Priced from RM 34k, 2022 Proton Saga MC2 facelift launched with keyless entry and more to fight Bezza
Sanjay · May 12, 2022 10:31 AM
Put aside everything else because the 2022 Proton Sagafacelift (MC2) has just been launched in Malaysia, bringing with it a visual nip-and-tuck, and a smattering of new features to better match up against its the Perodua Bezza.
The addition of the range-topping 1.3 Premium S variant bumps the choice count to four, and OTR prices without insurance are as below:
1.3 Standard MT: RM 34,400
1.3 Standard AT: RM 38,300
1.3 Premium AT: RM 41,300
1.3 Premium S AT: RM 44,300
All variants are backed with Proton's 5-year/100,000 km warranty package.
Big news: Keyless entry & start button
Bringing it one step closer to its Bezza-beating ambitions is the addition of keyless entry and a push start button, things missing in the pre-facelift car.
The driver’s-side-only keyless entry and push start button are exclusive to the 1.3 Premium S variant only however.
Also, we can now quash rumours about the Saga receiving a slightly smaller (but still 1.3-litre) engine like it does in Pakistan, as we've confirmed that the four-cylinder mill in here still has a displacement of 1,332 cc.
Output then remains at 95 PS with 120 Nm of torque, channelled through either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels (FWD).
Exterior: New grille, logo, wheels
Exterior updates are minimal, with most of the new stuff centred to the range-topping 1.3 Premium S variant. What’s shared among all variants is the new grille (along with the roundel that matches the Saga to the rest of Proton's range), and the ‘Ethereal Bow’ lining.
The wheels are new too - there’s a fresh set of 15-inch ones now, which divided opinions quite a bit when they first emerged in the early spyshots.
‘Everything else’ here includes front- and rear side skirts, red ‘Ethereal Bow’, and red touches in the interior.
All variants now lose the chrome strip on the lower half of the rear bumper, and there's a new boot release button too, both of which pretty much sums up the changes at the rump.
There'll be five colours to choose from, all carryovers from the pre-facelift: Snow White, Armour Silver, Jet Grey, Rosewood Maroon, and Ruby Red.
Interior: New AC controls, red touches
Interior updates see all variants of the Saga receive a new air-cond control panel, with two smaller knobs on both sides instead of the old-timey three-dial layout of the pre-facelift car.
It’s a simpler take that lends a little bit more modernity to an otherwise aging interior. The new red touches - on the centre stack, instrument cluster, and air-cond vents - comes off as a little overdone though.
New to the Saga as well is black headliner, which lends to a more tighter feeling cabin.
There’s a new operating system (OS) for the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment as well, bringing with it more colourful screens, support for phone mirroring (for both Android and iOS devices), and a “please check your belongings” warning.
Rounding off the changes to the 2022 Proton Saga MC2 are new seats for the Premium S variant. It gets patterned leatherette-plus-fabric seats, which looks very similar to those fitted to the Proton Iriz.
The Saga's still got a 420-litre boot, which can be further expanded by its folding rear bench seats.
Safety: ESC now on Standard AT
Beyond the added features the Saga’s safety suite still remains as-is, with all variants getting two front airbags, as well as standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA).
Electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TC), and hill-hold assist (HSA) are now available on the 1.3 Standard AT variant and above - certainly very good to have at this price point - while the Premium and Premium S variants add on front parking sensors and a reverse camera to the equation.
Conclusion: The people's car now brings more value
That then is the round-up to the 2022 Proton Saga facelift (MC2). True, some may be nonplussed over the relative lack of visual update (it's just a Minor Change anyway), but it's hard to fault the extended safety package to the base variant and nice quality-of-life updates on the higher end of the price scale.
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.