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Proton Saga First Drive: Sense of Luxury and Practicality, Without Overdoing It

Proton Motors has finally made its second-coming into the Nepali territory.

Proton Saga
Proton Saga

Jagdamba Motors Pvt. Ltd., the authorized distributor of Proton cars in Nepal, has relaunched the Malaysian auto brand in hopes to capture the growing Nepali automobile market.

Proton is a Malaysian car manufacturer, serving across 70 different countries.

It is a popular brand with many prestigious awards up its belt, including Proton Saga for Best Compact Sedan in 2019.

After winning the prestigious award, the same Proton Saga is now available in Nepal.

It was just a matter of time before we crossed our path with the Saga. In any case, we are currently in the middle of our testing.

Talking about the pricing, the Proton Saga price in Nepal starts at Rs. 37.99 Lakhs to Rs. 42.99 Lakhs.

Before we share our experience with you, we have collected our initial experience so far.

This is our first impression of the all-new Proton Saga in Nepal.

Proton Saga Specifications

  • Engine: 1.3L 4-Cylinder DOHC VVT Petrol
  • Emission Standards: BS6
  • Displacement: 1299cc
  • Dimension: 4331 x 1689 x 1491 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2465 mm
  • Max Power: 91 PS @ 5750 rpm
  • Max Torque: 117 Nm @ 9000 rpm
  • Transmission: 5-Speed MT (4-Speed in AT)
  • Drive Type: FWD
  • Top Speed: 175 Kmph
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 liters
  • Mileage: 18.51 Kmpl
  • Front Tyre: 185/60R14 – Disc (15-inch in AT)
  • Rear Tyre: 185/60R14 – Drum (15-inch in AT)
  • Tubeless Tyres: Yes
  • Safety System: ABS, EBD, TCS, ESC, HDA
  • Suspension Setup: MacPherson Strut and Twist Beam
  • Seating: 5-Seater
  • Storage Capacity: 420 liters
  • Ground Clearance: 161 mm
  • Kerb Weight: 1055 – 1080 kg
  • Colors: White. Brown, Grey, Silver, Red, Maroon

Proton Saga Price in Nepal: Rs. 37,99,000 (Standard MT) / Rs. 42,99,000 (Premium AT)

Proton Saga First Drive

Sporty Design

Proton Saga features a familiar sedan-styled design.

It comes with an interesting combination of elegance matched with sophisticated design and sporty undertones.

Proton Saga Design
Proton Saga Design

Compared to other sedans in this price range, Proton Saga sets an example of visual excellence.

Saga strikes a perfect balance between modern clean lines without overdoing it. As an example, the front bumper comes with an infinite weave grille.

It is both simple and beautiful.

Similarly, there are plenty more examples all around the Malaysian sedan.

Proton Saga Front View
Proton Saga Front View

There are additional visual pleasures like the LED DRLs, rear spoiler, and 15-inch alloy wheels. However, these are preserved for the top AT variant.

Interestingly, the rear section feels sportier than the front section.

It gets an elevated rear bumper with rear garnish. Moreover, the bumper comes with faux-vents, again adding a bit extra to its sporty appeal.

Proton Saga Rear View
Proton Saga Rear View

Proton Saga tries to bring the same elegance on the inside.

The interior is spacious with legroom and headroom for both front and rear passengers. The overall build is pretty good as well.

While it seems there is little cost-cutting here and there, Proton Saga does not compromise on the essentials.

For that, it gets comfortable seat upholstery with an eye-catching modern center panel.

Proton Saga Dashboard
Proton Saga Dashboard

Furthermore, the inbuilt N95 Cabin Filter is a blessing in a time like this.

Although the interior quality falls short in comparison with the exterior design, it is still well-built without any compromise in quality.

BS6 Engine

Proton Saga is powered by a 1.3L VVT Engine, which generates a max power of 91PS at 5750rpm and max torque of 117Nm at 9000rpm.

Saga is available in two variants: 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmission.

Both variants come with the same engine, design, and characteristics. However, it is different in terms of transmission and few features.

Moreover, it proudly boasts a 4-Star ASEAN NCAP Safety Ratings.

Features

Proton Saga is feature-loaded for a sedan. Here is a list of features in the new Proton Saga.

Proton Saga Feature Highlights

  • Modern Aesthetics Based on New Design
  • Good Quality Interiors
  • Spacious Cabin
  • 7-inch Floating Touch Infotainment System with Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Analog Digital Information Console with Eco-Drive Assist
  • Electric Door Mirrors with LED Turn Signals
  • Power Mirrors
  • Remote Trunk Release
  • ABS with EBD
  • ESC with Traction Control System
  • Dual Airbags
  • Rear Sensor
  • Reverse Camera (in AT only)
  • Hill Hold Assist with Brake Assist (in AT only)

First Drive Experience

This is our first time experiencing the magic of the Proton Saga.

For the review, we are currently testing it out on Proton Saga AT, which is priced at Rs. 42.99 Lakhs.

It is the very first Proton car in a long time. Surely, there is immense pressure to stand out in this competitive segment.

I’ll be perfectly honest here, we didn’t know what to expect from the Saga.

Debuting a sedan in an SUV-focused market seems daring at first. However, it can be looked at in a different light as well.

Proton Saga Side View
Proton Saga Side View

Maybe Proton Nepal believes in the value Saga provides in terms of performance, style, and features. It will be an interesting mystery to unravel.

After a few hours of driving the Proton Saga, there is a definite appeal. It carries a sense of luxury and practicality, without overdoing it.

Furthermore, the interior feels premium enough for the price. Every software-related stuff, including the infotainment system, feels quick and snappy much to our surprise.

Proton Saga Infotainment and Steering
Proton Saga Infotainment and Steering

Likewise, there are enough practical storage cubbies all over the Saga. However, the bottle space does feel comparatively small.

Moreover, the rear passengers do not get any kind of vents. Instead, Proton Saga gets foldable rear seats for extended storage and ISOFIX.

With that, let’s talk in brief about the driving experience.

Proton Saga is powered by a refined engine, which comes with a Petrol Engine.

As far as initial experience goes, there are no typical places for complaints. The engine feels responsive enough with good braking capabilities.

Nonetheless, I am slightly concerned about the low ground clearance.

In any case, we will explore this and more in our full review. This has been our first impression, we will be back with our full review soon enough!

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