The Proton Saga was updated yesterday with some light design changes and several new features that help keep the evergreen entry-level sedan on the market fresh. Of course, we’ve read your comments, many of which are “Why this another conversion?” Or “Why isn’t there a new saga yet?” Or “Proton is now a facelift company.”
We put these comments to Deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah and he said he understood public sentiment, although he listed the company’s reasons for choosing against a complete redesign. He said a company as small as Proton, which receives the lion’s share of its sales from the Malaysian market, did not have enough money to recover an entirely new model of investment. “If we want to follow in the footsteps of Japanese OEM [in developing a new model] Every five to six years, we need a large amount to pay. “
Essentially, Roslan says that without a scale economy, national carmakers need to maintain the same infrastructure at the bottom to keep costs down, only “increasing for specific requirements so that prices meet customer expectations.” He compared the Saga to India’s Maruti Suzuki 800, which underwent some changes from its second generation in 1986 to its 2014 launch.
“If we change everything, sellers will definitely sound out because of the unresolved volume. We can pay more for it so that everyone is happy, but then the customers will not be happy, ”he said. “It simply came to our notice then. If customers can afford it, I’m fine, but they can’t. ” -Segment sedans are at the top less than RM1,000.
Proton’s largest export market is exported to other countries, including Pakistan, where Saga’s local assembly began in October – part of the company’s efforts to increase sales, Roslan says, perhaps to justify larger investments in a new model.
Lest we forget, Saga has been around for almost 15 years. It underwent a major change in 2016, but the car can be traced back to its roots – and its platform – the Base Line Model (BLM), which relaunched the Saga nameplate in 2008. Its legacy goes even further, as the BLM was originally a sedan version of the Savvy hatchback, which first appeared in 2005.
That 2016 redesign was significant, but with far-reaching visual, mechanical, and structural changes – enough that Proton referred to the car as a third-generation saga. The 2019 Facelift built on that powerful foundation with its own substantial update, including a new infotainment touchscreen and a switch from the much-maligned Punch CVT to Hyundai-sourced four-speed automatic.
Yesterday’s Minor Change 2 (MC2) was a little bigger but it did bring some welcome upgrades, such as a new Proton logo, a redesigned 15-inch alloy wheel, a bodykit on the new range-topping premium S variant, a rewinded chassis, extended availability stability. Control and the third internal change in six years.
Over the years, Proton has also introduced a number of added features to its other models, including a keyless entry, push-button start, auto-folded door mirror, and (finally) an external boot release. Prices range from RM34,400 to RM44,300; You can read our launch report here for full details.
Gallery: 2022 Proton Saga 1.3L Premium S