Automotive, Opinion

2022 Proton Iriz – Which Variant to Get?

After more than half a year of leaks and rumours, the 2022 Proton Iriz facelift has finally been launched yesterday. The variants on offer have been simplified too – there are only three models of the B-segment hatchback to choose from now.

But between the 1.3 Standard, 1.6 Executive, and brand-new 1.6 Active variants of the facelifted Iriz, which one should you get? Well, let’s take a look at each one of them to see which is the best…for your needs.

1.3 Standard

This is the most affordable 2022 Iriz, and despite it being the base model, the Standard variant is actually better-equipped than the pre-facelift hatchback of the same trim level. Not only does it get 15-inch alloy wheels now (instead of 14-inch), this entry-level variant also gets two extra airbags for a total of four airbags.

Of course, these upgrades do increase the price of the new Iriz Standard a tad bit. The pre-facelift 1.3 Standard CVT was priced at RM39,200 (with sales tax exemption applied), while this new facelifted Standard model costs RM40,300 – also with sales tax exemption applied until 31 December 2021.

Basically, you’re paying RM1,100 more for these additions, which is not bad at all. Spread out over a five-year or seven-year loan, the difference won’t be all that noticeable either.

Anyway, besides getting larger wheels and more airbags, you’re also paying slightly more for the 2022 Iriz Standard’s sleeker-looking exterior and interior. While there are no exterior images of the Standard yet, it should be sporting the same updated Infinite Weave grille finished in glossy black and the new circular Proton logo.

The interior of the facelifted Iriz Standard sees a bigger upgrade. The centre console looks quite a bit more modern with digital air-conditioning controls, the steering wheel now has Proton’s new logo with a different, more upmarket design – though it’s still urethane – and get this: there’s finally an armrest.

Okay, so is the 2022 Iriz Standard worth getting? If you want an affordable B-segment hatchback, and you don’t need the more powerful 1.6L engine, leather seats, or other creature comforts that the Executive and Active variants offer, the Standard model will serve you very well.

While the Iriz Standard’s 1.3L engine that outputs 95PS and 120Nm of torque paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) doesn’t sound particularly exciting, it’s more than adequate to get you from point A to point B. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

Plus, as the facelifted Iriz is a true blue Proton model, you can expect to get excellent ride and handling out of this B-segment hatchback regardless of trim level.

1.6 Executive

And then we have the mid-tier 1.6 Executive variant of the facelifted Iriz. Priced at RM47,100, you’re paying RM6,800 more over the Standard model – that’s quite a big price difference.

Naturally, you do get your money’s worth with the added cost. For one, the new Iriz Executive gets a more powerful 1.6L engine that does 109PS and 150Nm of torque paired to a CVT. This model also features larger 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, and six airbags for even better safety.

The list of added features continues in the interior of the facelifted Iriz Executive. These include more premium leather seats, an 8-inch floating infotainment system with a reverse camera, as well as keyless entry with push start button.

Essentially, the 1.6 Iriz Executive is made for those that want most of the creature comforts this hatchback has to offer without spending top dollar for the Active model. In fact, I reckon this will be the most popular variant in the 2022 Iriz lineup.

While the Iriz Active looks sportier than this Executive variant – it’s worth noting that both models are powered by the same 1.6L engine – some folks may not be thrilled by the more aggressive styling of the former. But if you do like how the Active looks…let’s move on to the next section.

1.6 Active

As the range-topping model, the Iriz Active gets all the bells and whistles. The most immediate difference between the Active and the hatchback’s other two variants is the exterior. It is packed with LED headlamps, fender extensions, different 16-inch alloy wheels, as well as roof rails with a blacked-out roof – it’s certainly a sporty-looking hatchback.

The interior of the Iriz Active gets some notable additions too. Red accents are found throughout the cabin – it even has a bright red seat belt! – semi leather seats, as well as aluminium pedals. It also has a similar-looking 8-inch floating infotainment screen as the Executive model, but this one supports the new “Hi Proton” voice command.

Previously, the voice command feature could only control the audio, but it has been updated to be able to adjust the air-conditioning and windows as well. On top of that, it also has an eSIM (with a five-year data package for 1GB of data monthly) for online navigation.

However, you do have to pay quite a bit more for the Iriz Active. With a RM54,000 price tag, the Active costs a whopping RM6,900 more over the Executive model. In terms of sheer value for money, the Executive trim is definitely the winner, though I’m sure some folks are willing to pay extra for the sportier appeal of the Active.

Which Variant to Get?

It depends. If you want the best value for your money, the 2022 Proton Iriz Executive is the one to go for. But if you don’t need the 1.6L engine and creature comforts offered by the Executive model, the Standard trim is the best option for you; it’s still quite a complete B-segment hatchback.

On the other hand, if you like the looks of the Iriz Active, and you don’t mind paying more for the sporty stylings, then go for it! Personally, I’d go with the Executive model of the 2022 Iriz – it has most features that I care about, and it’s priced quite well too.

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