The 2016 Proton Saga is here, with the nameplate first making its debut in 1985. 31 years later, the latest Saga is available in four variants at launch: Standard (MT), Standard (AT), Executive (AT) and Premium (AT).

All variants here are powered by the 1.3 litre VVT engine which also powers the Iriz hatchback – 94 hp at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm at 4,000 rpm is transmitted to the front wheels via either a five-speed manual gearbox (Standard only) or a continuously variable transmission (all variants).

The 2016 Saga manages improved performance and fuel economy figures, despite similar outputs as before; the manual variant does the 0-100 km/h acceleration benchmark in 12.2 seconds (previously 13.0 seconds), with fuel consumption rated at 5.4 l/100 km at 90 km/h (improved from 6.0l/100 km).


The CVT variant gets to 100 km/h in 13.1 seconds (from 14.5 seconds previously), with fuel economy of 5.6l/100 km at 90 km/h (improved from 6.3l/100 km). Powertrain improvements on the Persona are present here too, including a three-point engine mount for better NVH, and a revised ECU for better response.

The new car shares its 2,465 mm wheelbase with the outgoing car, while with different exterior dimensions – the 2016 Saga is 74 mm longer, 9 mm wider and 11 mm lower than the previous model. Improvements to the structures include a chassis that is stiffer by 20%, a quicker, still hydraulically assisted steering rack, lighter door closing effort as well as improved ride and handling.

Equipment-wise, we start with the Saga Standard, which rolls on 13-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, rear fog lamps, front and rear parking sensors, dual airbags, a Bluetooth-capable, single-DIN head unit, USB charging ports and Isofix child seat anchors. The Standard is distinguished by unpainted door mirrors, door handles and rear garnish, plain black fabric seats, as well as a black-themed interior.


Onwards to the CVT-only Saga Executive, power-adjustable, body-coloured wing mirrors, door handles and rear garnish, black-painted B-pillars, front fog lamps and a rear bootlid spoiler are added. 14-inch alloy wheels, added gloss grey accents to the interior (outer air-con vents and steering wheel trim) and fabric seats with a mesh pattern are also added to the Saga Executive.

Sitting atop the line-up at launch is the Saga Premium, which introduces Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with hill-hold assist, along with fancier 15-inch alloy wheels and a rear garnish finished in chrome. Also added is a reverse camera with a rearview mirror which integrates the camera’s video feed into the mirror, as on the top Exora variants, a double-DIN head unit with steering audio controls, fabric seats with a wavy pattern and more gloss grey trim on the gear lever.

All Saga models get reflector halogen headlamps (with Proton lettering), a chrome front grille, and folding rear bench seats. There will be a total of six colours offered for the new Saga: white, silver, black, red, blue (new) and grey (new). Additionally, each purchase will include a 3+2 year warranty or 150,000 km, whichever comes first (up from three-year/100,000 km coverage).

All models get these improvements:

  • 1.3 VVT engine (replaces IAFM+)
  • Manual performance – 0-100 km/h in 12.2 seconds (from 13.0 secs)
  • Manual economy – 5.4 l/100 km at 90 km/h (from 6.0 l/100 km)
  • CVT performance – 0-100 km/h in 13.1 seconds (from 14.5 secs)
  • CVT economy – 5.6 l/100 km at 90 km/h (from 6.3 l/100 km)
  • Three-point engine mounts for better refinement
  • Retuned ECU for better CVT throttle response
  • Improved ride and handling package
  • Tyres with lower rolling resistance, better wet grip (quieter by 2 dB)
  • Four-star ASEAN NCAP crash safety rating (from three-star)
  • Quicker, more direct steering rack (16:1 ratio, from 20:1)
  • Tighter turning radius (5.1 m, from 5.3 m)
  • Lighter door closing effort (15 kgf, from 25 kgf)
  • Lighter steering effort (2.75 kgf, from 3.0 kgf)
  • Improved torsional stiffness (12,000 Nm/deg, from 10,000 Nm/deg)

Here are the confirmed variants, each in detail (prices OTR without insurance):

Proton Saga 1.3L Standard – RM35,568.24 (manual)/RM38,507.61 (CVT)

  • 1.3 litre VVT engine
  • 94 hp at 5,750 rpm, 120 Nm at 4,000 rpm
  • ECO Drive Assist
  • Reflector halogen headlamps
  • Rear fog lamp
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • 13-inch steel wheels (with 175/70R13 Silverstone Synergy M3 tyres)
  • Unpainted side mirrors, door handles and rear garnish
  • Manually-adjustable side mirrors
  • Body-coloured B-pillars
  • Black interior
  • Tilt-adjustable steering wheel
  • Single-DIN headunit with Bluetooth, USB and AUX input
  • USB charging ports
  • Fabric seats – plain black upholstery
  • Height-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 420-litre boot with space saver spare tyre
  • Folding rear bench seat
  • ISOFIX child seat anchors with top tether
  • Two airbags
  • Front disc brakes, rear drums

Proton Saga 1.3L Executive CVT – RM41,124.93

    Adds on:

  • Front fog lamps
  • 14-inch snowflake Y-spoke alloy wheels (with 185/60R14 Silverstone Kruizer1 NS800 tyres)
  • Body-coloured side mirrors, door handles and rear garnish
  • Power-adjustable side mirrors
  • Black B-pillars
  • Rear bootlid spoiler
  • Gloss grey trim on outer air-con vents and steering wheel
  • Fabric seats – mesh pattern upholstery
  • Front seat back pockets
  • ABS with EBD and BA

2016 Proton Saga 1.3L Premium CVT – RM44,342.25

    Adds on:

  • 15-inch turbine split-spoke alloy wheels (with 185/55R15 Silverstone Kruizer1 NS800 tyres)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Hill-hold assist
  • Double-DIN headunit with Bluetooth, USB and AUX input
  • Reverse camera (with integrated rear-view mirror display)
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Gloss grey trim on gear lever and surrounds
  • Fabric seats – wavy pattern upholstery

GALLERY: 2016 Proton Saga 1.3L Premium

GALLERY: 2016 Proton Saga 1.3L Executive

GALLERY: 2016 Proton Saga 1.3L Standard