When it was launched back in 2014, the Proton Iriz was touted as the car to take the fight to the king of the segment, the Perodua Myvi. Well, it didn't quite pan out that way, as the Myvi was and still is the default choice for many and the Iriz now a more left-field choice.
That is not to say the Proton Iriz is a terrible car. It did fare better in the market than Proton's previous Myvi challenger, the Savvy (cue horror music and shrieks of panic). Furthermore, the Iriz remains the more satisfying car to drive of the two. So, if you're in the used car market for a well-packaged, compact hatchback that's also fun to drive, this might be your cup of tea.
Variants and options
At launch, there were a whopping EIGHT variants to choose from (table below for reference). An update in 2017 then trimmed the variants down to four, with the 1.3 Standard MT, 1.3 Standard CVT, 1.3 Executive CVT and 1.6 Premium CVT remaining.
|Proton Iriz variants (2014)|
|1.3 VVT||1.6 VVT|
|Standard MT||Executive MT|
|Standard CVT||Executive CVT|
|Executive MT||Premium MT|
|Executive CVT||Premium CVT|
In 2019, the Iriz received a facelift that saw it gain 367 new components and a reskin outside, most prominently the massive PROTON wordings emblazoned at the boot. Inside, the facelifted Iriz received a new infotainment system, called the Global Key User Interface GKUI for the Premium and Executive models.
Problems? What should I look out for?
By far, the most common issue with the Proton Iriz is its much-derided Punch CVT transmission. It's noisy, clunky and slow-witted. So, anyone looking to buy an automatic Iriz needs to be aware that, transmission-wise, a certain adjustment in driving style might be required.
Earlier batches of Irizes also suffered from power window issues, worn rubber components (especially the roof molding). Failure of mechanical bits like the valve cover gasket and AC cooling coil are also not uncommon. There has also been some cases of the engine's variable valve timing VVT gear pulley breaking, as shared by Zordaq Motorsports. So, timely maintenance and fluid changes are important.
Maintaining a Proton Iriz is par for the course, for a car this size. And here are the quoted prices for common Iriz parts.
|Proton Iriz Spare Parts Pricing Guide|
|CVT gearbox with TCU||4,050|
|Timing belt (including labour)||600-800|
|Genuine brake pads||300/pair|
|Roof moulding rubber lining||150/pair|
|VVT gear pulley||900-1,200|
|AC cooling coil||600|
|Power window motor||480|
I want one, but which one?
If ever, you're able and willing to drive a manual car, I'd highly recommend the manual variants of the Iriz, regardless of engine size (though the 1.6 MT variants are the rarer ones). They're sweet to drive and the Getrag manual gearbox is a joy to row. Should you come across a manual variant, best to snap it up.
If you must have an automatic, then plump for the 2017-2019 models. The CVT gearbox received updated calibration that makes it smoother and more responsive. Improvements were also made to insulation and refinement. Plus, most of the issues mentioned above have been ironed out in the later models.
Prices range from RM 24k for a 2015 model, up to RM 41k for a 2019 facelift model. As always, we encourage purchasing from private owners for extra peace of mind.
Though not as popular as the ubiquitious Perodua Myvi, the Proton Iriz is a good choice for those looking for a first car. Sure, it isn't as bombproof as the Myvi, but given timely care, it will give you many good years of service. As a bonus, the Iriz also serves up a great drive, something the turgid Myvi can only hope to do.