Now Reading: Will the Proton Saga Be the New Mehran of Pakistan?
In Pakistan’s B-segment, there are few cars that can compete in terms of comfort, efficiency, and modernity. Despite the fact that several new cars were added to the B-Segment last year, such as the Toyota Yaris and the Changan Alsvin sedan, the public continues to be disappointed with the current situation.
The explanation for this is that Pakistani car buyers are searching for better offers. This is why the forthcoming Proton Saga is the talk of the town, as it gives hope to budget-conscious car buyers. The Saga is expected to debut in Pakistan on April 2nd, but there has already been a lot of details published about the car.
What we know about the Proton Saga so far:
The Proton Saga’s Performance:
The Saga is said to be available in three different versions:
- The Standard Manual
- The Standard Auto
- The Premium Auto
Just one engine option will be available for all variants: a 1299 cc naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine with 94 hp and 120 Nm of torque. Depending on the variant, the engine will be paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Proton Saga will also be available in a ‘limited edition’ R3 variant, a special trim level inspired by Proton’s ‘R3′ motorsports division. Additional styling cues will be included, as well as a slightly larger 1332 cc engine, which will be standard in Malaysia. The engine produces the same power as the Pakistani 1299cc engine, but with significantly more low-end torque.
The car’s suspension system, which ensures a smooth ride, consists of the following components:
- 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 only has one engine option, while its competitors (with the exception of the Suzuki Swift) have two. The Saga loses a few points here because the buyer will have to accept its results.
Features of the Proton Saga
According to sources, the Proton Saga will contain the following elements:
- Dual front airbags
- ISO Fix Child Seat Anchors
- 7-inch Smart Infotainment System
- Immobilizer System
- Adjustable Steering with Infotainment Controls
- Remote Trunk Opener
- 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 car’s smart features give it some good value.
Interior and Looks of the Proton Saga
This is another area where the Saga falls short, as both the interior and exterior design seem to be at least a century old, even when compared to the Honda City and Suzuki Swift, both of which are a decade old. The vehicle’s exterior includes a front grille as well as aesthetic elements such as rear bumper decorative vents, alloy rims, and a sleek front bumper with DRLs. Apart from that, the car is pretty unremarkable.
The interior of the vehicle appears to be at least two generations old and is almost entirely made of inexpensive, rough, and gleaming plastic. This is a drawback for Saga since its rivals are known for having more sleek and appealing interior designs. Experts agree that cosmetics are more important in Pakistan’s automotive market than real practicality and reliability, so the Proton Saga’s looks and design put it at a significant disadvantage.
The Proton Saga’s Price
People are hoping that the Proton Saga will be the cheapest car in the entire B-Segment by a large margin, according to sources. The Saga Sedan starts at 33,000 Malaysian Ringgit (Rs. 1.2 million) and goes up to 40,000 Malaysian Ringgit (Rs. 1.2 million) in Malaysia (almost Rs. 1.5 million). Though the Saga will never be this cheap in Pakistan, experts say it should be priced anywhere between Rs. 1.8 million and Rs. 2.2 million to be considered a credible threat.
Given all of the circumstances, the Proton Saga’s popularity may be the only saving grace. The Saga is to the Malaysian market what the Mehran was to Pakistan’s — a ‘people’s vehicle’ that is both inexpensive and dependable. It is common to see it on Malaysian highways, parking lots, and neighborhoods because it is the preferred vehicle of most Malaysians. For it to be as popular in Pakistan, its pricing will also have to be adjusted according to standards here.
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