My white 2019 Proton Persona 1.6 Premium CVT was bought about 4 months ago at a price of around RM55k. As I was still a student going for internship soon at that time, I needed my first car to travel to work every day. Due to budget constraint, I had to choose a local car that fits my budget. Therefore, I was left with a few choices and they were Perodua Axia, Perodua Myvi, Perodua Bezza, Proton Saga and Proton Persona. I chose the Persona right away after test driving the Perodua Myvi, Perodua Bezza and Proton Saga before the 2020 CNY. I gave my IC number to a local authorized Proton dealer and placed my booking for the white Persona as it is my favourite car colour.
Soon after CNY, I was told the car was ready for me to pick up. I can still remember the feelings I had driving it for the first time. It was pleasant and enjoyable as it was my very first car. Shortly after I got my car, I had to travel to Selangor to start my internship as an IT programmer. So, I drove it all the way from Kedah to Selangor for a distance of about 300km. It was an extremely comfortable ride (thanks to the semi leather seats that provide great support to my thigh and back) and I was still left with a decent amount of petrol of about 200km in my fuel tank.
Speaking about the fuel consumption of the car, it is acceptable since this car has more power and I do feel like this car is on sports mode all the time due to the gearbox higher rpm settings. I usually get around 12-14km/l for city driving and 16-18km/l for highway driving.
An Unexpected "Suprise"
On the fifth day after getting the car, there was a weird noise coming from the dashboard (like mouse noise). As the days went by, more and more rattling noises were emerging from different parts of the dashboard! I got slightly annoyed, so during my first 1000km service, I asked the SC in PJ to help me to solve the problem. Although they didn’t fix it, after that first service, however, the car drove better than before. Then, I contacted Proton COSE to complain about the rattling noise. An appointment was made, and the rattling noise issue was fixed exactly one day before the MCO started. The service advisor at COSE was very patient and waited for me to collect my car after work. Basically, COSE always closes at 5pm, but he waited for me until 6pm to collect my car. I definitely had to give Proton COSE 5 stars for this aspect.
Then after MCO kicked in, I was unable to drive it too much. I have added a dashcam, dashboard cover, boot tray, adjustable armrest and some interior led light strips to spice up the car.
During CMCO, I also upgraded my halogen headlamp to a better halogen headlamp with whiter colour, changed my number plate to a better styled font and did a legit 4-door soundproofing that improves my audio experience and lessens the noise from outside.
Pros and Cons
After owning this car for about 4 months, let me share with you the good sides and bad sides of this car and why I chose to buy this car.
The good sides:
1. Superb ride and handling with great stability at high speed
With Proton’s signature ride and handling, the car handles in an agile manner and it is very fun to drive this car in city and on highway. As the car is stable and the steering is not shaky at high speed, it gives the driver the confidence to drive fast.
2. Comfy semi leather seats with great thigh and back support
Personally, I find these seats very comfortable for long distance travel as they support my back and thigh very well.
3. “Hi Proton” Infotainment
The Hi Proton infotainment is high tech, non-laggy and I can show off to friends. It has HD screen, 4G internet connectivity, 1 GB free data every month and recently updated to come with JOOX online music streaming service which has a bigger song database. I often use JOOX to play music directly through the infotainment and use voice command to control the volume of music without the need to press the button on the steering wheel. I am quite surprised by how well the voice command works in most scenarios, even when the music is loud. The 4 speakers that come with the car sound loud and clear and the bass is adequate enough for me.
4. Great design language
The design of the facelifted Persona is better than the pre-facelift model as the facelifted Persona looks less tall and wider.
Also, the wheels don't look so small thanks to the new premium dual tone rim design.
As Proton has both Silverstone and Goodyear as their tire suppliers, I was lucky enough to get the 185/55R15 Goodyear Assurance Triplemax Tires, at least I don’t need to change tires so fast.
5. Practical and convenient
This car comes with push start button and keyless entry system. Therefore, I don’t need to take out my key each time when I enter my car.
Moreover, this car comes with a huge boot of 510L that can literally fit in 2 or 3 persons at the same time. (Just joking, please don’t kidnap someone with this car).
6. Great safety features
Personally, I just feel safe in this car as it has all the basic safety systems that a driver needs like 6 airbags, hill start assist, ABS, EBD, BA, Traction control and ESC.
7. Engine is quieter and NVH is improved
Generally, when I am driving this car I don’t hear the engine sound much and there is less vibration passed from the engine into the cabin. You may hear some CVT whining but the CVT whining is a lot lesser compared to the Proton Saga FLX and the 1st gen Proton Persona.
8. After sales service is definitely improved
Throughout my various visits to different SCs, they have tried their best to serve me politely and tried their best to fix the issues that I have with the car.
The bad sides:
1. Minor QC issues
I faced issues like dashboard rattling noise and broken gear knob bulb. However, those issues have been fixed at SC. I guess I was unlucky then to get a unit that has some manufacturing defects.
2. No adjustable headrest for rear seats
This may uncomfortable for the passengers at the back of my car during long distance travel.
3. No LED headlamp
Since there is no LED headlamp, I had once tried to upgrade the headlamp to LED but LED just deemed to be unsuitable for this reflector housing.
The beam pattern was scattered all over the place and it was blinding other road users so I changed the headlamp to use better halogen bulbs with whiter colour and it is not blinding the other road users. The halogen bulbs cost about RM200 per set.
4. Loud road noise at high speed due to stock tires
At higher speed, the road noise will become more apparent and I have planned to change the tires to Michelin ones.
Total Score: 4/5
Quality & Features: 3.5/5
Ride Comfort: 4/5
Fuel Economy: 3/5
Price & Cost: 5/5
In a nutshell, given its price and spec, I don't regret buying this car as the goods outweigh the bads. I chose to buy this car due to its good sides and I am able to accept the shortcomings of this car. Most of the shortcomings of the car become acceptable after looking at the price of only 55k. I do believe that Proton will excel in the future and will be able to compete in the international market if they keep improving. Hopefully I can bring this car for a Genting run after Covid-19 is over. I still have a long journey to go with this car and I hope that it can serve me well for the years to come.