Three variants are available as Proton has consolidated the model line-up.For those who values ride comfort, the new Saga offers a superior ride comfort over the Bezza. Similar to the Myvi, the Bezza’s ride is considerably harsher, while handling is nothing to write home about.By doing so, the company is able to achieve better economies of scale and bring the prices under the magic RM40k mark while improving overall quality and equipment levels. However, if you are deciding between the automatic variants, I would strongly recommend the Premium AT variant.In the city, the dreadful hesitation and jerkiness of the Punch-sourced CVT is now no more and immediately you’ll notice (and appreciate) how confident the 4-speeder shifts and delivers power.throughout the years, the saga, in efforts to retain its budget car credentials, went through a series of segment downsizing. from the honda civic fighter in 1985 to the proton saga that millennials are more familiar with today.the reverse camera now outputs its video stream to the new head unit, instead of the tiny display in the rear view mirror. video resolution also appears to have been improved. proton saga new head unit aside, proton has changed the headliner with a new tricot material, and the grab handles are now damped. proton saga the sunvisor has also been improved, as it can now function as a card holder as well.we also like how the new map light looks now, as it gives the affordable saga an upmarket touch. proton saga the meter cluster is also new, as the new saga now shares its meter cluster with the iriz, persona, and exora. texts are easier to read and the segmented lcd multi info display is capable of displaying more information than the old meter cluster.The new Saga is also the cheapest new sedan on the market right now (RM 39,800) to offer stability control and traction control. The only Bezza variant to offer stability control and traction control is the Bezza 1.3 Advance, which is an extra RM 8,000 over the Saga.Despite being made mostly with locally-sourced parts, Proton still needs to import a fair amount of raw materials to manufacture a car. Steel for the body and iron for the engine block for example, as well as transmissions from Korea.having said all that, the price difference between the standard at (rm35,800) and premium at (rm39,800) doesn’t seem too big of a jump. after breaking it down, it doesn't seem like much:proton saga besides a higher monthly commitment, the saga premium does incur a slightly higher running cost due to its larger alloys (15- vs 14-inch) when it comes to replacing the tyres. proton saga however, if the saga premium is within your budget, the fact that it comes with esc should seal the deal for you. unless you prefer working a good old stick shift with three pedals.netizens had polarising opinions when the proton saga was announced to come with a 4-speed automatic. some welcomed this move; others claim it’s a step back, technology-wise.proton claims that compared to the cvt, the 4-speed automatic gives a more direct response and offers 7% better acceleration at 30 to 50 km/h and is 18.2% more efficient when accelerating from 80 to 100 km/h. not only that, they have managed to retain a proton saga while manufacturers are moving towards a step-less transmission for better efficiency, proton’s move of going back to a conventional automatic (with only 4-speeds at that) can only be seen as a bold and fortune favours the bold.Parts that were kept stock standard as per what you get on normal road cars you buy in showrooms includes the suspension arm links, bushings and chassis structure. All these parts are race-proven at the Malaysian Championship Series.How well does the Saga perform on the road and whether Proton’s claims on quality improvements are valid, we will find out more in the coming months.after launching the proton x70, the brand’s first suv, the next move is to revamp proton’s core model line up. the persona, iriz, exora and saga, cheekily referred to internally as pies, all received an update one after another. proton saga unlike the iriz and persona, the team working on the saga facelift project, led by vehicle programme executive, engineering division, desmond john pinto, had a lead time of 14 months to work on the project. they also had the luxury to reference the facelifted iriz and persona which allowed the team to make better decisions based on what the customers want.when the first proton saga was introduced in 1985, it was priced at rm 17,575 for the cheapest 1.3s, making it the cheapest new car on the market.we joined proton r3 race team to catch up on their latest activities and were treated to a taxi ride in their newly built proton saga r3 racecar that is based on the new proton saga according to the engineers, the saga was already a very competitive platform to begin with. this accelerated the development process and allowed the team to focus on fine-tuning the car’s settings.the cvt was a mismatch with the proton saga 1.3-litre naturally-aspirated vvt petrol engine, making the car appear even more underpowered than it actually is. the 4-speed automatic brings a more direct power transfer which in turn injected a newfound enthusiasm
