We finally did it.
After months (almost a year!) of agonizing, we went ahead and bought a Proton Persona Special Edition.
I know what you’re thinking. A Proton? Why spend your hard-earned money on a Proton?
Believe me, I’m one of the biggest Proton skeptics you will find.
But after looking at the features and specifications, I found it to be a great offer.
The price for the Proton Persona SE came up to RM 59,800.
What!? Why don’t you topup 20K and get a City or Vios instead?
The short answer is, I can’t afford to pay 80K for a car.
Anyway, the car was delivered some time in March. And what a wonderful surprise we got.
She’s Got The Looks
The car is fitted with a sporty body kit, making it look really sleek and sexy. There were two colours, hazy blue and fiery red (I think). We chose blue but it looks more greyish.
Actually I think the car looks like an elongated version of the Gen2.
The car is about the same size as a Honda City. I kid you not because I have washed it (once) and it took a looong time to wipe it dry.
She’s Got the Space
One of the things you will not notice from the exterior, is the boot space. It has 440 litres of boot space, which is similar to what the Honda City and Vios have.
Look at how it can fit my baby stroller length-wise and all our luggage. Still some space for me to climb inside if necessary! I suppose if I ever play golf, it would fit my golf bag without any problem.
The interior of the car cabin is so spacious that it actually echoes when I talk. Of course it’s not the exagerrated echo but you can get the sense of space.
The height is really comfortable and there is plenty of leg room even in the back. For a relatively tall person like me, it feels comfortable. No more airplane-like seats during outstation travels!
In this photo you can see how spacious it is inside. (Sorry about the angle, I was taking it while stopped at a parking lot, and it was too hot for me to go outside).
You can see baby Rachel’s Britax Royale car seat at the back (which costs RM1200 but it is sooo comfortable!)
She’s Got The Whole Package
The Persona SE comes fitted with synthetic leather seats (as you can see from the previous photo).
It comes with free window tinting.
It comes with ABS and air bags for driver and front passenger.
It’s a 1.6 litre automatic transmission.
It comes with digital odometer (can calculates your fuel consumption for you!)
It comes with GPS (not very user friendly, and not very reliable).
You can open the boot by remote control.
It has radio controls on the steering wheel.
It has cup holders and plenty of storage compartments.
It has electric adjusting side mirrors.
It has a set of low lights on the front bumper.
The thing that really inked the deal for me was auto cruise control. Yes! No more tired feet after driving long distance!
She Glides Like an Angel
Driving the car is by far the most pleasant surprise. I’ve driven a Honda City and I can tell you that the Persona SE feels the same, if not better.
The acceleration is smooth and responsive. It achieves highway speed without straining. You won’t realize that you’re driving at 90 or 100. It hardly reaches 3500 RPMs (unless you floor it).
My only complain is the pickup when the car is loaded with passengers and luggage. On the highway I found that I can’t get from 100 to 120/130 fast enough during overtaking. End up I have some angry BMW / Mercedes tail gating me when I try to overtake.
Maybe I’m just too used to the pickup of a manual transmission car.
It’s also quiet (compared to my previous car). Poey Chin can actually hear my low mumbly voice! It sure is nice not talking like we’re riding in a bus.
She’s Got Some Quirks
The only problem we’ve had was an alarm system warning after driving in a heavy rain. Somehow water got into the electrical wiring. It was fixed after drying the wiring off with compressed air.
Other than that, I haven’t encountered any other problems. Proton really takes their QC seriously. They inspected every component of the car and put a ‘Pass’ sticker on it. I spent a few days finding and removing all the stickers!
The rear of the car is also quite high, making it difficult to judge the distance behind you when parking. Care also must be taken when changing lanes as I notice a bigger blind spot.
I’m really happy with my purchase. It has all the features of a City or Vios at an affordable price. The driving experience is something you will never expect in a Proton. It actually gives me confidence in the car.
In terms of quality (which was Proton’s weakness) I can definitely see and feel the improvement. No more ‘Milo tin’ feel on the body. Even the doors close with a satisfying ‘whumph’ instead of ‘clank’.
I have nothing but praises for Proton for a job well done. It is a good buy because you get so much value for your money.
You won’t find the same space, the improved quality, and the same features for any car priced at RM 60000.