I’ve always have a special place for Proton Saga in my heart. It is in fact, the car that I learn to drive with back even before I was old enough to have a license, I remember we were in some light industrial area on a Sunday when my late dad decided to let me have a go at it, and the “wtf are you serious” face it had on my mom.
A few mati engine incidents later, I was able to manipulate the clutch and gear and drove for some 10 minutes. It was pure joy, a moment I never forget.
There was another incident where I hit a car’s side view mirror whilst riding bicycle before, and it turned out to be my dad in our Proton, I blogged about it here.
That Proton Saga was with our family for quite a number of years, a 1.3 liter manual version that was dark brown in color. When the new saga came out, we helped mom bought one too, and it has been serving her pretty well for the past 2 years or so.
Proton Saga FLX with CVT
Fast forward to today, and there is another iteration of the venerable Proton Saga – the Proton Saga FLX.
Instead of just a mere facelift to the “new” Saga FL model, the Saga FLX has so much more to offer, with the biggest selling point being CVT, or Continuous Variable Transmission. A feature usually found in cars of much higher price point.
Unlike conventional Automatic Transmission, CVT allows the vehicle to always be in optimal power band. The gearbox shifts without any shift-shock or loss of power, this allows the engine to have less wear and tear and thus improve its durability.
The other trick under CVT’s sleeve is it’s ability to simulate a 6 speed automatic gearbox when you are up for a little bit of spirited driving.
Simply press the SAT (Stepped Automatic Transmission) to engage the function. This brings the familiar feel of most automatic car to the driver, but with 6 speeds instead of the usual 4.
The Saga FLX with CVT is rated to consume 6 liter of fuel per 100 km running at 90 km/h. Theoretically you can drive from KL to Penang with only some RM 40 in fuel (at RM 1.90 per liter), that’s pretty good isn’t it?
The design of the car’s interior is improved too, and many will undoubtedly be pleased that the power windows in Proton Saga FLX comes with life time warranty, glad to see that they have addressed this issue.
There are still more features packed into this car. There’s now ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) in the Executive models.
These are safety features that allows much better maneuverability during emergency braking, features that can save lives.
Other than that, the body shell is also built stronger and stiffer to maximize protection. Then there’s the dual airbags too (Executive models) for extra safety.
Immobiliser, central locking, keyless entry and reverse sensor are now standard features across all FLX models.
Then there’s the size and practicality that comes with having a full size sedan with a big boot space. The Saga sits 4-5 adults comfortably and still able to swallow 413 liter of baggage. That size is equivalent to the big refrigerator I use at home!
A getaway, weekend shopping with the whole family, and those occasional IKEA trips will be easier with the Saga, compared with a super compact.
There are too many features that found their ways into the Saga FLX to be listed on this site (MP3 player, USB jack, etc). To find out more, check out EpicSaga.com.my now, there’s a video there too.
If you’re looking for a car, especially a first car, make sure you give the new Proton Saga FLX a look. You definitely won’t get a car with more features and space at this price point. Best value for money if you ask me.
Many many years ago, in a time when the tallest twin buildings in the world was still the World Trade Center, I used to ride the bicycle to high school. It was a journey of some 10 kilometers, under heavy rain, uphill both ways.
One day, when I was on my way back home from another hard day of getting properly schooled (which might or might not involved getting caned), I came up towards a red light with heavy traffic. As usual, I navigate my way, zig zagging past stationary cars like MotoGP riders would to chicanes.
Then came *POWWWW*
I hit a dark brown Proton Saga’s side view mirror (it was the most popular color then). Immediately I peddled faster without looking back at the driver of that car. I slightly petrified but did my best to get out of the situation.
I was safely home, so I thought.
Few hours later at dinner, while trying to chew on a piece of stubborn broccoli, my father asked. “So.. son, why did you cycled away so fast after hitting my car’s side mirror?”
And while we sold off the original grey Proton Saga years ago, my mom actually bought the latest version of Proton Saga (a nice tint of blue) last year for her daily commute and even drove down to KL over Chinese New Year.
And if I had that moment recorded in photo, I wager that there’s a good chance I can win the Saga Snap & Win contest that is currently running.
The contest is actually very simple. Snap a photo any model of Proton Saga, from the original 1985 model to Iswara to the latest model (my mom drives one too), put a creative caption, and submit online via Saga Snap & Win microsite. Alternatively, you can send the photo via snail mail too.
Contest runs until 18th June, 2010 and the winners will be announced before the Proton 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner.
Now lets check out the prizes:
- Grand Prize : 2 x RM 25,000
- 1st Runner Up : 2 x RM 8,000
- 2nd Runner Up : 2 x RM 5,000
- Consolation Prize : 10 x RM 1,000
You can submit up to 5 entries, but each participant is only entitled to win once.
The pictures you submit should not be super imposed or digitally manipulated. Be creative, and when you win that RM 25,000 please buy me a dinner ok! To find out more, go to sagasnapandwin.com now! Examples at the bottom:
My captions for the three photos will be:
- Squeeze the Saga!
- Herculean effort
- Look ma, I can balance the Saga on my head!
What will be yours? Remember to head to Saga Snap & Win!
The first generation Proton Saga that came out in 1985 was also the first ever Malaysian automobile production, based on the 1983 Mitsubishi Lancer. 23 years later, Proton finally came up with an all new second generation Proton Saga, also known as the BLM (base line model).
The 2008 white Proton Saga BLM
While the first generation saga came with a choice of 1.3 or 1.5 liter engine (the later Iswara face lift model only had 1.3), the BLM come with only one engine choice. The 1.3 liter Campro I4 that churns out a respectable 94 bhp at 6000 rpm. For a car that weigh just over 1 tonne (about 100kg heavier than it’s predecessor), this is a pretty reasonable power to weight ratio for city and highway driving with an occasional trip to Genting.
The new car is also bigger and better than the previous version. More interior space as well as new and improved design in every aspects. It is actually quite surprising that the car is based on the same platform with Proton Savvy.
2008 Proton Saga BLM rear view
Proton Saga comes either with Automatic or Manual transmission. Pricing is from RM31,500 to RM39,800 and they are currently selling like hot cakes. Proton is planning to sell about 50,000 to 60,000 Sagas per year. In fact, together with Proton Persona, the car maker has improved it’s financial stage tremendously, announcing a net income in the three months ended March 31 at 236.4 million ringgit.