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proton is putting plenty of eggs in the iriz s sporty image basket

Proton is putting plenty of eggs in the Iriz's sporty-image basket

The odds go into the hatchback’s favour when price and features are taken into account

Christopher Ng Photo

Christopher Ng

24 Apr 2019

Having the ‘R’ in Iriz in red is Proton’s way of telling potential buyers that this is one sporty hatchback. To reinforce that fact, the Malaysian carmaker will go as far as to summon up memories of past race victories. Looking at the new Iriz, they may be on to something.

The makeover does call for a second look. Unlike the X70 and just-launched Persona, the Ethereal Bow front grille has been reinterpreted for the Iriz. However, the Infinite Weave does not get woven for this hatchback. Just as the Persona, the Iriz’s front and rear bumper have been given a redesign. In addition to that, a black garnish has been tacked onto the rear hatch.

Yes, the interior gets a makeover, too. The new Iriz gets a black tricot headlining across the board and from here on, the specifications differ according to the variant. Obviously, you get everything at its most basic with the Standard option and then things start to scale up with the price.

The 1.3L Executive variant comes with:

  • Sporty rear spoiler
  • TFT Multi Info Display with ECO Drive Assist
  • Intelligent entry
  • Push start button
  • Auto headlamps
  • Remote trunk release
  • Reverse camera with dynamic lines
  • GKUI 7-inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity

The 1.6L Executive checks all of the above and adds:

  • Dual tone alloy rims
  • Electric door mirrors with auto fold function

The 1.6L Premium has everything both Executive variants has and adds:

  • Sleek black roof with shark fin antenna
  • Sporty seat design with semi leather upholstery
  • Sporty gear knob
  • Borderless rear view mirror
  • Steering switches
  • GKUI 7-inch touchscreen with 4G and WiFi, with voice command, online music streaming, online navigation and online weather forecast 
  • 6 SRS Airbags

Proton is not mucking around with safety, so all Iriz comes with:

  • Front SRS airbags
  • Rear seat ISOFIX & top tether anchorage
  • Hill Hold Assist (HHA)
  • Front & rear parking sensors
  • Immobiliser & Anti-Theft Alarm
  • Impact sensing door unlock

The Iriz comes in two engine and transmission choices. The 1.3-litre, which produces 94hp and 120Nm of torque, comes with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT. The 1.6-litre engine produces 108hp and 150Nm of torque, and it is mated to a CVT.

If you’re not convinced, then maybe the price will win you over. Starting at RM36,700 for the Standard 1.3L MT, the Iriz is already value for money. Climb up the ladder and you can have the Iriz at the following prices:

  • Standard 1.3L CVT — RM39,700
  • Executive 1.3L CVT — RM44,700
  • Executive 1.6L CVT — RM46,700
  • Premium 1.6L CVT — RM50,700

Although the price and features look unbeatable, the ultimate question remains: can the Iriz knock the Myvi off their f**king perch?