After Proton Neo S2000 in the rally championship, the next car from Proton to make a major impact in a rally is the Proton Iriz R5 from Mellors Elliot Motorsport which uses 4B11T engine from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and cost RM776,000 for the whole rally package. Image source: Paul Tan.
Frankly speaking, if you and your spouse are actively using a car for work or to drop off the kids at school, I don’t see how you can do it with just one at home. Yes, alternatively you can use public transport but given at times, the logistics and timing of these public transports, it is sometimes not convenient and also non-existence.
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Back in 2008, we only one main car at home which we use for almost everything in addition to using it to drive to work. So we started to face some logistics issues whenever I am at work.
We had to reschedule all of our weekly shopping to the weekends and this also posed some problems as fresh vegetables do not stay fresh over the week (despite the refrigeration). There was a serious need for another car in the house – to ease the usage and also to use as a backup.
So in 2009, we got a small gutsy Perodua Viva for the house which came very handy considering my wife finds it easier to drive it around and it has good fuel consumption and since it is small in size, handy when it comes to parking at tight spots. It has served us well over the years but like any mechanical things, parts break down and subject to the usual wear & tear.
Then in 2018, we seriously considered selling off the car and buy a new one. After some consideration, we decided to do some restoration to the car namely replacing the suspensions, polish & fix the headlights & rims and replace some broken electrical connections.
Some fixes and maintenance on the air-conditioning system were also done. That extended the life of the car for another 2 years till we find more issues that do not make part replacing not a feasible option.
So the search started again for the replacement for the 2nd car and after due consideration, we decided on the facelifted Proton Iriz which was launched in 2019. Image source: Proton
Why Proton Iriz and not other models especially from the master of small cars, Perodua (Daihatsu in disguise)? Since the target is a small car, the other 2 options were Perodua Axia and Perodua Myvi (yes the king itself).
The cheaper option would have been Perodua Axia which is the cheapest of the whole lot (not surprisingly due to 998 cc engine capacity) with Myvi edging slightly higher than Iriz at the far end. I then decided to drop Axia because it is similar to the current Viva and thus is likely to have the same problems in the future. And that leaves me to consider between Iriz and Myvi.
Both Iriz and Myvi come with 5 years or 150,000 km warranty, whichever comes first. Iriz although of an older design backing to 2014, underwent a facelift in 2019 which saw a cleaner design – both in and out. Image source: Proton
Perodua Myvi on the other hand was launched in 2017 and yet to see any major changes. Both are home-grown design and not rebadged car. Performance-wise, both cars are comparable although, in a recent drag race, Iriz did edge Myvi considerably. Boot space is smaller in Iriz with just 215 litres compared to Myvi’s 277 litres but since the objective of the second car is for short-distance driving, this does not make any major difference. Safety-wise, both cars are several notches above the current Viva which does not have any airbags, traction control and better body structure.
Both cars scored 5 stars in ASEAN NCAP which is a good thing. Compared to Iriz, Myvi, unfortunately, has better equipment on safety – 4 airbags vs 2 airbags.
Then Iriz boasts technology called Hot Press Forming which is part of Proton’s RESS (Reinforced Safety Structure System):-
In order to develop the RESS, Proton acquired the Hot Press Forming (HPF) technology, making Proton the first carmaker in the ASEAN region and sixth in the world to acquire the Hot Press Forming technology.
In the HPF technology, steel pieces are heated to 900 °C and the red hot steel pieces are stamped before being quenched at 4 °C, changing the steel phase from austenite to martensite. The process increases the strength of steel parts from the original 500 MPa to 1,500 MPa.
In the RESS frame, the structure is reinforced by applying the parts being made from the HPF process for the main cabin structure to make the cabin more rigid, while the other structural parts are made from ordinary high-tensile steel. There are nine major structural parts that are made from the HPF process, namely:-
Reinforcement Front Pillar Upper LH/RH
Reinforcement Centre Pillar Inner LH/RH
Reinforcement Centre Pillar Outer LH/RH
Reinforcement Side Sill LH/RH
Reinforcement Front Pillar Inner Lower LH/RH
Panel Front Pillar Inner Upper LH/RH
Front Impact Beam
Reinforcement Crossmember Dash Lower RH
Crossmember Front Floor Rear LH/RH
Considering that we have been driving cars way before keyless push button is standard in basic cars, this will be something we need to get used to. Comfort-wise Iriz has a 7-inch touchscreen entertainment system which is better than Myvi’s lower-end version. This will ease mirroring the smartphone’s Android with the car’s audio system.
The final factor in deciding which car (which on paper is comparable) to buy is of course after-sales support. Unfortunately, given the past experience, both have not faired well but then again, I guess it also depends on which service centre you go to.
Between the two, I have more confidence with the parts and service from Proton. Since I still doing the service of my first car with Proton’s authorised centre (the other one that has a good job till now), it is only logical that I maintain the service of the second car in the same place.
Of course, buying a new car only signs the start of many things and this includes the purchase of additional accessories to make the ride more comfortable and safe. This includes security tint which will be RhinePro which I had installed for all the cars at home.
The other would be the dashboard mat which will protest the dashboard plastic from the Malaysian heat. And of course, I also need to get this must-have item these days – a good dashcam – knowing that despite better education and knowledge, people still drive like morons on the road.