriz feels better put together (well, Geely is rather particular about quality standards), has better seats and infotainment system.

Features - Myvi has everything you'd need

There is one very important feature the Myvi has – LED headlamps – and that is standard across the range. The Iriz has to make do with only halogen reflector units. But it has LED DRLs, if that counts for anything.

On the safety front, both have 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, stability control, and traction control. And here’s where the Myvi pulls ahead, it features ADAS or as Perodua calls it - Advanced Safety Assist (ASA). It includes Pre-Collision Warning and Braking, Front Departure Alert and Pedal Misoperation Control.

The Myvi also has the aforementioned features like the novel anti-snatch hook, seat side pocket, and built-in toll reader.

Conclusion - Driving fun vs fuel efficiency

At RM 54,090, the Perodua Myvi 1.5L Advance packs an efficient powertrain, spacious interior with unique features, and ADAS. As far as value goes, the Myvi is unbeaten at this price point.

Its driving dynamics may not be inspiring, but as a car to take you from point A to Point B, you simply can’t go wrong with the Myvi.

The Proton Iriz 1.6L Premium is more affordable, priced at RM 50,700, but it loses out on ADAS, fuel efficiency, interior space, and a few unique touches in Myvi.

Where the Iriz redeems itself is in the ride and handling department, material and build quality, quieter cabin with more comfortable seats and is actually quicker in a straight line.

Not as fun as the Iriz in the corners.

Between the two, I would be rather torn if I had to pick one to put my money on. As someone who loves driving, it’s difficult to ignore the Proton Iriz’s driving dynamics.

But my biggest gripe would be the CVT and as much improvements they’ve made over the years, it still isn’t up to scratch. So if push comes to shove, I’d pick the Perodua Myvi. At least it has good resale value, right?

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