Kuala Lumpur, 6 August 2019 – It seems like Proton has pulled out another master stroke with the new Proton Saga, offering more features for a cheaper price. Three variants are available, namely:
Proton Saga Standard MT (Manual Transmission) priced at RM32,800
Proton Saga Standard AT (Automatic Transmission) priced at RM35,800
Proton Saga Premium AT (Automatic transmission) priced at RM39,800
Prices are OTR (on-the-road) without insurance.
The first generation of this version of the Saga (built on Proton’s own platform) was introduced in 2008, and the price for the base variant then was RM29,999 (refer to AW article dated January 18, 2008 http://autoworld.com.my/news/2008/01/18/Proton-A-New-SAGA-Begins/)
Given the 12 year gap, and taking into consideration inflation over the same period of time, the retail price of RM32,800 the base model for today’s new Saga is well worth it.
As you can see from the price points of the Standard MT and Standard AT, the RM3k difference is for the difference in the transmissions plus a few bits, and the RM4k difference to the Saga Premium AT is the additional trim and features in the Premium variant.
Externally, there is a new front bumper that gives the Saga a more elegant look – the new front grille also gets the ‘infinite weave’ treatment that first appeared in the Proton X70.
The rear end also gets a new bumper, and the PROTON brand is now emblazoned across the boot waistline, in keeping with the new nomenclature for Proton – this new Proton branding also first appeared in the X70, and has now been carried onto the Iriz, Persona and the new Saga.
Wheels are 15-inch alloys, (which look pretty good) for the Premium, while the two Standard variants get 14-inch wheels, the MT getting steel wheels while the AT gets alloys.
The launch cars were all the Premium AT, so we couldn’t get to see the main differences, and can only infer from the product leaflet that was given out. We do know the seats in the Premium are of quite a nice design, and look like they would provide good support, and the roof lining is of the same material as that in the X70.
The Premium variant gets a ‘floating’ 7-inch touchscreen monitor as part of the infotainment system, with Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone connectivity for android phones. No mention is made about Apple connectivity. Other changes include a new centre panel, new combination meter display with Eco drive assist, and 3 USB ports.
Mechanically, the engine is a carry-over, but the most interesting bit is that the CVT has been discontinued, being replaced instead, by a 4-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of safety, the Saga comes with ABS and EBD (Electronic BrakeForce Distribution), with BA (Brake Assist), two airbags, rear parking sensors and ISOFIX mounts with top tether. The Premium additionally gets Hill Hold Assist, front parking sensors, a reverse camera, and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and TCS (Traction Control System).
Warranty is 5-years or 150,000 km, whichever comes first, and Proton has some pretty good service packages plus an attractive 2.98% per annum financing package.
This segment of the market is really at grassroots level, and is extremely price-sensitive – with the new price/feature packaging by Proton, it does seem that Proton is on the right track towards gaining its rightful place at the top of the heap. Well done Proton!