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Proton Exora GXR 2014 review

EXPERT RATING
6
Proton Exora, priced from $25,990, drive away, is quite simply the most affordable seven-seater in Australia.

Proton Exora, priced from $25,990, drive away, is quite simply the most affordable seven-seater in Australia. The Malaysian-made compact people mover also carries a large carrot in the form of free servicing for the first five years or 75,000 kilometres.

And there is no skimping on equipment, with reverse parking alarm, DVD for rear-seat residents, stylish twin five-spoke alloy wheels and a full-size spare on the base model GX. The up-specced Proton GXR test vehicle also added reversing camera, cruise control, daytime running lights, roof-mounted rear spoiler and leather seat upholstery, all for an extra $2000.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

The engine is an uprated version of the 1.6-litre non-turbo unit found in the Proton Preve GX, with shortened stroke and to give it the lower compression ratio needed by a charged engine. The 103 kW of peak power may seem a little lacking for a seven-seater wagon but performance is adequate thanks to 205 Nm of torque popping up at 2000 rpm connected to an efficient continuously variable transmission.

Engineers from British sports car company Lotus, which is owned by Proton, have produced a relatively firm suspension and taught steering. It's certainly not sporting but works well enough and the dynamics are better than you would expect in a bargain priced people mover.

Expect to use eight to nine litres per 100 kilometres in a mix of day-to-day city commuting and open-road running. Brakes are discs all round, ventilated at the front.

SAFETY

Electronic stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes and speed activated door locks, plus four airbags earn the Exora a four-star ANCAP safety rating, while there is a lot of high tensile steel in use giving the body strength and rigidity.

DRIVING

The Exora, at almost 1700 mm, stands tall, a dimension only accentuated by pinched width (1809 mm). The front has all the grilles and air intakes found on vehicles these days, the bonnet sloping up to a sharply raked windscreen.

The roof rises and falls towards a vertical tailgate topped off by a skinny spoiler on the GXR only. The 16-inch alloy wheels are shod with well-rated rubber. However, the tyres can be noisy on some coarser road surfaces.

Inside, it's cheap digs as opposed to luxury hotel, with a hotchpotch of plastic and metallic finishes, lifted to a certain extent in the Proton GXR by leather upholstery. The seats are flat and unsupportive but allow for versatile cargo carrying thanks to multi-adjustment – the second row split is 60:40, the third row 50:50. Headroom is generous, shoulder space is not.

The third row of seats is strictly children-only, made very attractive to the little-uns by the roof-mounted DVD player. With the seats in use there's little room left for luggage behind and load access can be a gamble with a tailgate that fails to lift above reasonable head height. Ouch! Though if you're smart you only do that once...

VERDICT

Turn a blind eye to some ordinary fixtures and fittings and the Proton Exora is fine for those who want carrying capacity without breaking the family budget.

Pricing Guides

$12,870
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$10,120
Highest Price
$15,620

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GX 1.6L, PULP, CVT AUTO $10,120 – 13,860 2014 Proton Exora 2014 GX Pricing and Specs
GXR 1.6L, PULP, CVT AUTO $11,660 – 15,620 2014 Proton Exora 2014 GXR Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Pricing Guide

$11,660

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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