Here it is, the 2022 Proton Saga MC2 facelift. You’ve seen the spyshots and teasers; now here’s the ‘minor change’ of Proton’s A-segment sedan in full, officially launched this morning. As you can see, the changes aren’t major. This update focuses on equipment to keep the Saga competitive against its chief domestic rival, the Perodua Bezza, plus minor aesthetic details in and out, which we will detail here.
No changes mechanically – the Saga continues with the familiar 1.3 litre four-cylinder NA engine with 95 PS at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The DOHC VVT unit is paired to a five-speed manual gearbox in the base Standard MT or a Hyundai-sourced four-speed auto in the other variants. This 4AT replaced the previous CVT in the August 2019 facelift. Since then, Proton sold 123,512 units of the sedan.
By the way, the Standard MT is now the only manual variant in the entire Proton range after the 2022 Iriz/Persona facelift went full auto. Speaking of variants, the 2022 Saga range starts from the Standard MT and Standard AT, before jumping to the Premium (no Executive in the middle). New for 2022 is the range-topping Premium S, which exclusively gets many of the new features you’ll read about here.
The Saga range now starts from RM34,400 for the Standard MT, and it’s RM38,300 for the Standard AT. The Premium AT is yours for RM41,300, while the Premium S tops out the range at RM44,300. Prices are on-the-road excluding insurance, with sales tax exemption, valid till June 30.
If you’re keeping count, these Saga prices are a fair bit higher than before, by RM2,000 (Standard MT), RM3,000 (Standard AT) and RM2,000 (Premium), respectively. By the way, P2’s Bezza starts lower than the Saga MT (RM33,456 for the 1.0 G MT) and tops out higher than the Saga Premium S (RM48,356 for the 1.3 AV AT), but the base Bezza is a 1.0L car and the top one has the ASA safety pack.
New exterior details
The changes are minimal, and the Saga continues with the same bumpers and lights at both ends, which means that there’s no upgrade to LED headlamps from halogens. There’s a small change to the grille – Proton’s new round logo is present, after the ‘uncaged’ tiger appeared on the Iriz/Persona. The ‘Infinite Weave’ pattern remains, but there’s an indent on the ‘Ethereal Bow’ strip below where it cradles the logo – the previous strip was a straight line.
The strip is in red only on the Premium S though; it remains as silver on the Standard and Premium. The Premium S (for Sport, we presume) is also the only one to get side skirts and front bumper skirts. The latter consists of two pieces of add-ons at the corners of the front bumpers, as opposed to a full width piece. Together with the side skirts, it gives the Saga slightly lowered look.
However, the rear bumper has been left alone and there are no side add-ons at the back, so it’s not quite a full bodykit. The neat bootlid spoiler has been on every variant of the 2019 Saga, and so is the case here.
Only the Premium S gets a black number plate garnish for the Proton script to sit on; it’s body coloured for the rest. Speaking of black paint, the wing mirrors are now in that instead of body colour. On the Standard, the mirror caps and door handles are also in black, but that’s because they’re unpainted plastic.
Lastly, rims. The 2022 Saga gets a striking set of 15-inch alloys. The two-tone wheel design has many spokes, but only four are picked out in bright silver for a “four-spoke look”. This look is reserved for the Premium S – the Premium actually has the same wheel, but it looks a lot more “regular” in single-tone. The Standard AT carries over the same 14-inch alloys while the Standard MT gets steel wheels with caps.
Both wheel sizes come with Atlas AS380 tyres – 175/65 for the 14″ and 185/55 for the 15″. Atlas is a brand of China’s Linglong Tire. Proton says that the new tyres reduce road noise and increase grip, while damping rates have been revised for better ride comfort and handling.
The interior changes might be more meaningful. Proton has given the Saga’s centre console another redesign. Compared to the outgoing version, the phone slot below the central AC vents are gone, replaced by a much larger cubby next to the 12V socket and USB port. This layout should be better for phone charging – at present, the wire needs to “climb a few floors” and a charging phone that juts out high in the console is unsightly.
The better utilisation of space continues at the cupholder area, which now gets an extra storage pad. Also new is the air con control panel, which has two Iriz/Persona-style knobs and two buttons in the middle. Unlike the B-segment duo, there’s no display or piano-style keys here (no air flow adjustment too), but it looks much better than the previous three-knob layout.
Interestingly, only the Premium S gets a new infotainment system. Still with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, it gets a new OS with new graphics, a slightly different home screen, a Proton logo home button and Perodua-style ‘please check your belongings’ reminder screen when you turn off the car. For smartphone integration, it supports Android and iOS. Note that the connection is via screen mirroring and not Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
The Premium’s touchscreen system is carried over, with only Android connectivity. Both are hooked up to four speakers (two speakers for Standard’s screenless head unit), but only the Premium S screen bezel is in black (silver for Premium). Elsewhere, the steering wheel gets a new airbag boss with the new Proton logo.
Red bits for the new Premium S
You won’t mistake the Premium S interior for any other Saga variant’s, thanks to the prominent red highlights on the AC vent frames (side and central, including directional tabs) and meter rings. The tiny button borders on the AC control panel and steering buttons are also in red.
Coloured meter rings aren’t a new idea for the Saga – the Anniversary Edition from 2020 had yellow rings plus yellow highlights on the air con vents and centre stack, but the MC2 goes further with its red. Exclusive to the Premium S is leatherette wrap on the steering and semi-leatherette seats – the stitching on these are red, as are the piping for the floor mats.
