Proton’s Best Selling Car – Proton Saga

Proton have been on a roll since the launch of the Proton X70. And Proton have been putting their new found wealth into bringing their product range to be more up to date. Among them, one of the most model that receive the update is the Proton Saga. With all the update that Proton did to the latest Proton Saga, we are curious to take a look how much did Proton improve on the new Saga?

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Looks

If you’re a Malaysian, you’ll probably seen the Proton Saga running around. Generally, the Proton Saga only gets minor updates around the car. At the front, there are the “Infinite Weave” pattern that was 1st found on the X70. On top of that, the front bumper have also been redesign to incorporate with daytime running light that is available in the highest spec Saga.

Moving to the side, you can spot that the Saga comes with a newly design rims that’s wrap in 185/55 R15 rubbers. And at the back, there is a new sportier looking rear bumper that comes with fake tail pipes and fake diffuser. The overall redesign of the Saga do make it look a lot more mature yet sporty to appeal to a wider crowd.

Driver side

Getting inside the Saga, the 1st thing that peaks my attention is the height of the driver seats. I feel like I’m seating too high up inside the Saga, with the seats at the lowest setting and steering wheel at the highest setting, I do struggle to look at the top of the instrument cluster as it is being blocked by the steering wheel. Apart from that, the seats do feel comfortable enough for people my size to fit in.

The dashboard of the new Saga also feel a lot more well put together compare to the pre-facelift cars, which give you a sense that Proton did put in quite a lot of investment to improve the Saga even though it’s just a facelift. Another highlight for the interior of the Saga is the infotainment system, which is an integrated Android base system. The infotainment system did bring the look of the Interior to be more up to date. The infotainment system is link up with a set of 4 speakers that pump out decent sound quality from it. I was hoping that there will be more connectivity options to connect your phone rather than just the mirrorlink only.

The feel around the driver area of the new Saga is definitely an improvement over the older car, apart from the seating position for people my size, the Saga is quite a pleasant place to be in when driving.

Passengers

Being a passenger in the Saga is actually quite comfortable. You get decent legroom for the front and back of the Saga. There won’t be any complaints from anyone inside the car when you ferry 2 person at the rear, but with 3 persons at the rear, the shoulder room is very tight. As for boot space, it has been retain with the same 420L as the pre-facelift Proton Saga.

Safety

The standard safety kit for the Proton Saga:

  1. 2 airbags
  2. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  3. Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  4. Brake Assist (BA)
  5. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  6. Traction Control System (TCS)
  7. Hill Hold Assist (HHA)
  8. 2 ISOFIX points at the rear seats

The Drive

The Saga uses the same 1.3L VVT engine as the pre-facelift Saga, which produces 95PS at 5,750 rpm and 120Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. The engine have enough power to bring the Saga up to speed, but the biggest improvement with the powertrain is the new 4 speed gearbox that is source from Hyundai. The new gearbox improved the driving experience of the new Saga, as you will notice that the Saga is a lot smoother and quieter than the CVT variant of the Saga.

As for the ride and handling, the McPherson strut upfront and torsion beam at the rear that did a good job to dampening the bumps on the roads. Pair it with the tyres, the car have plenty of grip when taking corners. Even though there are plenty of grip, the hydraulic power steering felt over-assisted that didn’t give me much confidence to exploit the capabilities of the chassis when taking a corner as not much information about the available grip of the front wheels. Apart from that, cruising at highway speed is rather comfortable and stable.

Price

RM 39,800 comes with:

  1. 5 years or 150,000km warranty coverage whichever comes 1st
  2. 3 times free labour service.

Verdict

Proton did an excellent job in not just updating the Saga, but give a new lease of life to the Saga. The new Saga is now so much more refine than before, and travelling in it is very pleasant. Proton also addresses most of the flaws that was previously brought to their attention by the previous owners. At this price and spec, no wonder Proton manage to move these cars out of their stock yard fairly easily.

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