White Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE Test Drive Story in USM Penang

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, while I was designing a website for one of my customer, I suddenly received a call from one of my old friends to meet up. He had bought a new car recently.  Well, new in the sense that the car is less than a year old. So I consider the car is new. Guess what car it is? It is none other than the new and popular all time in Malaysia, Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE 🙂

White Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

White Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

We test drive the car after our casual chit chat at U-Soya Cafe, Sungai Dua, Penang.

The Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE exterior is refined, with original dark brown colour bodykit and 15′ 8 spoke alloy rims, which transforms the Saga from normal to sporty. Both headlamps and rear lamps are smoked to enhance the outlook of this sporty Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE.

Saga FLX 1.6 SE Panel Meter

Saga FLX 1.6 SE Panel Meter

The moment I started up the Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE engine, I can feel the racing spirit in the car as the engine roars in a similar way to a racing car engine. Do not expect Saga FLX 1.6 SE to give us a quiet cabin and peaceful driving environment as the car is not built in that way. The Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE is meant to give the driver a racing spirit.

Saga FLX 1.6 SE Interior Dashboard

Saga FLX 1.6 SE Interior Dashboard

The Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE interior still looks dull as with other Proton cars, except for the Proton Preve. However, the Saga FLX 1.6 SE does have luxury leather seats with red stitch lines that lifts the dull interior, making it appear more sporty.

The Saga FLX 1.6 SE comes with a 4-speaker audio system, equipped with AUX and USB slots. The audio player can be controlled from the steering too, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road all the time. The Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE comes with a few bottle holders and a few slots to put our accessories but there is no armrest for driver! Without the armrest, driving wasn’t much fun.

Saga FLX 1.6 SE Rear Seats

Saga FLX 1.6 SE Rear Seats

Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE comes with spacious leg room for rear seats too, capable of sitting 4 medium sized adults comfortably. The Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE is equipped with  electronic adjusters for the side mirrors but without the folding function. Again, another drawback from Proton. Even a Perodua Myvi 1.3 Standard has the side mirror folding function.

Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE Side Mirror adjustment Switch

Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE Side Mirror adjustment Switch

After exploring the interior of the car, I finally started to drive the Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE. The car moved effortlessly as soon as I stepped on the gas pedal. The gas pedal and the brake pedal are heavier compared to it’s closest rival,  Perodua Myvi. Even though it is heavier, the pedal gave me a precise control on the acceleration.

Acceleration was smooth, thanks to the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that gave smooth and jerk-less gear shifting. CVT transmission is being widely used in many high end vehicles such as Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla Altis due to infinity gear ratio and less power loss which gives the car better acceleration with less fuel wastage. Saga FLX 1.6 SE is equipped with CVT that gives us 2 modes for driving, normal Drive mode and (Stepped Auto)SAT mode. I tested both modes.

Normal ‘Drive’ mode gave me a smooth gear changing experience and I am satisfied with it. SAT mode on the other hand, gives us 5-speed automatic transmission and more powerful acceleration. SAT mode mimics a 5-speed automatic transmission which delays the gear changing time, thus gives the car high revving RPM before change to the next gear.

D Mode and SAT Mode in Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

D Mode and SAT Mode in Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

I managed to push the car to the max by flooring the gas pedal with Drive mode and SAT mode. SAT mode gives me the better acceleration but with jerking gear feeling as we can feel very clearly the gear changing.

The power of the engine, a CamPro IAFM, 4 Cylinder, DOHC 16V that offers 108 Hp @ 5750RPM and 150Nm@ 4000RPM gave me an impressive acceleration experience. We started to feel the pick up better once the RPM hit above 4000RPM. Unlike Vios which gives an impulse acceleration at the beginning of 1000RPM to 3000RPM then the car loses it’s torque.

