Is the Proton Saga the new Mehran of Pakistan? [VIDEO]

The Saga is set to be launched in Pakistan on the 2nd of April, but a fair amount of information about the vehicle has already been revealed.

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Here’s what you should know about the Proton Saga.

Pakistan’s B-segment has rarely come across automobiles that measure up when it comes to comfort, quality, and modernity. Although many new cars were introduced to the B-Segment last year, like the Toyota Yaris and the Changan Alsvin sedan, the public still does not seem happy with the current situation.

The reason is that Pakistani car buyers are looking for better value in the market. This explains why the upcoming Proton Saga is currently the talk of the town as it offers hope to car buyers on a budget.

The Saga is set to be launched in Pakistan on the 2nd of April, but a fair amount of information about the vehicle has already been revealed.

Here is what we know about the Proton Saga:

Performance of the Proton Saga

The Saga is said to be offered in three main variants:

  • the Standard Manual
  • the Standard Auto
  • the Premium Auto

All the variants will be offered with only one engine option — a 1299 cc, naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 94 hp and 120 Nm of torque. The engine will be paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission, depending on the variant.

There will also be a ‘limited edition’ R3 variant of the Proton Saga, a special trim-level inspired by Proton’s ‘R3’ motorsports division. This variant will feature additional styling cues and a slightly larger 1332 cc engine offered as the standard in Malaysia. The engine makes the same power but slightly more low-end torque than the Pakistani 1299cc engine.

The car’s suspension setup, which allows for a smooth ride, consists of:

  • MacPherson struts in the front
  • A Torsion Bar Coil-Spring suspension at the back.
  • Ventilated disc brakes
  • An Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) technology in the front
  • Conventional drum-brakes in the back

The Saga has only one engine option while its competitors (except for the Suzuki Swift) offer two engines. This is where the Saga loses a few points as the buyer would have to settle for its performance.

Features of the Proton Saga

As per reports, the Proton Saga will have the following features:

  • Immobilizer System
  • Adjustable Steering with Infotainment Controls
  • Remote Trunk Opener
  • Dual front airbags
  • ISO Fix Child Seat Anchors
  • 7-inch Smart Infotainment System
  • Foglamps
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • DRLs (Top Trim)
  • Stability control (Top Trim)
  • Traction control (Top Trim)
  • Front parking sensors (Top Trim)
  • Reverse camera (Top Trim)

The smart features lend the car some good value points.

Looks and Interior of the Proton Saga

This is where the Saga arguably falls short again because the design of both the interior and the exterior look at least a generation old, even when compared to the Honda City and the Suzuki Swift, which are a decade old each.

The vehicle’s exterior features a front grille and cosmetic aspects like the decorative vents on the rear bumper, the alloy rims, and a modern front bumper with DRL’s. Apart from these, the car is relatively plain-looking.

The vehicle’s interior looks at least two generations old and is made almost entirely out of cheap, hard, and shiny plastic. This aspect does not do Saga any favors because Saga’s competition is known to have interior designs that are more modern and attractive.

Experts believe that Pakistan has an automotive market where cosmetics are more important than the actual practicality and reliability of a car, so the looks and design of the Proton Saga leave the car at a major disadvantage.

Price of the Proton Saga

According to sources, people are hopeful that the Proton Saga will be the cheapest car in the entire B-Segment by a significant margin.

In Malaysia, the price of the Saga Sedan starts from just 33,000 Malaysian Ringgit (Rs. 1.2 million) and goes up to 40,000 Malaysian Ringgit (almost Rs. 1.5 million). While the Saga can never be this cheap in the Pakistani market, experts believe it should be offered between Rs. 1.8 million and Rs. 2.2 million at the most to be seen as a credible threat.

Considering all the factors, the reputation of the Proton Saga maybe its only saving grace. The Saga is to the Malaysian market what the Mehran once was to the Pakistani market — a ‘people’s car’ – pocket-friendly and reliable. In Malaysia, it is readily seen on the roads, parking lots, and neighborhoods because it is the first car choice for most Malaysians.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.


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