Third time’s a charm!
> Attractive pricing, features, looks and performance – the third-generation Proton Saga should be a sales success
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.