The Proton Saga 2022 is here and it’s a mid-cycle facelift which brings a couple of new updates. This is the second refresh for the 3rd gen Proton Saga that was launched in 2016. The 2022 model still retains a standard manual option and there are now three auto variants.
New Proton logo and subtle exterior tweaks
In terms of design, the new facelifted Saga looks pretty much the same as the Proton Saga 2019. The biggest difference is in the front grill where the Saga finally carries Proton’s new rounded logo. It also features a ethereal bow on the lower grille strip and if you go for the new top-of-the-line Premium S variant, it comes in red which looks similar to the Proton X50. For the rest of the variants, the ethereal bow is painted silver.
The Premium and Premium S models get a new 15″ alloy wheel design but the highest Premium S gets a dual-tone treatment. The new wheels replace the previous twin five-spoke design for the Proton Saga 2019 Premium model. The 14″ alloy wheels for the standard model remains unchanged.
The Premium S also gets additional bodykit for a more sporty look but it only gets front bumper and side skirts, which leaves the rear somewhat bare. Also exclusive to the Premium S are black side mirrors and even the panel above the number plate with the “PROTON” branding is also painted black.
Sadly, the new car still uses halogen headlights across the range but it still has LED daytime running lights for the Premium and Premium S variants.
Premium S adds more upmarket touches for the interior
You still get a familiar looking interior as Proton didn’t made any radical design changes on the inside. Just like the front grill, Proton has also updated the steering wheel to carry the new round Proton logo. The horn cover has been refreshed with a noticeable buldge and it no longer looks like it has been taken off from a Proton Exora.
If you go for the Premium S variant, you’ll get lots of red highlights on the aircon vents, instrument cluster, steering wheel audio buttons and even on the floor carpet lining. Basically, it’s the same treatment as the 35th anniversary Saga but you get red instead of orange.
For a more premium apperance, the Premium S also gets semi-leatherette with fabric seats and leatherette steering that come with red stitching. On top of that, the roof on the inside gets black headlining.
Updated 7″ Infotainment system
In the entertainment department, the top-of-the-line Saga still retains a 7″ touch-screen infortainment system but running on an upgraded operating system. According to Proton, the new operating system provides upgraded Bluetooth music quality and it now has screen mirroring support for both iOS and Android. When you turn off the engine, the screen will flash a safety reminder to tell you not to forget your child or belongings in the car.
If you go for the lower Premium model, you still get the same 7″ infotainment system with the old operating system which only supports screen mirroring with Android. The Premium and Premium S get four speakers, while the Standard gets two speakers paired to a standard audio system that doesn’t come with a touch-screen.
Going down the centre dash console, Proton has also updated its manual aircon controls to make it look more modern. Instead of three chunky dials, the new model has two smaller rotary knobs to control the temperature and fan speed, while the air recirculation mode is now toggled with a single button.
Auto-Fold side mirrors and new Boot Release button
Across all variants, the new Saga gets electric side mirrors with integrated turn signal lights. However, the Premium S gets an additional auto fold feature which is an added convenience. Similar to the predecessor, there’s also remote trunk release feature where you can pop the boot open using the remote. However, Proton has added one extra feature for the Premium S where you can open the boot via a hidden Boot Release button above the rear number plate.
Keyless entry and push start button
Keeping up with the modern times, Proton has finally added Intelligent Entry and Push Start button for the Saga but it is only available on the Premium S. The Intelligent Entry button is only offered on the driver side door handle.
No advancement in safety features
Disappointingly, Proton has not introduced any new advanced safety features to the updated Saga for 2022. It still lags behind its direct rival, the Perodua Bezza, which is equipped with Advanced Safety Assist 2.0 features including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). The new Saga still gets two front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) across the range. The only notable difference is that Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Hill Hold Assist (HHA) are now offered to all automatic models including the standard. Previously, ESC, TCS and HHA are exclusive to the top-spec Premium Auto.
Same engine and transmission
Under the hood, the updated Saga still retains the same 1.3 litre four-cyclinder engine that produces 95hp and 120Nm of torque and it’s still mated to a Hyundai-Kia sourced 4-speed auto transmission. During the launch, Proton claims that the refreshed car drives better as it uses improved tyres to offer better grip and less road noise. They have also changed the damping rates which is optimised for improved ride comfort and handling.
The Saga 2022 MC2 still gets your usual MacPherson Strut with stabiliser bar and torsion beam combo. It also gets ventilated disc for the front wheels and drums for the rear. In terms of fuel economy, we reckon it should be similar to the 2019 model which we managed to squeeze 655.6km of mileage from its 40-litre petrol tank.
Proton Saga 2022 MC2 Pricing
Here are the official pricing for the Proton Saga 2022 MC2:
- Proton Saga 1.3L Standard Manual – RM34,400
- Proton Saga 1.3L Standard Automatic – RM38,300
- Proton Saga 1.3L Premium Automatic – RM41,300
- Proton Saga 1.3L Premium S Automatic – RM44,300
The above prices are On-The-Road excluding insurance for Peninsular Malaysia, inclusive with the sales tax exemption which is offered until 30th June 2022. There’s a RM2,000-RM3,000 price hike compared to the outgoing Saga inclusive with the SST exempted price. As a reference, the 2019 model starts from RM32,400 for the Standard Manual model excluding SST.
If you want to enjoy the new styling updates and features, you’ll have to go for the Premium S model which costs RM3,000 more than the Premium model. Otherwise, you’re pretty much getting the same car as before. Among the variants, the most notable improvement is probably the Standard Auto variant as it now comes with ESC and TSC as standard.
What do you think of the new Proton Saga 2022 MC2? Are the improvements enough to sway buyers from the Perodua Bezza? Let us know in the comments below.