After going through a series of facelifts and iterative updates, Proton has finally unveiled the third generation Proton Saga, which now has the company’s ‘Proton Wings’ design on the frong grilles and a more handsome rear that make this compact sedan a looker on the road. In addition, the front headlamps feels like it is inspired from the much bigger Perdana minus the daytime running lights while the tail lights are probably sourced from the recently launched Persona.
Though the third generation Proton Saga’s body may look slightly revamped from its predecessor, it is in fact slightly lengthier by 74mm, wider by 9mm and lower by 11mm, it looks a lot bigger on perception and on par with some B-segment sedans, the Saga’s body also feels a lot more solid and Proton has certainly done some aerodynamics around it to give the car a more outgoing look.
With the new chassis and slightly larger body, the interior of the Saga feels a lot more wider and can easily fit two 5-feet adults comfortably with sufficient leg space. Unlike its direct competitor the Bezza, the Saga doesn’t come with a leather upholstery on all of its variants, I personally think that’s fine and I like the soft fabric seats.
The front dashboard feels plasticky as usual and has a stitching on it that could make you think as if there’s leather on it, the air-con vents has also been redesigned with a very nice solid glossy frame.
In addition, the center panel looks a little dated and the Premium variant comes with a 2-DIN radio with Bluetooth paired to 4 speakers, I’m not a fan of the control panel being placed below it and the air-con controls remains inconveniently low positioned like its predecessor.
On the Premium variant, the car’s rear mirror comes with an LCD display that is connected to the reverse camera, while all variants come with two USB ports with outputs of 1.5A and 2.1A respectively at the rear for charging your passenger’s smartphones and tablets.
Under the hood, the Saga’s engine is succeeded by the company’s 1.3-litre VVT engine that is sourced from its entry-level spec Iriz hatchback, which produces an output of 94hp at 5,750rpm and 120Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, the car is available in 5-speed manual transmission for the standard variant and CVT transmission for all variants, Proton claims that the CVT2+ unit used on the car has better response than the CVT gearbox of its other models.
All variants of the Saga will come with Eco Drive Assist, which helps to ensure driving efficiency rated at 5.4L/100km, standard safety features include a rear fog lamp, dual front airbag and ISOFIX seats tether The Executive variant gets ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, while the Premium variant gets the all the rest of the safety feature with ESC, Traction Control and Hill-Hold Assist, you also get steering audio switches in the latter for not getting distracted to the radio’s display while driving. The Saga is rated Four-star in the ASEAN NCAP crash safety test.
The third generation Proton Saga is now available for test drive and bookings are open in all Proton showrooms nationwide, the car is available in colors of Cotton White, Fire Red, Metal Grey, Topaz Blue, Sterling Silver and Midnight Black, prices start from RM36,800 for the standard Manual variant up to RM45,800 for the premium CVT variant in Peninsular Malaysia, prices are inclusive of on-the-road insurance.