REVISITED! Proton Saga 1.3 Premium AT - Why I Like It More Than The Bezza! |

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 2 years ago

IT'S BEEN out for a while now, and recently I had a go at the "oldest" car in the Proton line-up, the effervescent Saga!! First built and introduced in 1985, it remains the only car in Proton's stable that's been with us from the very start.

Like the ever-enduring and very popular classic Beetle from Volkswagen, which was built for "the people", that's what the Saga is and always should be, a car for the masses. Inexpensive, cheerful, easy to maintain, easy to drive, and cheap to own, the Saga should be a car that anyone with a decent salary can afford to buy and drive daily. "Mampu milik" must always be its credo.

It's come a long way indeed, and this 2019 iteration of the Proton Saga is actually one of the best ever made. I'll say this, if there was a Premium manual variant, I'd seriously consider breaking my 'no-new-cars' rule and friggin' buy one! In terms of a value-for-money proposition, it's UNBEATABLE.

Thumbnail pic & Video edited by Chi Yang.

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💬 Comments

Most people go for Bezza because they are not driving enthusiasts and don't care about handling and chassis rigidity. They go for perceived quality. Perodua understands the mentality of the majority. I would go for Saga hands down.

Author — Andrew Chan


There’s one flaw the Bezza has that no one seems to highlight: its terrible ride, NVH and poor seats (front and rear). The number of times I’ve been shaken and stirred at the back of a Grab bezza, on bad KL roads has cemented my opinion of it being an unrefined and unfinished, cheap feeling but premium priced car (the new saga is 10k cheaper). Yes if I were operating it as a grab vehicle, I’d choose the Bezza too, but as a passenger, Saga offers a more pleasant trip.

I’ve got a bad back, so I’m rather picky about seats and the ride of a car, and in my experience Proton seats always have better thigh support (with the exception of the saga) and all of them have better lumbar support than Perodua seats.

Author — Duane Yeoh


When you're talking about the "floating display" being an afterthought, I absolutely agree. It just feels unnecessary.
For the previous iteration, the Saga doesn't have a touchscreen on any of the trim levels, while the Bezza has it. The position of the radio is low into the dash anyway so it isn't really suitable for a touchscreen. They could've moved the radio placement to the upper part of the dash, which they already did right now, and maybe fitted a 2 din touchscreen without doing that floating display. (The base model with the non touchscreen, but all touch radio controls is even worse IMO. But even the base model Iriz and Persona has it too, albeit in a standard 2 din standard.)

Other than that, the exterior of the Saga looks pretty good. It does look pretty nice. Some of the design changes here makes the car set itself apart over its previous iteration.
Oh yeah, no more CVT. I only wish the Iriz gets the 4 speed AT too...

Author — Germaine Liew


Chris, I love the floating head unit. Its positioning is excellent. I came across head units in some cars that are utterly useless due to reflection from the sun's glare. It also allows my daughter to hook it up to waze. Extremely useful for new drivers like her. Heck, even my F30 doesn't have this feature.

Author — SY Lai


Another great thing about the Saga which I find a bit funny is the audio quality of the speakers are actually pretty good. XD

Author — Matt92


I had the CVT one, bought the top of the line variant. In terms of safety, I’m glad that it has ESC and ABS. I’ve encountered a situation where these safety features really helped me avoid a crash. Really happy with it!

And if I have one thing to complaint about this car is lack of air vents for your foot. Other than that is super value for money. 👍🏻

Author — Syafiq Khir


Oh no you didn't, Chris! Thanks for being honest in this video and actually taking a stand in deciding which car is the best in your opinion. Many reviewers, I thought, have been suppressing their views so they could review more cars in the future. So they give subtle hints yet I couldn't understand them at all.

You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for this, Chris!