to the saga.The reason Proton was able to include all these features was thanks to its partnership with Geely where they were able to access Geely’s shared parts bin to pick and choose the suitable features at a reasonable cost. It is also why Proton was able to adopt a Hyundai-sourced 4-speed torque converter to replace the much-debated CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). recently made its market debut and the company has trimmed the model line up from four to three variants – Standard MT, Standard AT and Premium AT.today’s saga can holds its ground against the competition, not just against local rivals like the perodua bezza but against similar budget cars sold elsewhere – cars like india’s toyota etios or thailand’s honda’s brio amaze. proton saga the updated 2019 proton saga meets minimum global safety standards set by the united nations economic commission for europe (unece). it even comes with electronic stability control and adjustable steering wheel column, both of which are not common for budget cars.many thought the switch to a 4-speed torque converter is a step backwards from proton but in reality, proton saga. the hyundai-sourced 4-speed automatic is not only more proton saga it also promotes a sportier driving feel with stronger and more direct in-gear acceleration.however, the bezza claws back with its superior fuel economy, courtesy of its dual vvt-i engine and lighter curb weight. perodua says that the bezza can return up to 22 km/l with its eco idle (engine start/stop), while proton has yet to release fuel consumption figures of the new saga. this comes at a cost, as battery replacement for bezza models with eco idle is more expensive than the saga (about rm 300 for agm-type batteries)proton saga in terms of practicality, the bezza offers a thoughtful ‘handbag hook’ located on the side of the front passenger seat. at 508 litres, the bezza’s boot space is also considerably more than the saga’s 420 litres. proton saga similar to other perodua models (except the aruz), the bezza’s air-conditioning system is a multi-blower type, capable of directing cool air to the front passenger’s foot well or the windshield. the saga’s air-conditioning system is a single mode blower that blows cool air to the front passengers.To give credit where it’s due, the Saga’s handling characteristic is confidence-inspiring, to say the least. Be it at a highspeed cruise on the highway or carving corners at the B-roads, the Saga had a sense of dynamic sophistication that its rival just couldn’t demonstrate. I’ve always believed in a good handling car is always the safer car and the Saga is the better handling car here. is proton’s bread and butter model, a model that has been (and still is) the default first car option for many car buyers. proton saga that quickly changed when perodua introduced its first-ever sedan, the bezza, back in 2016. car buyers now have a new alternative to the evergreen saga.the 2019 facelifted proton saga is impressive on paper and even more so on the road. the fact that proton is listening to the consumers and plan their products according to what kind of car the people want to buy vs. a car that they want to sell proves that the company have matured dramatically in terms of product planning.Well not quite. Speaking to Vehicle Program Executive (Engineering Division) for the Saga, Desmond John Pinto at a media test drive event, he said the 4-speed is not only on par with the «more advanced» CVT in terms of performance, the Hyundai-sourced unit even betters the CVT in certain aspects.Safety kit has also been improved as ABS, EBD, and BA are now standard across the range. The Premium AT gets the addition of stability control, traction control, and hill hold assist. Airbag count remains at 2 across the range.Both the CVT and 4AT require a transmission fluid change at the 36th month or 60,000 km mark, while the CVT fluid costs a bit more – RM77.23 more to be exact. However, the biggest contribution to the lower service costs on the facelifted Saga 4AT is the optimisation of the intervals the parts are being replaced.The aforementioned depreciation of the Ringgit’s value over the last 30 years does have an impact so it’s no longer possible to build a car here for less than RM 20,000 and still meet the requirements of today’s demanding customers.proton has put in extensive effort into marketing the benefits and rationale to switching from their punch-sourced continuous variable transmission (cvt) to a hyundai-sourced 4-speed torque converter in the proton saga besides boasting proton saga, there is also another (huge) benefit of switching to the 4at – lower