So, the office sent me - someone whose knowledge about cars is limited to driving, and basic maintenance like when to service the car, how to check got enough engine oil or not, what to do if car overheats, theory of changing tyres (no luck loosening tyres enough to change it myself till now) - for a media introduction of a car.
I have no idea what all the acronyms and fancy terms car enthusiasts often use but agreed to go for a preview of the new and improved Proton IRIZ.
Since I'm sure most other drivers are in the same boat as I am, my 'review' of the car is hopefully useful lah.
What's new, what I liked and what I didn't care much for
I liked the overall 'sporty' look of the car, which is what Proton intended for the new design.
On the outside, what I liked the most was the headlights.
They're more narrow and gives the car a sleeker look, almost like a soldering, eyes-half-closed look a person may give to someone they're trying to seduce.
But was I seduced by the car? I'll let you know at the end.
The lights aside, there are minor (to my untrained eyes) changes to the front of the car, but nothing worth mentioning in detail.
The changes to the back of the car is more obvious, as according to Proton, there were many feedbacks saying that the design of the older models looked too flat and not very balanced.
I liked the looks of the old model fine but the addition of shark fin antenna was a nice touch, as is the new bumper.
The bumper area holds the number plate, rear fog lamp and reflectors.
Now, the interior is my favourite part.
Disclaimer: my views are entirely biased because I love the colour black to the point that 95 per cent of my wardrobe is in that colour, but it really does add elegance to the car.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the red and blue stripes. But it's not something that'll stop me from buying the car if I was of a mind to.
Not all models comes with that type of seats though, so you have a choice to pick something else.
From the dashboard to the handbrake and gear area, everything is in black. There are touches of chrome as well and the combination of both the colours made the interior look classy to me.
The coolest part of the whole event was that I got to see and experience a test track.
The name is pretty self-explanatory. That's where the cars are tested to make sure that it works the way it was built to work.
So, the car has this feature called Electronic Stability Control (ESC) that basically helps to control your car if it starts swerving.
You know, if you go on the Karak Highway and you see all those impatient cars that take the curves too fast, then cannot control and the cars swerve right and left? Like that. Or when the roads are wet and you lose control.
That's what I understood from it, at least.
Another cool part about the car is the head unit that comes with a screen that works like a smartphone.
The somewhat technologically-challenged part of me that still gets awed by things that work with voice commands, so the feature was something that definitely got me excited.
It works the same way as Google Assistant or Alexa, but I have to say that the reach is not as extensive.
You can ask 'Hi Proton' to check the weather, play some music or find directions for you while driving, but you can't ask it who the fourth US president is.
You can also mirror your smartphones to the system and use it but we wouldn't recommend it if you're driving, you know, for safety reasons.
The weakest point of the car, to me, is the space and comfort of the seats.
Like many other cars, IRIZ is not built for short people like me, so even after adjusting the seat to the maximum capacity, I couldn't be entirely comfortable.
It seemed like the space between me and the steering wheel, as well as my elbow to the door were a little too tight.
However, IRIZ is meant to be a compact car, so I guess it's expected.
If I was looking to buy my first car, I'd seriously consider the 2019 Proton IRIZ.
It's compact, has several safety features including ECS, up to six airbags, improved braking system and most importantly, very good fuel efficiency.
It's not for someone who need more space or tend to bring more people or things in the car, but for daily travel in the city? It's a choice worth considering.
And if you are indeed considering to buy IRIZ 2019 after reading a layman's review, you can book the car online for only RM9.90 between 1 March and 11 March 2019.