When Proton launched the newly facelifted Saga last week, one of the biggest changes was the use of a Hyundai-sourced four-speed torque converter automatic (also used in the Kia Picanto), which replaces the previous Punch CVT.

How does the new transmission affect the maintenance cost of Proton’s entry-level sedan model? Well, you’ve come to right place, as we’ve prepared a handy table to compare just how much it will cost you to maintain the Saga with a conventional automatic and CVT over a five-year period (or 100,000 km mileage).

Keep in mind that these figures were taken straight from Proton’s official website and MyProton mobile app at the time of writing, and actual prices may vary. Also, other factors like fuel consumption and consumables (brake pads, shock absorbers, batteries and tyres) aren’t considered, as they are based on individual ownership.

Looking at the table, the cost of every service interval is equal between the Saga AT and Saga CVT, with the only difference being at the 60,000 km/36-month mark, when the transmission needs to be serviced. The transmission oil used for the Hyundai four-speed is certainly more expensive compared to the Punch CVT (RM216.80 versus RM165.03), but the CVT requires a filter (RM156.12) that adds to the service cost.

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With other items factored in, the service cost at 60,000 km for the Saga AT amounts to RM626.70, or RM105.17 less than the Saga CVT that costs RM731.87. Across 100,000 km/five years, the Saga AT is marginally cheaper to maintain compared to the Saga CVT (RM3,002.42 versus RM3,107.59)

So, there you have it. The new Saga, with its four-speed automatic transmission, is slightly cheaper to maintain compared to the previous CVT-equipped model. The switch comes as Geely is already a customer of this transmission in China; it is a proven unit and four speeds suit the affordable nature of the Saga.

The Saga’s pricing is reflective of this, as the automatic variants of the Saga start from RM35,800 for the Standard, which is a few hundred ringgit less spec-to-spec compared to the old Executive CVT is replaces. Meanwhile, the auto-only Premium is just below the RM40,000 mark at RM39,800, or RM2,000 lower than before.

What do you think of Proton’s switch from a CVT to a four-speed automatic for the Saga? A step in the right direction or do you prefer the previous transmission more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.