New Proton Saga express review and photos

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Jan 19 2008
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The newly launched 1.3-litre Proton Saga to replace the, believe it or not, 23-year-old Saga was finally here. It was reported that the new Proton Saga cost Proton Holdings Bhd (KLSE: PROTON, stock-code 5304) a whopping RM 450 million to develop and took about 17-months to transform from the drawing board to the actual production. Not sure if the figure has been exaggerated but spending almost RM26.5 million per month to come out with this car? Furthermore there’re tons of carryover from the disastrous Savvy.

To recoup the development cost, Proton plans to export it overseas such as to Southeast Asian countries, China, India and the Middle East. Locally, the target was to achieve monthly sales of 5,500 units – a figure which I believe is achievable after I got the feedback from some outlets. People are snapping with low booking fees as low as RM100, refundable. I can’t argue about the hot response since this is the cheapest entry car within Proton Saga family for 1.3-litre category.

The main selling point is definitely the exterior which could immediately put the old 23-year-old predecessor to shame. Still people were being taken for granted with the two decades old car before this latest model. You can’t put this model to compete with Toyota Vios and Honda City as trumpeted by some media because it’s totally different segment. To compete with Perodua Myvi and Viva might be the right comparison but really, do you wish to own Myvi or this Saga?

Basically this new Saga model comes with three sub-model lines – N-Line, B-Line, M-Line. The cheapest would be the N-Line which comes with the most basic components but due to the waiting list, most showrooms will not have this unit available. On the road price is RM31,500.00. Accessories include radio CD, air-cond, anti-rust, central lock, carpet mat and plate holder. You can only have one type of paint – solid and it’s manual, mind you.

B-Line (base) is slightly better which comes with the accessories as N-Line above plus additional car alarm, power window, wheel cap and body colour bumper. This line includes both manual and automatic transmission with choices of solid or metallic paint. The prices range are from RM34,548.00 to RM37,998.00.

M-Line is the top of the range with accessories which is the same as B-Line above plus additional stuffs. The radio CD comes with 4-speaker instead and to safeguard Malaysian cheap life, it comes with a mind-boggling single airbag (driver). You’ll be pampered with alloy rims, reverse sensor & fog lamp, electric door mirror, door trim, vanity mirror, seat height adjuster and trunk room lamp. Just like B-Line you have choices of manual or automatic transmission and solid or metallic paint. Prices ranging from RM37,048.00 to RM39,998.00.

There’re some photos captured shown below. I don’t think the body design and engine are being synchronized for best fit. You can see lots of spaces within the “engine room” as if the designers are leaving as much spaces as possible for the final type of engine to be decided by whoever was in charge of that area. As a result you can fit a goat or two inside the engine area or even to stock some cooking oils. The interior is nothing to shout since it’s plainly simple due to obvious reason. But you just got to see the greatest invention ever done by the Proton team at the car’s boot.

However you can’t complain much since the car was the cheapest by Malaysia standard, never mind safety features such as airbags and ABS (anti braking system) are secondary. Still, this new Proton Saga is better than Savvy obviously.
New Proton Saga Photo 1New Proton Saga Photo 2New Proton Saga Photo 3New Proton Saga Photo 4New Proton Saga Photo 7New Proton Saga Photo 6New Proton Saga Photo 5New Proton Saga Photo 8New Proton Saga Photo 9New Proton Saga Photo 10New Proton Saga Photo 11Other Articles That May Interest You …

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“spending almost RM26.5 million per month to come out with this car?”

i’ll have to disagree with your comments on the development cost. you make it sound so easy to design and develop a car from scratch. If you look at previous proton models, development costs generally came in at around the 550 million mark.
Also, what was not mentioned is that the 450 mil also includes the cost to put in a new production line in the original proton saga plant to bring it up to current technology. The 17 month period that it took to develop the saga is also pretty impressive for a small car company like proton.

This car might be a carryover from the savvy, but its entirely a new car, with longer wheelbase, wider track..etc.

hello banyakmasukworkshop,

thanx for your comment …

after more than 20-years and suddenly proton became super-efficient in coming out with a new model within 17-months? hmmm …

also, i believe most of the cost was concentrated in designing the exterior (hence the longer wheelbase etc) but definately not the engine and interior part (carryover from savvy) …

so do you really need to spend about RM1 million per day for the “body” alone?

however we agree to disagree …

cheers …

stocktube, really like your comment on the absense of power window at the rear!! You might want to take note that after 2 years, the central power lock will fail; 3 years the alarm will fail; water will sip into the rear boot storage etc coming from someone who has a 2002Iswara. Cheap? Yes. Good? Well, I reserve my comments.

hello moomoo,

i understand your frustration of being taken for a ride by the very people (proton) who are suppose to produce good quality car after more than 20-years …

the very reason proton ignored all the complaints (20 over years) only go to shows the ignorant part of the corporation …

however since this new saga has been trumpeted much lately with numerous claims, let’s give it a benefit of doubt … maybe the new car is better than myvi *grin*

cheers …

allo moomooo..

comments like yours laa make the country very difficult to progress..

like what stoctube have wrote above.., let’s give them the benefit of doubt laa 🙂

i have faith in them, on improving upon common complaints from their customer.

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