For those unfamiliar with the automotive industry, it takes roughly four years for an all-new product to be developed from scratch. Four years of design, testing, development, and preparation for production – not to mention an immense amount of money. For Proton to have developed an all-new model following their partnership with Geely, it would have left them stagnant for nearly half a decade – and so they did the best with what they had.
Of course the star of the show has been the X70, the first SUV for the Proton brand, but this year has seen a complete refresh of their model range. From the Iriz to the Exora, every model has been revised and updated in various ways to fall in line with the X70 and present a unified front to a consumer base that’s hungry and excited for Proton’s return to form.
The last to receive the treatment is the Saga – a model that launched the Proton brand all the way back in 1985. In its third model generation, this latest facelift brings a lot of meaningful changes in departments that consumers have highlighted in the past. Protons’ products are already known for their solid underpinnings and handling, but that alone doesn’t make for a holistic product.
There are now three variants of the Proton Saga – Standard MT, Standard AT, and Premium AT – all being powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder VVT engine that pushes 95 PS and 120 Nm of torque. The Standard MT gets a 5-speed manual, while the Standard AT and Premium AT variants get a 4-speed automatic – which is a departure from the CVT-type automatic gearbox of the pre-facelift model.
Both Standard models come with 14-inch wheels (steel for the MT and alloy for the AT), while the Premium AT variant comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, which is a first for the Saga and really provides a sportier look with more filled-out wheel arches. Paired with the updated front and rear end design, it makes for a really handsome looking car.
All variants get halogen lights, an LCD multi-info display, fabric seats, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as at least 1 USB port. Where the differences really come in is with the Premium AT variant, which gets attractive features such as:
- LED Daytime Running Lights
- Steering Switches for Audio & Hands-Free Telephone
- 7-Inch Touch Screen Monitor
- Smartphone Connectivity
- 4 Speaker Sound System
- 2 Additional USB Charging Ports
- Electronic Stability Control
- Traction Control System
- Hill Hold Assist
- Front Parking Sensors
- Rear View Camera
What does it cost?
Pricing for the new Proton Saga is extremely impressive, with the Standard MT variant as the entry level at just RM 32,800. Factoring in the features added at an RM 1,500 value, this is now RM 2,291 cheaper than the pre facelift model. The Standard AT and Premium AT are RM 35,800 and RM 39,800 respectively, with a price reduction of RM 2,043 and RM 3,747 respectively.
This in turn makes the Premium AT variant the only sedan model under RM 40,000 that offers Electronic Stability Control as a standard feature. This highly aggressive pricing strategy is sure to shake up the compact sedan market, and even choosing between the variants is a tricky choice as only RM 4,000 separates the two AT variants.
For the launch packages, there are some pretty attractive deals as well. A service package is included for the first year, or first three services waiving the labour charge. There is also a low financing rate at just 2.98% P.A., as well as a very attractive insurance package that has a betterment waiver of up to 10 years, agreed value coverage for up to 12 years, all driver coverage at no extra cost, and various other options ticked.
For the best deals on Proton models, click here.