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FIRST DRIVE: 2019 Proton Iriz

FIRST DRIVE: 2019 Proton Iriz

Proton lately held an unique media preview for the facelifted Iriz, permitting us to rise up shut with the hatchback mannequin that may proceed to compete towards the Perodua Myvi. As of this morning, Proton has begun order taking for the brand new Iriz, with a promotional charge of simply RM9.99 from March 1-11, 2019.

In the course of the preview, Proton stated it bought over 50,000 models of the Iriz in 5 years. However in fact, this pales compared to the Perodua Myvi – the third era mannequin has already hit 100,000 models in simply 15 months, with greater than 1.1 million models in totality (together with all generations).

First up, some disclosure. the preview included a brief drive across the Proton check monitor close to its Centre of Excellence, together with us being passengers in different workouts. A full, in-depth evaluate, this isn’t, however we’ll put together one once we can spend extra time with the Iriz after an official launch, which is claimed to happen someday this month.

With that in thoughts, nearly all of this piece can be devoted to look at the modifications that include the facelift, of which the nationwide carmaker says it has improved 367 gadgets. When you’re on the lookout for a variant-by-variant record, head over right here.

Probably the most outstanding replace is the outside, the place Proton seems to be integrating a number of family-wide design cues that have been first discovered on its first-ever SUV, the X70. As you’ll be able to see, the chrome trim on the entrance grille takes the form of a bow, with a pinched off part within the center serving to “cup” the Proton badge, which results in the highest of the headlamps.

The black grille itself is far bigger than on the outgoing mannequin, and incorporates one other acquainted cue, the ‘infinite weave’ sample from the X70, albeit in small sections beneath the bow.

Different modifications so far as the eyes can see embrace a a brand new bonnet and headlamps which were lifted from the present Persona, with the latter not being a projector-type unit. Understand that the Myvi gives LED models as commonplace.

One other revision on the entrance is a brand new bumper that encompasses a wider decrease consumption and pretend vents within the nook. The latter is the place the LED daytime operating lights are discovered, in addition to a welcomed addition to the Iriz, a pair of entrance parking sensors that comes normal throughout the vary.

Alongside the edges, the Iriz retains its acquainted silhouette as earlier than, which is made higher because of a shark fin antenna that replaces the “tail” of the outgoing mannequin. New 15-inch ‘rotor blade’ two-tone alloy wheels on higher-spec variants additionally assist present the hatchback a sportier look. On a associated word, the range-topping Premium 1.6L CVT variant is the one one which comes with a black roof.

Round again, it’s exhausting to disregard the blacked-out portion of the tailgate with the Proton script in chrome positioned on it. Such a format can be discovered on the X70, though it’s in a a lot smaller scale in comparison with the daring strategy on the Iriz. Talking of which, the Iriz emblem positioned on the tailgate, is of a brand new design when you didn’t already discover.

Just like the entrance, there’s a brand new bumper on the again too, and this one options a big rectangular part that homes the reflectors, extra pretend vents and the quantity plate that’s now additional down. Fake diffuser parts once more add to the sporty nature the Iriz is making an attempt to painting.

Shifting inside, the dashboard format is strictly the identical as earlier than, however when you look intently, you’ll discover that the trim items on the pillars at the moment are in black, as is the headliner. As we’ve been advised, consumers do have choice for darkened interiors, notably the younger ones, therefore the change.

The theme swap isn’t the one factor that’s modified right here, as there’s additionally new analogue gauges which might be bigger and extra legible because of the clearer font sort, and a full-colour TFT-LCD multi-info show between them. Nevertheless, Normal variants should make do with a extra primary LCD display within the space.

On the sprint itself, Government and Premium variants get a seven-inch, Android-based head unit with a 1024×600-pixel touchscreen, 16 GB of inner knowledge, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone mirroring perform and as a show for the rearview digital camera (with dynamic strains).

Nevertheless, it’s the Premium variant that will get 4G connectivity (by way of an eSIM) and Wi-Fi hotspot performance. This expands its function set to incorporate help for on-line navigation, music streaming, apps, OTA updates and voice command utilizing one among Malaysia’s most recognised phrase because it was introduced, “Hello Proton.” By way of the phrase, you’ll be able to set a vacation spot for the navigation system and regulate media playback.

