In the previous posts, the upcoming 2016 Proton Saga and Persona sedans were visualized. These two cars were representing Proton in two different segments, A and B segment. However, they are having a very blur line between them in Malaysia. It is expected that, while trying to outrun Perodua upcoming sedan, they’ll fight each other, too.
One of the main factor Malaysian choose to buy a car is, not surprisingly, looks. So, let’s compare them both side by side, with both highest trim level, the SE and Premium.
As you can see, there is vast differences with both cars. Saga retains it’s traditional three-box design; the hood, cabin and boot are clearly distinguished. Persona however, moved into cab-forward, fluidic shape common in B-segment Japanese and Korean automakers today.
Somehow, it looks like Saga is the predecessor of the Persona, despite the same year model. Both have the same design language, upswept headlamps and side sweeping rear lights. However, the Saga will have two-piece rear lights in opposed to single piece design of the Persona.
Persona undoubtly sleeker with many character lines and round motives. Saga however will be better proportioned than it’s B-segment brother.
Expect the interior of the Persona to be mostly the same as Iriz, it’s donor car. And expect too, that the saga will retain much of it’s predecessor ergonomics (despite a new design) and equipment levels. Some buttons, switches and displays might as well donated from other models in the Proton line up like Preve, Suprima, Exora and Iriz, though.
The back space of the Saga will be improved, Persona might be a bit crampy. These will determine their boot size as well. Expect more usable space from Persona boot rather than Saga, as pneumatic spring might be used again in the new Persona rather that goose-neck hinge in Saga.
What will be the main buying factor between buying a Saga or a Persona is, their price bracket.
Currently, or previously, the Saga is sold from a very cheap region of RM33,000 to RM45,000 (the Saga SV manual is the cheapest car in South East Asia, if you haven’t heard of this fact before). The Persona is sold from RM43,000 to RM64,000. Expect the similar pricing bracket after they finally launch, thus, the models at least won’t eat into each other market.
An overlap of price will be expected as people will have to choose between a highly equipped A segment car or a basic B segment for the same price.
Expect to see that the equipment level to be very different from each other. Persona will be more upmarket with long equipment list that could be the same as Iriz. Could we expect 2-DIN head unit offered in the top of the line Saga this time?
Also, there will be no compromise on safety, if Proton are to be adamant to keep their NCAP rating. We can look forward for ISOFIX compatible seats, ABS, EBD, ESC, and airbags. Full 6 airbags for some of the variant (if not all) will almost surely be offered.
At the least, Saga might only end up with 4 airbags the most, however, stronger safety cell might be in order.
They’ll share the same engine, 1.3vvt and 1.6vvt found in Iriz, since Proton has yet to have smaller engine. Gearboxes could still be sourced from Punch wetclutch CVT and Getrag manual. Jatco torque converter CVT might not be a surprise since it had been considered and announced by Proton before.
What could be a surprise if the Saga is using a small 1.0 liter engine from Suzuki in light of Proton-Suzuki collaboration.
Time will pass and these two will be launched soon enough. In the meantime, tell us whaddayathink in the comment below.