In this week's Ratings article, we’re taking an in-depth look at the 2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium by analysing all aspects from driving performance to purchase and cost.
2019 Proton Persona: Driving Performance - 30/50 pts, well-tuned ride and handling
|2019 Proton Iriz 1.6L Premium - Facts and Figures|
|Engine||1.6L 4-cylinder NA|
|Power||109 PS @ 5,750 rpm|
|Torque||150 Nm @ 4,000 rpm|
|0-100 km/h||11.7 seconds|
|100-0 km/h||45.5 metres|
The Punch-sourced CVT is the weakling here. Depending on the timing of throttle application or road incline, the Proton Persona lurches forward at times. Once on the move, it responds reasonably quick.
Straight-line performance is commendable, quicker than the Toyota Vios from 0-100 km/h by a whole second, completing it in 11.7 seconds.
Steering is well-weighted with decent feedback. It handles reassuringly, providing drivers the confidence to take corners in a spirited manner. Although it should be noted that the factory fitted tyres performed rather poorly in the wet as traction is easily lost.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Driving Performances Breakdown|
|Engine||Acceleration||3.5 / 5|
|In-gear Acceleration||4 / 5|
|Throttle Response||3.5 / 5|
|Transmission||Shift Logic||2 / 3|
|Smoothness||2 / 5|
|Sport/Manual Mode||0 / 3|
|Steering||Accuracy||2 / 3|
|Response||2 / 3|
|Weight & Feel||2.5 / 3|
|Braking||Distance||1.5 / 3|
|Feel||1.5 / 3|
|Handling||Chassis Balance||2 / 3|
|Grip||1.5 / 3|
|Load Reaction||2 / 3|
|Total||30 / 50 pts|
2019 Proton Persona: Ride Comfort - 34/50 pts, comfortable front seats
The suspension strikes a fine balance between handling and comfort. It settles quickly over bumps and copes with any undulation thrown at it.
The front seats are supportive, particularly the side bolsters as they hug the body comfortably in place. The seat base is of decent length, providing good thigh support.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Noise Level|
|60 km/h||63 dB|
|90 km/h||66 dB|
|110 km/h||70 dB|
Noise level is acceptable for the price range. At 110 km/h, the sound level meter recorded an average of 70 dB.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Ride Comfort Breakdown|
|Sound Proofing||6 / 10|
|Suspension||8 / 10|
|Passenger Comfort||7 / 10|
|Seat Support||4 / 5|
|Ergonomics||3 / 5|
|Engine Refinement||6 / 10|
|Total points||34 / 50 pts|
2019 Proton Persona: Quality and Features - 30/50 pts, slick-to-use infotainment system
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Panel Gaps (mm)|
|Location||Driver Side||Passenger Side||Difference|
|Front to Rear Door||4.5||4.5||0|
|Rear Door to C-Pillar||3.5||4||0.5|
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Paint thickness (µm)|
|Location||Driver Side||Passenger Side|
|Average paint thickness: 111|
Panel gaps deviated by no more than 1 mm from each side, with no outliers. This would indicate about average build quality. Paint thickness consistently averaged in the 110s of µm.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Exterior Material Use|
|Front Fenders||Soundproofing Material||Yes|
|Doors||Front Windows||Single Glazed|
|Rear Windows||Single Glazed|
Interior build quality is acceptable for its price. Selection of material is rather decent, without noticeable sharp edges or rough panels.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Cabin Material Use|
|Dashboard||Upper Section||Hard Plastic|
|Lower Section||Hard Plastic|
|Front Doors||Upper Section||Hard Plastic|
|Middle Section||Hard Plastic|
|Lower Section||Hard Plastic|
Infotainment system operates smoothly and display is crisp. Voice command and online connectivity are a bonus. But audio quality is average at best.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Quality & Features Breakdown|
|Exterior||Paint Finish||4 / 4|
|Panel Gaps||3 / 4|
|Assembly Quality||1 / 2|
|Interior||Build Quality||3 / 5|
|Materials Used||4 / 5|
|Features||Safety||8 / 10|
|ADAS||0 / 5|
|Luxury||2 / 5|
|Convenience||2 / 5|
|Infotainment||3 / 5|
|Total||30 / 50 pts|
2019 Proton Persona: Space and Practicality - 30.5/50 pts, decent boot space
Kneeroom and headroom at the rear are decent, with 2 tennis balls of kneeroom and one tennis ball of headroom for a 170 cm tall individual.
Large bottles won’t fit in the door bins but there are several cubby spaces on the centre console.
Boot space is larger than the Toyota Vios but not quite as large as the Honda City's, rated at 510 litres.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Interior Space Breakdown|
|Front Row||8 / 10|
|Middle/Back Row||6 / 10|
|Third Row||0 / 5|
|Boot Space||4 / 5|
|Practicality||3 / 5|
|Storage Space||3 / 5|
|Visibility||4 / 5|
|Storage Flexibility||2.5 / 5|
|Total||30.5 / 50 pts|
2019 Proton Persona: Fuel Consumption – 11/20 pts, not that great in the city
After 91.9 km journey broken down to about 50% city and 50% highway, we’ve used 7.75 litres of fuel which translates to 8.4-litre/100 km.
With more highway driving, we reckon we could get the figure down to around 7-litre/100 km. But that would still be slightly higher than most B-segment sedans.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown|
|Fuel Consumption||9 / 15|
|Eco Mode||0 / 2|
|Indicator Accuracy||2 / 3|
|Total points||11 / 20 pts|
2019 Proton Persona: Purchase and Cost – 24.5/30, good value for money
At RM 54,600 (OTR with SST), the Proton Persona 1.6L Premium offers good value for money. Due to the above average fuel consumption, fuel cost is on the higher side but maintenance cost is reasonable, with an estimated cost at RM 3,180 over the course of 5 years/100,000 km.
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium Service Costs|
|Month||Mileage (km)||Cost (RM)|
|2019 Proton Persona 1.6L Premium - Purchase & Cost|
|Purchase||Car Price||14 / 15|
|Warranty||4 / 5|
|Cost||Maintenance||4 / 5|
|Fuel Cost||2.5 / 5|
|Total||24.5 / 30 pts|
2019 Proton Persona: Conclusion - 160/250 pts overall
To wrap up, the Proton Persona 1.6L Premium drives well, with excellent suspension tuning that balances comfort and handling superbly. Practicality is good with decent boot space, and infotainment system is slick to use.
Downside is the transmission isn’t the best in business and fuel consumption can be on the higher side depending on driving conditions. But for those looking for a B-segment sedan on a budget, the Proton Persona is an obvious choice.