All the red dash bits are silver in the Premium and unpainted (black) in the Standard. The full-fabric seat covers for both these variants are carried over – they’re monotone, but the Premium gets a subtle quilted pattern.
Saga owners can finally get a taste of keyless entry with push start, but that’s only available on the Premium S. The start-stop button is on the lower right of the steering wheel, next to where the keyhole is on the Standard/Premium.
The range-topper is also the only 2022 Saga to have an auto-down driver’s power window and auto-folding wing mirrors (electronic adjustment is standard). It’s not mentioned in the spec sheet, but the Premium S gets an exterior boot release button. As for the other variants, one can open the boot from the inside of the car, or via the key fob.
Let’s run through the spec sheet. The Standard gets electric side mirrors, the above-mentioned boot release button on the remote, tilt-adjustable steering, Eco drive assist, power windows, driver’s seat height adjuster (knob), fold down rear seats, AC with N95 cabin filter, a 12V power socket, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. The MT gets only one front USB port, but the AT has three (one front, two rear).
The Premium will be where it starts for some, as it adds on LED daytime running lights, 15-inch alloys, a luggage lamp, the mentioned carryover 7.0-inch touchscreen with reverse camera, steering buttons and front parking sensors.
Going for the top Premium S gets you all the new features detailed above plus a full-black cabin. It’s all dark, from the seats to the headlining (including the map lamp housing and grab handles), but it is as if Proton forgot to black out the B pillars and seatbelt heads, which are in light grey (front and rear pillars are black).
In the safety department, two airbags plus ABS/EBD/BA and rear seat Isofix child seat mounts are standard across the board. Electronic stability control (ESC) and hill hold assist – previously exclusive to the Premium – are now standard from the Standard AT onwards. As mentioned, reverse camera and front parking sensors start from the Premium. Autonomous emergency braking is not available.
To sum it up, the 2022 Proton Saga MC2 is pretty much the same car as before, save for a new logo and a rearranged centre console. ESC has been brought down to the Standard AT level, while the Premium is largely unchanged (no more two-tone wheels). All the headlining new equipment are reserved for the new Premium S, which gets the flashy wheels, semi-bodykit, all-black interior with red accents, keyless entry/push start and updated infotainment, among other things. Boot popper and auto-fold wing mirrors too.
No change in available colours, which are Snow White, Armoured Silver, Jet Grey, Rosewood Maroon (purple) and Ruby Red. The Standard can be had in all colours except for Ruby Red, the Premium is available in all five colours, while Premium S buyers can only choose from silver, grey and red.
The 2022 Saga range starts from RM34,400 for the Standard MT and RM38,300 for the Standard AT. The Premium is priced at RM41,300 while the new Premium S with all the bells and whistles is yours for RM44,300. All are OTR without insurance, with SST exemption. Walk-around video, specs and galleries of all three grades below.
2022 Proton Saga Standard MT – RM34,400
Gets as standard:
- 1.3 litre VVT DOHC engine
- 1,332 cc naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol
- 95 PS at 5,750 rpm, 120 Nm at 4,000 rpm
- Five-speed manual transmission
- Ventilated brake discs (front), drums (rear)
- Halogen reflector headlights
- 14-inch steel wheels with 175/65-section tyres
- Power-adjustable door mirrors with manual fold
- Wing mirror turn signals
- Bee sting antenna
- Remote trunk release
- New centre console, new AC control panel
- Urethane steering wheel, tilt adjustable
- LCD multi-info display
- ECO drive assist light
- Power windows
- Black fabric seats with manual adjustment
- Folding rear bench
- Manual air-con with N95 cabin filter
- Radio with Bluetooth connectivity
- Two speakers
- One front USB port
- One 12V power socket
- Dual airbags
- ABS with EBD and brake assist
- Rear ISOFIX child seat anchors
- Rear parking sensors
2022 Proton Saga Standard AT – RM38,300
- Four-speed automatic transmission
- 14-inch alloy wheels with 175/65-section tyres
- Electronic stability control
- Traction control
- Hill hold assist
2022 Proton Saga Premium – RM41,300
- LED daytime running lights
- 15-inch alloy wheels with 185/55-section tyres
- Black B-pillar trim
- Black-painted wing mirror caps
- Body-colour door handles
- Multifunction urethane steering wheel
- Fabric seat upholstery with quilted pattern
- 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android phone connectivity
- Four speakers
- Boot lamp
- Front parking sensors
- Reverse camera
2022 Proton Saga Premium S – RM44,300
- 15-inch two-tone alloy wheels with 185/55-section tyres
- Front bumper skirts
- Side skirts
- Red ‘Ethereal Bow’ strip on grille
- Black rear number plate garnish
- Auto-fold wing mirrors
- Keyless entry with boot release button
- Leatherette steering wheel with red stitching
- Leatherette-fabric seats
- Push start button
- Driver’s side auto down power window
- Red meter rings, AC vent borders, steering/AC button trim
- Black headlining and pillars
- New 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android/iOS phone connectivity
GALLERY: 2022 Proton Saga Premium S
GALLERY: 2022 Proton Saga Premium
GALLERY: 2022 Proton Saga Standard AT