Proton Persona 1.6 Review
imPERSONAtion; It is not.

Text and Photos by Amery Reuben
11 Dec 2007

Interesting fact – Since Proton debuted it’s self proclaimed “Pride and Joy” more accurately termed the Persona, sales of the 2 year old Perodua Myvi (which is the Daihatsu Sirion made under license) have not dipped one bit, selling up to a very comfortable 9,000 units a month.

The Sirions, er, Myvis have been overbooked by three months, and here’s the baffling part – despite not having dropped in numbers for the Perodua, sales for the Persona aren’t exactly suffering either. On the contrary, they have been skyrocketing. Proton have managed to convince the better part of Malaysia that they can’t go wrong with 19,840 units booked within the first month or two.

Out of these, approximately half the numbers ordered have been delivered, while a good side effect is the increased number of bookings for the very, very old and aging Proton Saga which is now selling for RM26,999, pushed lower further by the Persona’s debut.

With a waiting list of up to 4 months for the highest trimmed models, you might see why Proton suddenly got confident and rejected a rather skewed deal with Volkswagen anyway (skewed towards Vee-dub anyway).

A pity then, for Proton might have become so much more, but in the mean time, we have to admit that the Persona is nevertheless, a brilliant attempt, but not without it’s usual, Malaysian quirks and typical shortcomings.


That cliché, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” never felt so right with the Persona. The exterior is big, nearly as big as the Lancer EX. In fact, it is a full 137mm longer than it’s Gen2 sibling, and slightly taller too (3mm).

Overall width remains the same, and so does the 2600mm long wheelbase, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the bulk of the modifications have gone to the humungous, 430L boot. That’s enough for two Golf bags, an ice box, loads of baggage and perhaps a child or two...

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