- 6.7L/100 km based on the NEDC cycle
- Unchanged from previous 1.3L CVT
- Significant improvement from the Saga BLM 4-AT
The recently launched Proton Saga facelift saw the reintroduction of the 4-speed torque converter automatic transmission replacing the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). In 2011, Proton was adamant that the CVT promised better fuel consumption and lower maintenance so the switch back to a conventional torque converter makes it appear that Proton is taking a step back.
Well not quite. Speaking to Vehicle Program Executive (Engineering Division) for the Saga, Desmond John Pinto at a media test drive event, he said the 4-speed is not only on par with the “more advanced” CVT in terms of performance, the Hyundai-sourced unit even betters the CVT in certain aspects.
One engineering challenge is to maintain the Saga’s fuel consumption figures as this is a major concern for buyers in this segment. With inputs and shared resources with the company’s partner, Geely, the 4-speeder from Hyundai was the best fit for this application.
Despite being heavier (more mechanical parts) with more mechanical resistance compared to the CVT it replaces, fuel consumption remains unchanged at 6.7L/100km (NEDC test cycle). Compared to the 4-speed automatic on the 2011 Saga FL and 2008 Saga BLM, Proton claims the new Saga’s fuel consumption figures is significantly improved.
Of course, the Saga still has a long way to go from its main rival, the Perodua Bezza with the range-topping 1.3L Advance variant claiming to return up to 4.54L/100km.
However, it is worth noting that the Bezza is 150 kgs lighter than the Saga, has smaller wheels (14-inch vs 15-inch) and it also comes equipped with auto start/stop technology, all of which contributes greatly to improve fuel consumption.