2013 Proton Saga SV
2013 Proton Saga SV
Image by Aero7MY
Photographed in Cyberjaya, Malaysia
Colour : Fire Red
Assembly : Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
The last few cars in my collection are all somewhat rare spots in Malaysia, so here’s one of THE MOST common cars, the Proton Saga. The Saga nameplate is thus far the most successful and longest running for Proton, and indeed, among all of the Malaysian car marques. However, the Saga is no longer the best-selling car in its home country, a title it once held for two decades right up ’till the Perodua Myvi came about in 2005. The Saga has since played second fiddle to the arguably superior Toyota-based Myvi.
The Proton Saga SV was introduced in June 2013 as a new entry-level variant to the existing Saga FLX range. Instead of cutting equipment levels and whatnot to reduce prices, Proton actually did the exact opposite; they added an extra airbag, more reinforced bars and stronger bumpers among others, previously unavailable in the former entry-level Saga FLX variant. It was all done in an effort to raise the admittedly poor safety standards in the Saga FLX. The Prevé and Suprima S are full 5-star ASEAN NCAP rated, and the Saga SV scored 3 stars, more than the former entry-level Saga FLX model which only scored a single star. The most noticeable step downs in the Saga SV include the unpainted rear garnish / boot handle and chrome-less exhaust pipe. Almost everything else is left as is, unchanged from the former entry-level variant. The Saga SV can be easily differentiated from its siblings by means of the unpainted boot handle / rear garnish.
At launch, the Proton Saga SV was priced between RM 33,438 and RM 36,888, or about USD$ 10k / € 8k / £ 6.5k / AUD$ 11.5k / JPY¥ 1.2m. The Saga SV is the lowest priced new 4-door sedan in Malaysia, and the third lowest priced car all-round, after the Perodua Axia and Viva (the lowest). The Saga SV was a sales success for Proton at launch, but by the end of 2013, sales had slowed significantly.
I LIKE : The fact that Proton added extra safety features, and yet reduced pricing (they did the same with the Persona SV and updated 2014 Prevé). A morally justified move from Proton, seeing that the Saga FLX has aged and it’s only fair that prices are reduced.
I DISLIKE : That unpainted rear garnish / boot handle is just ugly…. I mean, surely it wouldn’t cost all that much to paint it ? It makes the otherwise decent looking Saga SV look cheap, and will no doubt turn off a lot of potential customers. The exhaust pipe is prone to rusting… which only adds to the cheapness.