maintenance. over the course of 5 years/100,000 km, the saga 4at costs rm683.90 cheaper to service compared to the outgoing saga flx cvt. with that said, the lower maintenance cost is not entirely attributed to the new transmission, but rather a combination of variables.You could also get by with your work without a smartphone and laptop.proton has introduced the new saga here in malaysia, with prices starting from:proton saga all prices are on-the-road, without insurance.That money buys you Mitsubishi salarymen’s finest 73 horsepower and 105 Nm, five-speed manual transmission, no passenger-side mirrors, no radio, and no air-conditioning (available as an option, standard is blower only). Those specifications might sound shockingly poor when you compare it to today’s Saga’s offerings, but that was how budget cars of that era were equipped.specifications for proton saga 1.3:proton saga here’s a brief summary comparing the three different variants of the new proton saga.our pick of the range for the new proton saga is the saga premium at, as it includes stability control and traction control for not a lot of money.Further complicating the comparison was that the Civic, Sunny (Sentra) and Corolla were all in the midst of moving up in their respective hierarchy – handing entry-level segment duties to the City, Almera, and Vios while the Saga remained unchanged as an entry level car.In other words, today’s consumers are forced to pay for a lot more things with the same amount of money.moving inside, the premium at variant gets a new floating 7-inch touchscreen display. proton saga unlike its stablemates, the new saga does not get the «hi proton» voice command system. nor does the system support internet connectivity.Fast forward to 2019, the cheapest Proton now sells for RM 32,800 – still the cheapest sedan you can buy today.when the first proton saga, its affordable price tag, japanese technology and made in malaysia pride quickly propelled the car to unprecedented success. almost every household in malaysia has had a story to tell with the saga.Of these, over 1,000 bookings came from Proton’s online booking platform, which allowed customers to book a unit for just RM 9.99. Proton further added that it is extending the closing date for online bookings to 17 September, on the back of strong demand.As a result, the Saga facelift gets a unique transmission mapping developed in house with a final drive selected by Proton’s engineering team for optimum acceleration performance. Efforts have been made to ensure that the transmission is not only as efficient as the CVT but also gives a sportier driving feel.for starters, the touchscreen head unit does not support the «hi proton» voice command system. proton saga however, it does have easyconnection, which is a method for users to mirror their phones to the head unit. users are required to download the easyconnection app from the google play store in order to use this feature. proton saga similar to mirrorlink, those using easyconnection must have their phones’ display constantly turned out, in turn draining battery as most usb ports cannot charge the device quick enough to compensate for the battery draining. proton saga with such a nice display in place, it would have been nice if proton included apple carplay and android auto support.new transmission aside, ride and handling has always been proton’s hallmark and the saga is no different. proton saga similar to the more expensive iriz and persona duo, the saga takes road irregularities with ease, soaking up bumps without affecting passengers too much. proton saga even when driven hard, the saga remains as a capable machine as grip levels are pretty decent, while the hydraulic power steering provided ample feedback. proton saga when it comes to choosing between the new saga or the perodua bezza, either car would be a great option.apart from the ‘infinite weave’ front grille, the new saga also features a chrome strip that connects both headlights. proton saga at the bottom of each end of the front bumper are led daytime running lights, which previously housed the front foglights. the led daytime running lights are exclusive to the premium at variant of the new saga.Towards the sides, Proton has fitted the new Saga with twin-five spoke dual-tone alloy wheels, replacing the multi-spoke units of the older model. Just like the updated Iriz, Persona, and Exora, the Saga receives wheel nut covers and Proton’s updated centre hub cover without the Proton wording. The new Saga also carries over the brakes from the Iriz and Persona duo.i am all for losing out on some feel-good features in favour of a lower price tag but if there is one thing i can not compromise on, is proton saga. the saga premium is the only variant in the line up to come with proton saga which acts as a vital safety net when the car detects it’s about to spin out of control.Steering feel did in fact suffered from