(File pix) Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Darell Leiking (third from right) launching the 2019 Proton Saga. Pix by NSTP/Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

THE 2019 Saga was unveiled earlier this week at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC).

The new Proton Saga is available in three variants, namely Standard MT, which is priced at RM32,800, as well as Standard AT and Premium AT, which are priced at RM35,800 and RM39,800, respectively.

The new A-segment car boasts a new styling package, new gearbox and an intelligent infotainment system.

Generally, the new Saga looks pretty much similar to the outgoing car with small touches here and there to maintain Proton’s new family identity.

There are now Geely-influenced touches like the Infinite Weave element on its grill, as with the X70, Persona and Iriz.

(File pix) The Saga now comes with a new four-speed automatic transmission. Pix by NSTP/Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

The Saga now features sportier front and rear bumpers. There are new daytime running lights (DRL) and the badge on the bootlid is now replaced by Proton letterings above the registration plate.

The Premium variant gets a unique set of 15-inch alloy wheels.

The most prominent addition inside is the floating-type 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, 16GB internal storage and Android smartphones connectivity.

Elsewhere, there’s new upholstery for the seats, new centre panel, redesigned instrument cluster, Eco driving assist and three USB slots.

New convenient features include a remote boot opener, sunshades with card holder and mirror, LED vanity lights and new grip handles.

The biggest and most important change to the mechanicals of the car is the new four-speed automatic transmission which replaces the continuous variable transmission (CVT).

(File pix) The Saga is now equipped with a remote boot opener. Pix by NSTP/Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

Additionally, there are other aspects which have undergone some tweaks by the engineers. These include the braking performance, NVH (noise, vibrations and harshness) levels and handling.

As for the powerplant, the new Proton Saga retains the outgoing 1.3-litre four-cylinder VVT engine that makes 94hp and 120Nm of torque.

Standard safety features include anti-lock braking system, electronic braking distribution, brake assist, frontal airbags, reverse sensors and ISOFIX.

However, the Premium variant comes with an additional kit comprising hill-descent control, front sensors, reverse camera, electronic stability control and traction control system.

This makes the new Proton Saga the only car below RM40,000 to be fitted with electronic stability control and traction control system.

For further value, Proton offers the new Saga with three Extra Value packages; namely service package, interest package and insurance package.

Five colours are available for the new Saga — Snow White, Armour Silver, Jet Grey, Rosewood Maroon and Ruby Red.