Proton Saga 2019 models set to worry rivals

The new Proton Saga features LED day time front running lights.

Proton has launched the 2019 Saga with more than just a nip and tuck. This is a re-modelled Saga in more ways than imagined.

8 new features that need mentioning

  1. New Hyundai 4 speed automatic gearbox
  2. Sport Mode function in each variant
  3. A floating infotainment screen is included
  4. New monochrome instrument panel
  5. 3 USB ports provided
  6. Reverse camera included in the premium variant
  7. LED day time running lights in the premium variant
  8. Better noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction engineering
The new Saga is priced to give rivals sleepless nights.

Priced to worry rivals

Priced at RM32,800 (Standard MT), RM35,800 (Standard AT) and RM39,800 (Premium AT), the updated version of Proton’s iconic best-selling model has received many styling revisions.

A brand new four-speed automatic gearbox and first-in-class smart features that not only set it apart from its competitors but also raises its value proposition.

The three unique selling points (USP) when combined, form its model tagline of “An Intelligent Proposition”. The three USPs are Supreme Style, Smart Savings and Superb Stability.

History lesson

The story of the Proton Saga is synonymous with that of Proton, stretching back 34 years and three full model changes. The 2019 Saga has been given styling updates that pay homage to its roots and brings it in line with the rest of the Proton range.

The floating infotainment screen that syncs with your android smart phone.

Reworked on the outside

Externally, the 2019 Saga receives a new and more aggressively styled front bumper with integrated daytime running lamps. The grille also features the infinite weave pattern that was introduced on the Proton X70 and can also be found on the 2019 Iriz and Persona.

An equally aggressive rear bumper matches the tone set by the front and the styling at the back is complemented by a new integrated rear spoiler and the Proton script on the boot lid.

A set of 15-inch alloy wheels featuring a new design adds the finishing touch on the premium variant.

Reworked on the inside

Inside, the most noticeable change is the floating 7-inch touch screen monitor on the premium model. Used to control the infotainment system, it has Bluetooth connectivity, 16GB of internal storage and smart phone connectivity for Android phones.

Other changes include new seat upholstery, a new centre panel, new meter combination display with Eco Drive Assist and three USB ports.

Convenience features new to the 2019 Saga include a remote trunk release, a sun visor with a ticket holder and mirror, LED map lamps and new assist grips to match the new headlining material.

The back comes with a factory fitted spoiler.

Increased drive dynamics

Mechanically, the biggest change is the fitment of a new four-speed automatic in place of the CVT previously used.

Proton’s engineers concentrated on improving braking performance, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels and the ride and handling balance while adding a class-leading level of safety equipment.

The brakes are now the same as those fitted on the bigger Proton Iriz and Persona while the use of a new four-speed automatic gearbox affords drivers better manual control of the gears during spirited driving.

Increased safety

Safety equipment consists of Antilock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) for all three variants together with twin front air bags, rear parking sensors and ISOFIX mounting points with top tethers.

The Premium variant adds Hill Hold Assist, front parking sensors, a reverse camera and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with a Traction Control System (TCS).

By fitting the last two items, the 2019 Saga becomes the only car priced below RM40,000 to be fitted with ESC and TCS.

The cabin is spacious with plush new seat material.

Packages delivers extra value to Saga buyers

Similar to the Proton X70 and 2019 Iriz, Persona and Exora, the 2019 Saga is offered with extra value packages.

There are three standard extra value packages beginning with the service package that offers free labour services three times or for one year.

Next is the interest rate package with financing rates as low as 2.98% per annum. Finally, the 2019 Saga also offers an insurance package that benefits customers who insure with Proton’s panel of insurers.

Combined with the price reduction and the value of the new features introduced in each variant, the 2019 Saga 1.3L Premium AT delivers RM3,747 worth of additional benefits compared to its predecessor.

The 2019 Saga 1.3L Standard AT gets RM2,043 of additional benefits while the 2019 Saga 1.3L Standard MT has RM2,291 worth of additional benefits for buyers.

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