KUALA LUMPUR – February 28, 2019 : While all the attention is focused on the X70 since its launch last December, Proton has unveiled yet another offering in the form of a facelifted Iriz.
To continue the online booking trend started by the X70, Proton says anyone who books the facelifted Iriz online between March 1 and 11 will only need to pay RM9.99 for the booking fee!
As for the car, the changes are mainly aesthetic with the drivetrains being carried over from before, albeit recalibrated for better fuel economy, and improvements in refinement.
Engines offered are a 1.3 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder VVT engine (94 hp at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm), and a 1.6 litre unit (107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm at 4,000 rpm) with two choices of transmission, a CVT and five-speed manual (1.3L only).
There are a total of five variants offered, three from the 1.3 litre family and two 1.6 litres. The range starts with a standard 1.3L manual transmission followed by standard 1.3L CVT, executive 1.3L CVT, executive 1.6L CVT and premium 1.6L CVT.
To recap on how it looks, the front is mainly inspired by the X70, starting with a new slim headlight that are integrated with the prominent grille garnish, which in turn has the shape of “Ethereal Bow”, which sits on top of the “infinite Weave” patterned radiator grill.
On the side, the silhouette is familiar, with the most obvious difference being a redesigned two-tone alloy wheels with a blade design (executive and above) and on the back houses a spaced-out “Proton” lettering on top of a gloss black strip across the tailgate.
As for the inside, the first notable difference was the 7-inch touch screen head unit, developed by Proton and ECARX. It offers connectivity options as well as voice command functions. At first glance, it seems to be running the same android system as the X70 but actually lacks some functions that its bigger brother had.
For starters, the head unit now uses an embedded eSim card with built in 16GB of internal memory and offers app for music streaming, navigation and voice recognition. The famous ‘hi Proton’ function is also present but unfortunately, the features are limited. Don’t expect to control the air-conditioning or windows using just your voice.
The instrument cluster is tweaked to have a clearer font, which is important considering the previous one of older Iriz was a bit hard to read. There are also new digital fuel and oil temperature indicators and a larger coloured multi-info display in the centre.
Other differences include a different gear knob and frameless rear view mirror.
I drove the 1.6 Premium variant around Proton’s test track in Shah Alam and found that the handling was as good as it was before and that is great, considering the original Iriz is probably the best handling car in its price range.
Despite not testing on a bad road, hitting some irregular patches suggest that the Iriz rides was not much different than before, if any. The acceleration felt similar, unsurprisingly considering the 1.6 Premium variant is equipped with a similar drive train as before.
As for noise levels and refinement, there were no noticeable vibration even at above national speed limit but the noise is only improved slightly when cruising as accelerating is still quite loud with tire noise kept under control. Overall, if you don’t step on the pedal and instead drive sanely, the refinement is good.