Firstly, the second generation Persona Premium comes priced on-the-road with GST and insurance at RM59,800 with six metallic colours for choice and includes Cotton White, Fire Red, Sterling Silver, Graphite Grey, Quartz Black and Carnelian Brown (new).
Solid colours are also available and will cost RM450-less and is available across all variants, which includes the entry-level Standard (RM46,800-MT and RM49,800-CVT) and mid-range Executive (RM55,800-CVT only).
Proton Persona test drive
Proton on track to identify strategic partner
Furthermore, the Premium variant has an optional body kit available for fitment, which costs an additional RM1,000, and also includes a five-year unlimited mileage warranty as well as a three-year free service package (including parts and labour) for new booking made from now till Sept 30.
The 1.6-litre VVT engine may be a familiar sight, but the local carmaker says its noise, vibration and harshness levels have been improved as has its fuel economy with the inclusion of ECO Drive Assist - a first in a Proton vehicle, which has helped bring consumption levels down to 6.1 litres per 100km.
The Persona has adopted the Iriz's platform and naturally both cars share the same wheelbase at 2,555mm, but dimensionally - with the added 510-litre boot and different panels, the car is now 482mm-longer at 4,387mm, 2mm-wider at 1,722mm and 4mm-taller at 1,554mm.
The outgoing Persona, launched in 2007, has sold some 250,000 units both locally and internationally, and has a kerb weight of 1,170 to 1,190kg along with a wheelbase of 2,600mm, while measuring 4,477mm-long, 1,725mm-wide and 1,438mm-tall.
Although the Persona is now smaller than its predecessor, the added height provides for more headroom at the rear, while passengers enjoy the plush leather seats of the Premium variant.
The Persona has a ground clearance of 155mm, which is attributable to the 15-inch wheels with 185/55 series tyres that work with MacPherson struts (front) and torsion beam axel (rear) suspension system for ride and handling duties.
Proton touts the Persona's cabin as being spacious with seven cup-holders and two (Standard variant only) or four USB ports, while having ergonomically-designed seats and console layout in order to provide a comfortable ride for all occupants
In terms of features, the 1,120kg (kerb) Persona Premium comes with front and rear fog lamps, keyless-entry with push-start-button, follow-me-home lamps, automatic electric-folding mirrors, automatic headlights, remote trunk release, rear spoiler and an optional body kit (RM1,000).
Inside, the cabin's dual-tone with titanium chrome finish provides seven cup holders, leather upholstery, 60:40 split folding rear seats, four-speaker touchscreen sound system with navigation, radio/CD/DVD/mp3 playback, 4 x USB ports, AUX jack, Wifi enabled and Bluetooth connectivity.
Safety equipment include six airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, hill-hold assist, Isofix anchor points, dual pre-tensioner seat belts and reverse camera.
As such, the Asean New Car Assement Programme (Asean NCAP) has awarded the Persona with the full five-star crash rating.
Proton expects to sell between 3,000 units and 4,000 units of the new Persona per month, with expectations of breaking even on investments within the next two to three years.
He said that the car will compete in the B-segment category - which is also occupied by the recently launched Perodua Bezza - and would not cannibalise sales of its Saga model, which the company plans to launch next month.