Proton previously had a bad year. With mediocre sales compared to Perodua that stole the limelight as well as market dominance, they knew they had to do something about it. With that Proton came out with a new model called Persona. In once glance people would think that it is a Gen2. Well, practicing capital savings to avoid a complete R&D onslaught they decide to re-engineer the current Gen2 chassis to accommodate a full boot at the back. Every other change is actually inside and under the hood.
With the help of Lotus it has transformed the zingy engine to give out a bit more power. It’s not a bad engine but certainly not for spirited driving. Town pottering and legal highway speed is what it is for. The interior has received a makeover compared to the Gen2. Slightly better plastics…boring seats but it supports well and better headroom for the rear occupants.
The biggest difference is the handling. For the price it handles very well. NVH seems minimal and on par with other cars of similar class like the Honda City and Toyota Vios. The turn in is much keener and fairly precise. I just wish it could have more feel to it. I think a swap to lower profile tires should do that. The suspension absorbs potholes. Small one you can attack with confidence, middle sized ones are well dealt with the largest one unsettles the car a bit. Still it does not bottom out.
Safety equipment and money value there is no other car that comes close to it. Good for small families or the young executives. Mileage is good. I just hope they come up with a wide range of options for the interior. Leather would be perfect.