Third time’s a charm!

> At­trac­tive pric­ing, fea­tures, looks and per­for­mance – the third-gen­er­a­tion Pro­ton Saga should be a sales suc­cess

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

and there’s a strong pos­si­bil­ity of a steady and con­sis­tent QC in its next mod­els. And we were not dis­ap­pointed when the Suprima S came about in 2013 – the Iriz (2014) and sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Per­sona (launched this year) with even bet­ter lev­els of qual­ity boosted our con­fi­dence fur­ther. The Per­sona got me, for the first time, to highly praise Pro­ton for its stel­lar ef­fort ( Gear Up! Sept 23). With the Iriz, cur­rent Per­dana and Per­sona shar­ing a “fam­ily re­sem­blance” too, things looked very promis­ing. ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially those look­ing to buy a car for the first time or as a prac­ti­cal sec­ond car. It has a stylish de­sign, prac­ti­cal­ity, safety, con­ve­nience and com­fort, all in a best value-for-money pack­age.

De­spite be­ing Pro­ton’s en­try level car, the new Saga is equipped with two rear USB charg­ers, ra­dio/CD/MP3, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, 10 com­part­ments, two cup hold­ers, four bot­tle hold­ers, driver’s seat height ad­juster, tilt steer­ing ad­juster and fold­able rear seat for all vari­ants.

For style, it has a two-piece rear combi lamp and rear fog lamp. The Ex­ec­u­tive and Pre­mium vari­ants are fit­ted with more sporty fea­tures such as spoil­ers and al­loy wheels.

Con­sis­tent with Pro­ton’s drive to pro­vide a safer car to its cus­tomers, the new Saga achieved an im­proved 4-star Asean NCAP safety rat­ing for all its vari­ants com­pared with a 3-star rat­ing pre­vi­ously. The im­proved safety fea­tures for all vari­ants in­clude two front airbags, Isofix and top teth­ers as well as front and re­verse sen­sors. Cou­pled with a stronger body struc­ture, the Saga has also achieved an im­proved Adult Oc­cu­pant Pro­tec­tion (AOP) and Child Oc­cu­pant Pro­tec­tion (COP) ratings.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the Pre­mium and Ex­ec­u­tive vari­ants are equipped with more com­pre­hen­sive safety fea­tures such as Anti-lock Brak­ing Sys­tem (ABS), Elec­tronic Brake­force Dis­tri­bu­tion (EBD) and Brake As­sist (BA). The Pre­mium vari­ant is en­hanced with Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Con­trol (ESC), Trac­tion Con­trol (TC), Hill-Hold As­sist (HHA) and re­verse cam­era.

After the preview last month, I told Pro­ton ex­ecs of how im­pressed and proud I was to see Pro­ton “strik­ing” it again with the Saga. I also men­tioned that, like in any new car re­view, one as­pect of a car that jour­nal­ists can’t put a ver­dict on is the longevity and dura­bil­ity. Only after a pe­riod of us­age, “com­ple­mented” by Malaysian weather, traf­fic and roads can we see how the new Saga fares.

But look­ing at its pre­de­ces­sors’ con­di­tion from, say, 2012, it’s quite safe to say the new Saga won’t wilt and melt that eas­ily a cou­ple of years down the road. Those ex­ecs pledged that Pro­ton will strive to main­tain its QC and even im­prove upon it.

In the mean­time, I highly rec­om­mend the new Pro­ton Saga to those in the mar­ket for their first sa­loon, sec­ond/third car or com­pany fleet. It has a very ap­peal­ing and un­ri­valled com­bi­na­tion of qual­ity, style, prac­ti­cal­ity, per­for­mance and price. Go get it.

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