KUALA LUMPUR -THE third-generation Proton Saga is now open for booking, with prices starting from RM37,000 the base, manual-transmissioned model and RM46,000 for the full-specced automatic variant.
The 4-star Asean NCAP-rated saloon, which will be officially launched middle of next week, is quicker, faster, more fuel efficient, more aerodynamic, more practical and more user-friendly than the current (second-generation) Saga.
It is powered by a 1.3-litre engine with variable valve timing (VVT). Maximum power is at 94hp and torque is 120Nm – same unit as in the (1.3-litre) Iriz. There are 13-inch ventilated disc brakes on the front wheels and 7-inch drums at the rear. It also is longer, wider and lower than the current Saga. Its dimensions are (the current Saga’s dimensions in parenthesis): 4,331mm long (4,278), 1,689mm wide (1,680) and 1,491 (1,502) tall. Its wheelbase is 2,465mm.
There are three variants: “Standard” (5MT and CVT2+*), “Executive” and “Premium”, in solid and metallic colours, meaning there are a total of eight sub-variants and prices.
*(* “5MT” is manual transmission and “CVT2+” is an automatic transmission system.)
The Standard gets 175/70 R13 wheels. Both Executive (185/60 R14 wheels) and Premium (185/55 R15 wheels) use alloy rims.
The Standard 5MT sprints from standstill to 100km/h in 12.2 seconds while the Standard CVT2+, Executive and Premium do 13.1 seconds. Top speed is 165km/h for the Standard 5MT and 160km/h for the rest.
As for fuel consumption, the combined cycle are (the current Saga’s figures parenthesis):
– Standard 5MT: 6.5 litres per 100km (7.4).
– Standard CVT2+, Executive and Premium: 6.6 litres per 100km (7.7).
All variants get Anti-lock Brake Ssystem (ABS), front sensor (with warning sound), ECO Drive Assist with indicator, rear fog lamps, two rear USB chargers, fabric seats, ISOFIX child seat anchors, foldable rear seat (to extend the 420-litre boot space), and audio system with MP3/ USB/Aux/Bluetooth as standard features.
Only the Premium variant is equipped with all those plus Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Hold Assist (HHA), reverse camera with the display screen built into the rear view mirror and 2-DIN head unit (for the audio system).
The luggage volume is seven litres more than the current Saga’s. If that sounds negligible, the new Saga’s rear seatback can be folded down to further extend the boot space, especially when there are long and bulky items coming in.
Compared to the current Saga, the new Saga’s engine mounting is just three points now instead of current Saga’s four and the chassis has 20% more torsional strength than the current Saga’s. The driver uses eight per cent less steering effort, the turning radius is 5.1 metres (current Saga’s is 5.3 metres) and for the people in the Saga, closing the door requires 40% less effort and releasing the bonnet (via handle) is 60% easier.
theSun was one of the media organisations invited by Proton to view and try the new Saga at Proton’s headquarters on Thursday. We are glad to say that the new Saga has a good combination of stylish looks, impressive ride and handling, good build quality, fit and finish inside out; price and practicality that will appeal to a wide audience. One notable feature in it is the very ample rear legroom. Unfortunately, no photography and video were allowed during the “secret” preview and drive.
Also, the new Saga carries on the Proton look established by the hatchback Iriz, two years ago. The same “family resemblance” in and out is now on the Iriz, new Perdana, new Persona and now, the new Saga.
Visit your nearest Proton showroom now for more details on the new Saga!