2022 Proton Iriz Active review: a stronger Myvi rival?

By ramieza, 29 October 2021

2022 Proton Iriz Active test drive: can the latest facelift mount a stronger challenge against the Perodua Myvi?

Wait, is that a Proton X50? When sighted on the move from afar, the 2022 Iriz Active may sport a similar figure thanks to its crossover styling and bright, ‘Passion Red’ paintjob. But it’s certainly a different car altogether, in a much more accessible though similarly sporty package.

There isn’t much difference engine-wise since the facelift is more focused on what you get with the exterior and interior. The Iriz soldiers on with Proton’s familiar 109PS 1.6-litre VVT engine. But whatever improvements Proton has given to the car are definitely worth a shout.

For starters, the exterior’s biggest change is the shift towards SUV-like styling cues for the Active variant. It now has roof rails at the top and it gets a crossover-inspired chunky black plastic mouldings all around and redesigned bumpers. The new wheel arch claddings are certainly reminiscent of the Satria GTi – they work quite well in freshening up the Iriz’s ageing body.

The 2022 model also welcomes the third Proton logo to appear on the Iriz – this just goes to show how long the model has been in service. And as for colour options, Proton has gone crazy this time with no less than seven hues to choose from, including the newly added Citric Orange (Executive, Active) and Passion Red (only available for the Iriz Active variant). We personally love our tester’s red paintjob because it definitely adds to the “garang” look of the updated aesthetic.

Once you step inside the car, you can see even more red splashes, as well as the ‘Active’ logo on the seats and doors. Our favourite styling cue unique to the Iriz Active are the bright red seat belts that give off a sporty, Honda Civic Type R vibe.

The Iriz Active also gets a fully upgraded GKUI head unit, now featuring a new interface. The “Hi Proton” voice commands are no longer limited to the onboard navigation and music apps – it can now operate the air conditioner and driver window too, just like the Geely-based models. However, we did encounter several problems with the systems, particularly with misinterpreted voice commands.

On the move, vibration levels are actually quite good. It is stable on uneven roads and the rear seats are not bad too. Overall, its all-round performance seems to leave a bigger impact than the Perodua Myvi in terms of comfort and lower engine noise.

Verdict: 8/10

Good facelift effort which manages to preserve the Iriz unique identity while streamlining it with newer Proton models in terms of looks. The head unit voice command has been refined, but there are still some issues with the interface. It's far from perfect, but the new Iriz definitely has much more to offer from the previous one.

2022 Proton Iriz Active

Price: 1.3L (RM40,800) 1.6L (RM47,800 to RM54,800)
Engine: 1.6L DOHC VVT, 109PS, 150 Nm
Transmission: CVT, FWD
Weight: 1,130–1,185kg
Boot capacity: 215 litres