At above 4000RPM, the Saga FLX 1.6 SE’s CamPro engine was roaring but at acceptable noise level. The engine noise doesn’t sound harsh. Instead, it sounded like a turbo car’s engine 🙂

Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE Dashboard

Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE Dashboard

Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE gives a very firm and solid steering feeling. The steering is heavier compared to Perodua Myvi and Toyota Vios but we can sense the stability and feel confident when driving at high speed. My friend told me that the car doesn’t handle very well at sharp corners at fast speeds. I didn’t get to try that out because there are no sharp and fast corners around that area where I was trying out the car. I proceeded to drive the car into USM compound to test out the suspension and slow corner turn 😛

Side View of Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

Side View of Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

The MacPherson Strut with stabilizer bar on Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE was rigid as Perodua Myvi 1.3 Standard, the car feels bumpy when I drove over bumps.  Turning the car at corner didn’t create much body roll to the car and the car is still on to the road confidently. Thanks to Proton Ride & Handling feature, handling of Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE is great and gives us confidence.

Rear View of Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

Rear View of Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE

Overall, the Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE is great in performance, equipped with solid handling and a refined sporty appearance. The car price at RM49,000. If you are looking for a vehicle that is value for money, then this is the right car!

Moreover, the car is equipped with CVT transmission similar to what only luxury cars come with! The only drawback of this car is the dull interior, and the SAT mode which does not have sequential shifting.

Love our test drive story?  Please help to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ out the story to your friends!

Kelvin Ang

Kelvin Ang helped his dad to repair his family car together during his younger day, and he has grew up to be an automotive enthusiast ever since then. He also loves to drive his beloved family members and friends to every outing. Seeing them smiling throughout the journey in the car is priceless moment for him.

13 thoughts on “Proton Saga FLX 1.6 SE Test Drive Story in USM Penang”

  1. Mohd Rasydan says:

    ok ..

  2. Mohd Rasydan Thank you, bro

  3. Mohd Rasydan says:

    … ok

  4. Kelvin Ang says:

    Thank you Rasydan! Do help to share this story to your friends too 🙂

  5. Mohd Rasydan says:

    awesome

  6. Antoine Eiser says:

    The latest Toyota Corolla was given the charge of taking on Volkswagen and to help its cause it was given a new European look. This look was further refined in 2004, not that it wasn’t dependable. The facelift was done to make it an exciting car and give it a badge appeal. The best Toyota Corolla diesel engine is the T Sport Compressor which has 215bhp to 190bhp. This makes the Corolla a smooth performer along with good handling and a brilliant exhaust note. Usually the most common engines are the economical 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol engines. Toyota Corolla has safe and predictable handling with precise steering and quite an efficient gearchange.;

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  7. mat says:

    and flx se equip with ps3 handling is much much better in handling department compare to my old waja campro equip with yokoham a drive n yokohama cdrive. The only drawback is the comfort due to lower profile tyre compare to waja 50 versus 55, and due to torsion beam versus multilink. But its not that jaring anyway.

    However, if feel bumpy, check the tyre pressure coz 15 inch flx se has a unique tyre pressure compare to any other 15 inch proton made car due to its stiffen abs n spring plus lower profile.

    I love it very much compare to waja campro, only wish that it can come with atleast 4 airbags n esp. But with the price tag n all the equipments, no need to complaint.

    1. Kelvin says:

      Hi Mat,
      Good point, the reason behind it feel bumpy is due to the low profile tyre of the FLX 1.6 SE.
      Hope to hear from you again around this site 🙂

  8. mat says:

    hi kelvin, the real culprit when taking corners at high speed with flx se is the tyre coz i owned one. The standard tyre is silverstone m5 which is ok for normal drive, but not for spirited driving. They choose the tyre due to cost factor. I already soup up my tyre by changing it to michelin ps3, it indeed become a different beast during tackling corners. Goodyear eagle f1 directional also a good investment coz used it before. Evemthough micheline is quite expansive around 250 +- pertyre, but it is better than change to bigger rims but using budget tyre. Well spend. If want a lower price, maybe kumho@hankook can be another choice. Avoid silverstone at all cost. Goodyear assurance max is a better choice than any silverstone.

    1. Kelvin says:

      Hi Mat,
      Thanks for your detailed feedback 🙂
      Indeed Michelin tyres are really awesome, I am using XM2 which offered me superior grip, not the mention about PS3.

  9. Hakim says:

    Hi Kelvin, nice review, but the car spec you put inside the article is not right, 94hp@6000rpm and 120Nm@4000rpm is for 1.3 version, thank you.

    1. kelvin says:

      Hi Hakim,
      Thank you for correcting me! I was referring to a wrong figure. Do visit here often for more update 🙂

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