At $25,990 and $27,990 (driveaway) for the GX and GXR models respectively, Proton is marketing its Exora people mover as Australia’s most affordable seven-seater.
This is backed by the only five year/75,000km free servicing offering and a five year/150,000km warranty.
The standard equipment is extensive, and on our GXR test vehicle includes leather trim, cruise control, airconditioning for all three rows, a roof-mounted DVD player, radio CD/MP3 player with bluetooth and USB port, steering-wheel-operated audio and phone controls, alloy wheels and rear fog light.
The safety inventory includes dual front and side airbags (front row), front seatbelt pre-tensioners, electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, speed-sensing door locks, reversing sensors and camera.
As a ‘drive’, however, Exora has some way to go to measure up to the best in class. Life’s a struggle for the 1.6-litre, turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed CVT that uses a belt rather than traditional gears to transmit power to the front wheels, even with just the driver on board or partly loaded.
And it’s unacceptably noisy to boot. The ride quality is okay, but the seats are hard and flat and need to be more accommodating, particularly the third row pair that also lack headrests.
Exora has a four-star safety rating, less than ideal for affordable family transport.