As Perodua recently unveiled the updated 2020 Bezza, the burning question on everyone’s mind is simple - should I pick the new Bezza or the equally-new Proton Saga?
Fuel efficiency - Bezza is king, naturally
Since its introduction back in 2016, the Perodua Bezza has cemented its fuel efficiency capabilities, thanks to its featherlight body, fuel-sipping engines, and slippery aerodynamics.
According to Perodua, the Bezza 1.0 returns 4.4-litre/100 km (22.8 km/litre) for the manual variant, and 4.7-litre/100 km (21.3 km/litre) for the automatic variant.
As for the larger 1.3-litre unit, this engine returns 4.5-litre/100 km (22 km/litre).
Big boot-y for everyone - Bezza still conquers
Despite being built on the Axia’s platform (A-segment hatchback), its 508 litres of boot space is a whopping 88 litres more than the Saga (420 litres).
Safety features that rival some pricier cars - ASA 2.0 keeps the Bezza on top
The inclusion of Perodua’s Advanced Safety Assist 2.0 (ASA 2.0) on the range-topping Bezza 1.3 AV AT means that it is the cheapest sedan in Malaysia to offer this feature.
The updated Proton Saga, on the other hand, lacks ADAS features.
With that said, the updated Saga now includes ABS and EBD across the range, while the 1.3 Premium variant adds stability control.
Ride and handling separates them - Saga claws back
Where the Saga starts to earn some brownie points is its ride and handling compared to the Bezza - ride is compliant enough to soak up bad roads, and handling is miles ahead of the Bezza.
The Bezza’s tall and narrow body meant that it can get rather nervous at highway speeds, and its suspension tuning still falls behind the Saga.
Great looks isn't everything, comfort also matters - Saga reigns supreme
For those who have been in the back seat of the Perodua Bezza understand the definition of poor comfort - the seats are too upright and the suspension does a poor job of ironing out bad roads.
But in the new Bezza, Perodua has fitted new back seats with better back angle to improve comfort.
But the Saga, thanks to Proton's know-how, offers a considerably better ride comfort than the Bezza.
The new seats in the Saga, apart from being scratch and water resistant, also offers much better comfort than the Bezza.
But wait, there's more - Bezza's steering column is fixed!
Just like the Axia (plus the Viva and Kancil before it), the Bezza's steering column is fixed - there's no adjustment for reach or height, making it tough to get into a comfortable driving position.
The Saga redeems itself here as it offers height (or tilt) adjustment.
If music is your thing, the Saga is much better
For those of us that can't live without our tunes, give the updated Saga a try; you'll be surprised at how good the stock sound system is.
The updated Saga also features a floating-style head unit, giving the little sedan an upmarket appeal.
Sound quality of the Perodua Bezza, like its handling, is nothing to shout about.
Deciding the winner - Both are really good sedans, but..
Prices of the new Perodua Bezza have increased between RM 90 to RM 2,190, depending on the variant.
As such, the range-topping Bezza 1.3 AV is now priced from RM 49,980, making it a whopping RM 10,180 more than the top-spec Saga 1.3 Premium.
The Bezza 1.3 AV’s price also makes it perilously close to the Myvi 1.5 H - itself a larger B-segment hatchback with more features, including 6 airbags.
With that said, it’s hard to justify the Bezza 1.3 AV’s price tag, unless you really want an A-segment sedan with ASA 2.0.
Instead, we reckon you should put your money on the Bezza 1.3 X variant (priced from RM 43,980) as this variant has everything the 1.3 AV has, but without ASA 2.0, a reverse camera and Perodua’s Eco Idle (Idling Stop System).
Despite that, it still gets the all-important stability control, dual airbags, and an impressive 4.8-litre/100 km fuel consumption figure.
At the end, it boils down to what you need in a sedan.
If you're an e-hailing driver or travel a lot around the city, then the Bezza is a better bet.
But if you spend a lot of time on the highway, then the Saga is much better.