I would hate to be trying to raise a family these days. The cost of living is rising at an incredible rate while income levels are not keeping up with those costs that families simply cannot avoid.
The cost of transporting a family is one of those unavoidable costs … if you have more than two kids then finding an affordable vehicle that will fit them all in is a real challenge but now Proton’s new people mover … the Proton Exora … delivers an affordable people mover back within the reach of many families.
Of course there are going to be some people that remember the low safety ratings of some early Proton offerings but those days have gone and the Proton Exora comes with a four-star ANCAP safety rating.
A look at the safety features on the Exora shows that this is a vehicle worth considering if you have a family to move but there’s no doubt that there’s still room for improvement in the safety department.
The Proton Exora is a five-door, 7 seater with a stylish body and a flexible interior that comes in two variants. The entry level model is the GX with a drive-away price starting at $25,990 and for an extra $2,000 you can drive away in the top of the range GXR … although the extras that boost the price of the GXR may be features that most families will pass on.
Both variants are powered by the same turbo-charged 1.6-litre DOHC 16-valve engine that produces 103kW of power at 5,000rpm and 205Nm of torque between 2000rpm and 4000rpm. The engine is coupled to a six-speed CVT auto box … a manual transmission is not available in either variant.
This engine/transmission combination returns 8.2L/100km on a combined cycle and that sounds quite reasonable but most people movers spend their time doing short trips around the ‘burbs so the average fuel consumption for most owners will be higher.
The fuel tank holds 55 litres and the engine is tuned to run on standard unleaded petrol.
Proton makes much of the fact that they now own Lotus and Lotus suspension specialist have had a lot of input into the design of the chassis on the Proton Exora. The front suspension includes McPherson struts and coil springs with gas dampers and a stabiliser bar while the rear suspension features a torsion beam.
At the front the Proton Exora features large triangular headlights and a contoured front bumper while at the rear the large tailgate ensures that there’s easy access if you have large items you want to squeeze in.
Seating in the Proton Exora is what has become almost standard for small people movers … two-three-two with 50/50 split-fold on the rear seats and 60/40 on the middle row. When in the upright position the backrests on the rear seat are fixed while the backrests are adjustable on the second row.
Upholstery in the GX is cloth while the GXR gets leather trimmed upholstery.
The middle row of seats can be moved forward to allow easy access to the rear seats and Proton says that, unlike some other smaller people movers, the Exora offers good leg room for rear seat passengers.
Both the second and third row seats fold flat to increase the luggage space.
As you would expect, air conditioning is standard across the Proton Exora range and there are a total of eight vents throughout the cabin. Also standard across the range is a roof-mounted DVD player that takes an SD card or USB stick.
Only those who have tried to keep a large family entertained on a long trip will appreciate the importance of that DVD player.
Other features that are standard across the range include height adjustable steering wheel with audio and mobile controls, multiple storage areas including two big glove boxes, non-glare material on the top of the dash and a recessed fold-away hook that can be used for tethering bags.
Standard safety features across the Proton Exora range include:
- Electronic stability control
- Traction control
- ABS with EBD
- Seat belt pre tensioners (front)
- Speed sensing door locks
- Dual front and dual side (front) airbags
- Remote keyless entry and central locking
- Alarm system and immobilizer
- Rear fog light
- Turn indicators on side mirrors
- Collapsible steering column
- Rear parking sensors
Additional safety features on the Proton Exora GXR include:
- Rear view camera
- Daytime running lights
- Folding side mirrors
- Cruise control
The bottom line
We’ve already looked at the price that is sure to make the Proton Exora attractive to families but that’s not where the value stops. Buyers also get five years or 75,000km free servicing … five years or 150,000km free roadside assist … and five years or 150,000km warranty.