Proton Persona SE

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 Happy

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.

42 thoughts on “Proton Persona SE”

  1. It comes with digital odometer (can calculates your fuel consumption for you!)

    hi adino..
    i already get persona se…
    how digital odometer work?
    how to setting to calculate fuel cosumption…

    Adino: Yay, congrats Daus!

    On the dashboard there is two button right? If you press the right button, it will switch the display. I think it will show:
    Total km since last reset
    Total km
    L/100km -> This is the fuel consumption. Should be 6 – 7.5 range
    Estimated Km until zero fuel
    Estimated time until zero fuel

    Pressing and holding the left button will reset the numbers on the display.

    I think you can check the user manual for more details (in case my memory fails me)

  2. Hi Adino

    I’m now a Iswara A/B user..but soon gonna change to Persona SE (Brilliant Red).
    Already book it..maybe gonna get it next week..
    I also like Vios or City but I just can’t afford to pay 80K for a car.

    Hopefully I’ll love it just the way you did:)

    Adino: Yay, welcome to the club Rina! Red is a very nice colour for the car.
    thanks for your review

  3. Wazzup adino..

    Ur ride sure look nice.. I’ll get mine own Persona SE in a few days coming.. Just want to know.. How fast have u got?

    Adino: Wazzzupppp! Hehe.

    Welcome to the Persona SE club! I think I got my car within a few weeks.

    What colour did you get?

  4. hey adino…
    i’m just thankful that i happened to come across your blog, before making up my mid on what car to get… well, I’m in a similar situation as you was, where i really want a vios or a city, but my gut tells me that it isn’t worth it spending 80k on a car when i don’t earn that much…. i recently went to the proton showroom, and was really attracted to the persona SE… I still have some doubts though, but referring to your experience, I hope mine will be the same, if not better!! thanx 🙂

    Adino: Perhaps you could try to ask for a test drive, so you can see how it handles on the road. Some people may like it, some people may not.

    Thanks for leaving your comment and good luck in your car hunt!

  5. Hye adino..

    i choose a brilliant red(prefer a black persona se if they ever made one).. what a beauty.. well, can’t wait to take it for a long ride.. he3..

    even i discover small problem after a day i got it (power window sound like rattling), but still i think it is worth it.. will send for repair or replace a new motor if possible..

    Adino: Red is a great colour! You should get the window fixed during your first free service at Proton. Should be under warranty?

  6. Hi, i also bought mine, for more than a month, actually the drive is good, firm n solid that i expected, n the auto cruise is just a kick ass if driving on highway to kuantan, u can basically lift ur legs up, lol (dont do this, its dangerous…), the onli porblem i encounter is the shock absorber seems to b not so good for mine, got squeky sound when goes over bumpy roads or holes (even a small one), will wanna sound this on my next service. Btw, the alarm key sometimes fails to respond directly, not sure does this happen to u as well….

    Adino: Yeah, I love auto cruise!

    I don’t have any problem with my shock absorber, probably should complain and get it replaced in your next service. I have problem with my alarm key also, after I dropped it a few times.

  7. KS…ur problem same like me..adino u got 1 or 2 floor mat?

    Adino: I got two floor mats, one is the normal type, the other type I found wrapped in plastic inside my boot, which is the ‘bulu’ type hehe

  8. Hye adino..

    Have you see the new persona facelift??? what do you think man?

    actually, i just got my persona in january.. n after three month they launch a new one.. even the salesmen doesnt know anything about it.. all i can say is, the H-line price is almost the same with SE.. just wanna take my hand on that new side mirror..

    Adino: Hi! No I haven’t seen it, don’t have much time to go look it up. But I’m sure it looks sexy!


  9. Hey Adino, u mentioned that u can open the boot by remote control. But my Persona SE 2009 don’t have that button to open the boot by remote control. How many buttons do u have on your remote control? If u don’t mind, can u post a photo of your car remote control?


    Adino: My remote has two buttons, a big one (for lock/unlock), and a small one. If your car is locked, the small button will trigger the alarm. If your car is unlocked, the small button will open the boot.

  10. hye again adino..

    long time have i not reaching you.. he3.. after frustrated with proton unleashing the new persona after 3 month i bought it.. huh, but one thing i realize the different is the persona old grill still look more “garang” then the elegance.. but still, i envy the new elegance.. by the way, my adik just bump into a divider and got the first scracth.. a big one.. wa..

    Adino: The new elegance really looks nice, with many features from the SE. I love the new colours too!

    Aiyo, must be really ‘heart pain’ to get the scratch. Any luck repairing it?

  11. I made a mistake buying a Persona 1.6 IAFM. The car is one year old and despite many complaints to Proton, the petrol consumption is 21 cents a km. Yes, 21 cents per km. Don’t believe me, fill your tank, note the mileage and when it is empty, fill it up again and take the mileage reading.

    Adino: OMG that’s really terrible. My Persona SE (CamPro engine?) is using 13 sen per km. Are you still driving the car?

  12. Yes, still driving it. Will want to get rid of it, but changing to another car is a costly affair. FYI, the electronic meter shows 7.4 litres for 100km. It is psychology at work – customer thinks it is cheap until you find out that for RM65, it takes you as far as 310-330 km only.

    Adino: Ya I guess it’s not practical to buy another new car at this point. Will try to do a manual comparison next time I fill up, to see if the electronic meter is true or not.

  13. I bought new Persona Elegance and just got my car yesterday. There’s a sound from the backseat. The metal hitting metal sound. Anyway to solve this? I have to say that the look of this car is simply awesome especially when compared to the RM80K T car. Engine is smooth and powerful even when going up hill. when I have refueled three times, will let you know the average fuel consumption.

    Adino: Cool, the Elegance colour is sooo nice! I’m not sure how to solve the sound from the backseat… maybe can inform when you send for your first service?

  14. First time refuel. Caltex. RM1.90 / litre. Ron 95. Result: 17.51 cents per km. Second tank in progress. Thus far, below 17 cents /km. only city driving thus far. will advise once 2nd refill of full tank. Apparently, quite good for a 1.6 still without the 1,000km service.

  15. Hi! I cant wait for my new Persona Elegance H-Line. The salesman said i’ll get the car in 2 weeks time ahead =)yeyyy..I choose the Brilliant Red color. Hopefully i’ll enjoy the same experience as yours or better. Thanks for the valueable info guysss. It helps me relief with peace of mind at least for spending my earned money to a local car..some say that the PE performs more when you fuel with ron97..thanks!

    Adino: Wow congrats on your purchase! In my experience ron97 seems to have better pickup but mileage is around the same. So I would stick to ron95 unless got the extra cash to burn.

  16. got my persona h-line auto last friday evening. thumbs up. running smooth. worth buying this 2nd car. mpv exora for long distance. nice work proton. keep it up.

    Adino: Yeah no complains so far after so many years. I think the Persona is a nice and affordable car.

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