being overly light at high speeds with an unfathomable sense of vagueness. The flip side is that in town, manoeuvring the Saga is now almost effortless which majority of the consumers would appreciate for its intended purposes.Prices start from RM 32,800 to RM 39,800. All powered by the same 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine, paired to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.As for the rear, Proton has done a number of changes here. The large chrome strip that interconnects both tail lights is now finished in body colour, with the Proton wording emblazed across. Proton has also removed the tiger, VVT emblem, and the rear fog light (finally) on the new Saga. The rear key hole for boot release has also been removed, meaning owners can only open the boot via the keyfob or the boot release up front, beside the driver’s seat.So did the previous generation had a better deal when they bought the Saga? Not necessarily. The first Saga was the cheapest in the segment because it doesn’t offer much else to set it apart from the competition. The Toyota Corolla for example, was already using 12-valve engine technology while the Saga had to make do with an 8-valve engine for nearly a decade.Today’s fresh graduate’s starting salary is slightly less than RM 3,000 per month. In other words, it still costs about a year’s worth of a young executive’s salary to buy a Saga, debate on quality of today’s graduates aside.In fact, for taller drivers, we reckon that the Saga is a better option as it comes with steering wheel height adjustment, making it easier to adjust the steering wheel for a more relaxed driving position. The steering wheel on the Bezza is fixed.a couple of days ago, proton introduced the updated saga with some visual updates and mechanical improvements. proton saga now let’s take a side-by-side look of the new saga with the model it replaces.let’s take a look at what has been improved on the new saga. proton saga for starters, the front grille now features proton’s ‘infinite weave’ motif, first found on the x70. the new saga is the fourth model after the x70, iriz, and persona to don the new grille.There is really no other competition in the A-segment sedan space other than the Bezza but that didn’t give Proton a reason to take a back seat in R&D. In fact, they have upped their game in the ride and handling department.So what has changed? Well for starters, our parents were able to buy a reasonably sized terrace house in a middle-class neighbourhood for RM50,000 in the ‘80s. Today, a similar size house sells for upwards of RM500,000.visually, the new proton saga now gets proton’s ‘infinite weave’ motif in the front grille, plus a new front bumper, while the rear bumper has also been redesigned with a chrome strip and bumper inserts on the sides. proton has also removed the emblem that was on the boot garnish, replacing it with the proton wording instead. the saga emblem has been relocated to the lower right of the boot for a cleaner look. the rear fog lamp has also been removed on the new saga. proton saga in terms of dimensions, the new saga is identical to the older model, coming in with a length of 4,331 mm, width of 1,689 mm, and a height of 1,491 mm. wheelbase remains at 2,465 mm. proton saga powertrain wise, the new saga continues to be powered by a 1.3-litre vvt petrol engine that does 95 ps at 5,750 rpm and 120 nm at 4,000 rpm. while the getrag-sourced 5-speed manual remains unchanged, proton has finally replaced the punch-sourced cvt-type automatic with a hyundai-sourced 4-speed torque converter automatic. proton saga proton has also fitted larger brakes from the iriz/persona duo to the new saga, which proton says improves the braking performance of the new saga.Despite the similar adjusted real value, many of today’s Saga customers can’t afford the car without resorting to a long nine-year loan, which no accountant will recommend but it is now considered normal.With these new learnings, do you think Proton made the right move to reintroduce a 4-speed automatic to the Saga?We’ve yet to sample the new Saga, but considering that Proton has removed the Punch-sourced CVT-type automatic, replacing it with a Hyundai-sourced 4-speed torque converter automatic, we’re expecting the new Saga to offer better refinement levels as the previous CVT was the Achilles heel of an otherwise decent little sedan.besides lowering the entry price and adding more features to the facelifted 2019 proton saga, proton has further optimised the service intervals of the saga which adds even more savings to the owners. proton saga 2019
the cost of vehicle ownership does not end at monthly repayments, road tax, and insurance, consumables such as fuel and maintenance usually takes up a big chunk of the vehicle’s running costs.Proton has just introduced the new Saga, updating the affordable sedan that has been around since 2016 with some much-needed improvements.