Author — Adam Lee


Terbaik... Otai saya ni guys... Abg chris... 🥳🥳🥳👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

Author — Nazz Abdullah


Great review Chris. I felt personally that Proton is close to perfecting the formula for entry car segment with this new Saga. If you compare the price of the new premium Bezza 2020 with the premium Saga is about RM10k! Yikes! Personally I wouldn’t mind if Proton charges a little more to close the gap between itself and Perodua by improving their interior and overall cabin experience, as you said. The current pricing for the premium version is very attractive, and say if they would upgrade certain materials where it matters - like plushier or leather seats, or slightly more premium look materials on the top half of the doors or dashboard, leather wrapped steering wheels, better tyres and charge maybe 2 or 3k more from the current offering - I’m sold! That would be fantastic. Maybe they’ll consider this and come up with a commemorative version of sorts for 2020 😅

Author — erique82


I’ve been a fan of the new Saga ever since the facelift. From certain angles it looks like a car that would cost a little more. Granted, I do agree with you on the interior, they could’ve added “aluminum” trim to break up the monotony

Author — the_quintessential_malaysian


My family own a saga 89, 2010 blm, 3 flx(I use one of this and it's manual) and an iriz. Also own Myvi, Aruz, toyota rush and a jazz. I say there are pro and con's. But I do prefer proton cause for me handling and comfortable is priority. Nonetheless, I support our local brands. 😁

Author — Krypto Thy


for the price of a full spec saga, can only get a mid range bezza . For handling i choose saga, for looks i choose saga, for safety systems the bezza wins, for design saga is a win in my opinion . But perodua is giving led across the range, waiting for proton to include that . i sat in a new saga grab, i am surprised the noise cancellation is very very good . My 2011 saga fl 1.6 still handles very well around the corners .

Author — U-jinn Chong


Recently I bought the new persona mt 2019. Great car, love the handling and chassis. However I’m a heavy footed person, tend to hang gears and the cam pro engine is not very efficient on petrol 😅😅😅 highway I can get 23km/l at 90km/h-100km/h, city I get 10km/l but definitely a comfortable car for the family and great car for Genting runs too 😂😂 Most probably going to change the stock tires and add some stage 1 strut bars.

Author — Caven Jay Tang


Also for once, good to hear an opinion of Saga vs Bezza without dismissing the Bezza as the "bad" car. (It's not)

The Bezza is getting updated soon and reactions put it politely, not nice. Basically you got everyone calling it a deathtrap and what not. (Look at the posts about it on paultan's FB page and you'll know what I'm talking about.)

I'd still say both the Saga and Bezza does cater to different types of people.

Author — Germaine Liew


Great review, Chris! This just made me more inspired to get this car. But since you've tested both bezza and the Saga, I'd like to know your opinion on which car is more suitable to drive Grab? Your opinions are very much appreciated :)

Author — Kanesh Raveenthran


As i know, they did improve braking system with larger disc brake and calipers, besides the 4at Tofque converter GB, NVH, and the Infotainment which somehow i have to agree thensound system way better than a civic.

And I agree with Chris bout the interior looks, and why the car maker have to put 'all Black' for Malaysian Spec?? Who decides that for us? We didn't ask for a rainbow colour but why with all dark and dull and there's no other options for us.

Author — Rimbunan Khazanah


Agree. I go for Saga too. It is because of the overall package including the performance and handling of Proton. I mean if you wanna do outstation trips, Saga seems more better in the long haul drive stability (on my own judgement). Bezza suit for town driving but it will be tiring on long haul. So Saga could stretch the dollar you paid (better perform and balance in almost every aspect).

Author — Hot Rod


Great review. Sokong kenyataan anda 100% ! My staff just bought one and hell yeah..'funner' and felt good to drive than most if not all entry level cars.

Author — Ti Amo Fj


thanks for telling the truth of saga, almost all of my friends are against Proton due to hear-say and they thought buying a Proton is kindna like a shame to them. How sad to hear that! But I am very happy with my Saga VVT 2016. Glad that I am not a blind sheep and actually gave a chance to Proton. Sincerely saying, I don't enjoy sitting in my friends' Bezza, it is so uncomfortable even on the shotgun seat. Especially when they are cornering and accelerating, you can never feel as good as sitting in a Proton Saga VVT.

Author — Bryan Chan JC


I am so proud of Proton for putting lots of effort into the Saga. The Saga is definitely a special car as it was Proton's first car back in the days and it has served many people. I do hope that the future Saga will be even better and I look forward to Proton's development especially in the global market. I also hope that more Malaysians will change the perception of Proton cars and support them in their growth. ❤️🇲🇾

Author — Fong Wei Tze