2015 Proton Exora GXR Review

2015 Proton Exora GXR Review.
2015 Proton Exora GXR Review.

Simon Lai road tests and reviews the 2015 Proton Exora GXR.

I hopped into a Proton for Behind the Wheel for the first time, starting with their people mover the 2015 Proton Exora GXR.

The Exora has a name like the similar sounding Evora by Lotus but apart from their designation they couldn’t be more different.

There aren’t many other vehicles in this category and price range with only a handful of options available for under $30,000.

Aside from the Proton Exora, there is the Mahindra XUV500, SsangYong Stavic (both of which I must admit I had to look up) and the Kia Rondo which all price in from $29,990.

But the Exora is by far the cheapest option for a seven-seater starting at $25,990 for the base model GX and $27,990 for the GXR I road tested.

Proton’s offering is externally appealing though slightly dated  having evolved from the Mitsubishi Grandis design.

On the road, acceleration off the mark is listless  but once it gets up to speed it’s actually quite lively – thanks to a turbocharger – but bear in mind this was in an empty vehicle with no passengers.

You can’t expect too much of the 1.6L engine that deals an output of 103kW and 205Nm however fuel economy came out at a respectable 10.2L/100km.

The power steering is partially absent with the steering quite heavy which seems to get even tighter towards full rotation.

Steering wheel controls are simple catering only for audio, phone and cruise control and the LCD driver info screen is also limited and difficult to access options with the use of a single button.

The sound system is a basic head unit with no USB but does possess phone capabilities and has Bluetooth which was easy to connect.

The centre console highlights are a standout in the otherwise average dash as well as the angled gear stick which along with the arm rests provides an ergonomic place to rest your arm.

Legroom is excellent throughout but the seats, though leather, are mildly padded and the brown perforated upholstery and door trims are like something out of the 80s.

The Exora has good all round visibility with sizeable wing mirrors, a large rear windscreen and a large rear view mirror which also displays the reversing camera.

There are storage spaces beside every passenger and an extra hutch above the glove box plus a rotatable hook to hang bags.

Boot space is minimal but the back row folds down completely flat for more room and a cargo net is included.

Believe it or not the GXR has a standalone DVD player to keep passengers entertained which means it isn’t hooked up to the main stereo but you can sync frequencies through an FM transmitter function for audio through the cabin or just connect wired/wireless headphones.

It doesn’t have the full array of air-bags and so has a four star ANCAP Safety rating but you do get Proton’s five year free capped price servicing and five year warranty.

Overall, the Proton Exora GXR may not the most well-equipped or have the best performance on the market but it’s good to know there is an option out there for those who need to carry a lot of people and are on a tight budget.

NUTS and BOLTS  – 2015 Proton Exora GXR

Engine: 1.6 litre petrol producing 103kW and 205Nm

Transmission: CVT automatic

Warranty: 5 years/150,000km

Safety: Four Stars

Origin: Malaysia

Price: From $25,990




1 Comment

  1. I leased an Exora GXR for a year thru a third party leasing company. It was perfect – for what I wanted. Which was plenty of room, good handling, and cheap to feed. And a low lease rate. Can’t complain about the vehicle at all. We rarely used the back row, grand-kids only – and they liked it – especially the DVD player! So mostly however, that row was folded down, flat, which gives an incredible amount of load space. I’m not sure how much but 6-700 cubic litres would be my guess. Good enough for almost any shopping trips. Then fold down the second row – almost flat – and I’d estimate total load capacity at about 2000 litres. It hauled plenty of furniture.
    Not sure how many k’s your test vehicle had, but I think Proton builds their motors on the tight side. They tend to loosen up of the first 5000 k’s (as another writer noted on a Proton review on this site). Exactly right. Substantial difference in performance and fuel economy after it loosens up. I averaged exactly 9l/100km in urban driving. And this would drop down to 7.5-7.7l/100km during country trips with a moderate load and 110kmph comfortable cruise rate. Also, of note – while a bit slow off the line. It is punchy at overtaking in the country – good idea to turn off the A/C first for that bit extra. It is quite surprising. Which brings me to another point. The handling is superb for a vehicle this size, and price. It drives as well as smallish hatches, say Corolla, i30 etc. Far better than you’d expect. My only grumble with this car was the noise level. This was mostly a combination of engine and turbo noise, with a touch of wind noise at higher speeds. The turbo noise can be minimized by backing off the throttle and settling into a cruise speed. The cruise control helped with that on country drives. As far as build quality goes, I only had one minor issue – with the driver door sticking and sometimes hard to open. That was sorted by the dealer. They took it apart and lubricated it – all good. Nothing broke, nothing fell off, nothing failed. This Exora was essentially the perfect family vehicle from my point of view. Spacious, comfortable, loads of cargo, and great to drive. My rating – 4.5 stars. No I am not joking, it did what I wanted very well, a comfortable and fine trouble-free drive.
    I think most people who buy one will love it. And if they don’t. maybe they should think about the price! Then think what a similar car from a major producer would cost them. I’m thinking to buy another Exora – not lease one. I miss it.

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