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.
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
Price: From $25,990