In contrast to the system on the X70, you’ll be able to’t use the Proton Hyperlink cellular app to verify issues just like the car’s remaining driving vary, odometer, service indicator and car location. This additionally means the distant management perform to lock or unlock the doorways, activate the horn and lights in addition to wind all of the home windows up/down, shouldn’t be obtainable.

As for the contact factors of the automotive, the steering wheel is nearly precisely the identical earlier than (perforated leather-based on the aspect grip areas are new), proper right down to the Proton emblem, so is the switchgear for the guide air-conditioning. Elsewhere, the Premium model additionally will get a brand new X70-like gear lever, plus a Volvo-inspired “frameless” rear-view mirror.

The Premium additionally will get semi-leather seats, with the aspect bolsters and headrest being upholstered in leather-based, whereas the backrest and seat base are material. The sample utilized on the material sample is an inverted model of what you’ll discover within the outgoing mannequin, with purple stripes beside a centre blue one. Different variants get all-fabric seats with a diamond-like sample as an alternative.

One other function unique to the Premium variant is the six airbags it will get in comparison with the 2 of all different variants. Nevertheless, issues like ABS, EBD, brake help, ESC, traction management, Hill Maintain Help and two rear parking sensors are normal throughout the vary. Sadly, there’s no autonomous emergency braking right here.

No modifications so far as engines are involved, with a 1.three litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder VVT engine (94 hp at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm of torque at four,000 rpm), and a 1.6 litre unit (107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm at four,000 rpm) being provided. The latter makes a return in Government trim, which was eliminated when the Iriz received a refinement replace in 2017. A five-speed guide and an improved Punch CVT are the out there transmission choices.

The pre-facelift Iriz has already obtain some tweaks in 2017, gaining new engine mountings, a brand new exhaust from Faurecia, a recalibration of the CVT, and extra sound insulation. Subsequently, mechanical updates are considerably restricted, though Proton has put in work to additional refine the CVT and enhance NVH ranges for the facelift. Different claims embrace recalibrating the engine for higher gasoline consumption and enhanced brake efficiency.

Given our restricted time driving the automotive (in Premium 1.6L CVT guise) on the check space, we will’t outright validate these claims. For now, first impressions are promising. On the high-speed monitor, the cabin remained quiet when driving at freeway speeds, with much less noise from the CVT intruding into the cabin.

In line with Proton, Geely makes use of the identical Punch CVT on a couple of of its fashions in China, so the additional countermeasures it has developed to make the CVT quieter, extra responsive and pure have been carried out on the Iriz as properly. As an indication of know-how switch between the 2 corporations, sure countermeasures that Proton have recognized have been additionally carried out within the Chinese language model’s personal automobiles.

Engine noise turns into extra perceptible once you’re constructing velocity, however it’s extra humdrum somewhat than being a screamer. Equally, tyre and wind noise start to rear their heads at a lot larger speeds. One other new addition we’ve been advised is a dynamic damper to assist scale back vibrations felt via the steering wheel and pedals.

As we found in our earlier Pushed Net Collection episode, the 2017 Iriz was quieter in comparison with the Myvi. Based mostly on our first time within the up to date one, we do agree that new automotive is even quieter nonetheless and stays composed, which provides weight to Proton’s NVH enchancment claims.

Our solely different driving-related train of the day was a slalom so we may be reacquainted with the Iriz’s dynamic means. Sadly, we needed to play passenger as a Proton worker introduced us out, forcefully making an attempt to unsettle the automotive at mid-range speeds by making sharp lefts and rights to trigger a spinout.

Fortunately, the undesirable didn’t occur and the Iriz continued to ferry passenger after passenger on the identical course, with the ESC and traction management methods holding issues in examine when the chassis is pushed past its limits. Proton’s experience and dealing with stays a key promoting level.

From a driving dynamics standpoint, the Iriz makes a really robust case for itself, and the gear updates do assist so as to add worth to the hatchback, making it an fascinating proposition for automotive consumers. Design stays a subjective factor, though it’s exhausting to not agree that it’s a a lot bolder-looking car this time round.

It’s commendable that Proton has continued working to raised the Iriz, enhancing it little by little. It might not have been the Myvi killer, or the sport changer it had hoped it to be, however it’s now lastly probably the most full model of itself.

So, will the brand new Iriz be sufficient to assist Proton regain floor in a phase the place the Myvi is at present dominant? Solely time will inform.

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