If you're looking for a 7-seater family MPV, you could do much better than the aging Proton Exora. Really, in the 11 years that it's been on sale, things never really changed much - it's always had passé looks, dated features and a thirsty, tired powertrain.
Possibly the only good thing about the Exora is how about much space you get for the price - 7-seats starting at RM 59,800? Where else can you find that? But that's about it, and Proton desperately needs a new MPV to be competitive in this segment again.
Enter the 2021 Geely Jiaji, touted to be the upcoming Proton V70. In this article, we'll take a look at how it compares to the Exora - long story short, it's rather stellar.
Before we go through the visuals, let's take a look at their dimensions:
|Geely Jiaji (Proton V70) vs Proton Exora|
|Dimensions||Geely Jiaji||Proton Exora|
Whichever way it's cut, the Jiaji is bigger than the Exora. Theoratically, this lends to a more spacious interior - the longer wheelbase commonly translates as more legroom.
Exterior - is it even a contest?
The Jiaji is more befitting of the 2021 prefix. The Jiaji looks shaper - almost sedan-like actually - from the front thanks to its sleek 'shooting star' LED head lamps and uncluttered front fascia.
And it looks miles more delicate than the Exora.
When we wrote about the 2021 Geely Preface and the X50, quite a number of you praised the layered LED tail lights. You're not wrong - they look splendid and we're glad they're on the Jiaji.
Some of you may think 'no way these'll make it here, sure tone down, etc.', recall that the X50 and X70 kept most - if not all - styling cues of their Geely Binyue and Geely Boyue base cars, respectively.
Interior - way more upmarket
Good stuff aplenty inside as well. It's upmarket for sure and we like the cabin because it's well thought out - common controls are easy to reach and key touchpoints are finished in nice materials.
Big screens help a lot in cleaning the interior up too. There's a floating 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display and the driver gets a 7-inch digital instrument cluster.
Seating wise, the Jiaji offers space for six or seven (depending on configuration). Again, plush materials make it a nice place to be in, and there's second-row captain seats too, à la Toyota Innova.
The Jiaji also gets a long list of equipment, including a Qi wireless charging pad, heated and ventilated front seats, 7 USB ports, 360-degree monitor, Eco and Sport drive mode selector, panoramic moon roof, a built-in DVR (dashcam), and Park Assist.
Powertrain - mild-hybrid could be a game-changer here
In the Chinese market, the Geely Jiaji is available with a list of engines, including a 1.5-litre mild-hybrid (MHEV) turbo petrol engine (three-cylinder) making 190 PS and 300 Nm, channeled to the front wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT).
Price - all important question
In China, the Jiaji's prices range from CNY 94,800 (~RM 59k) to CNY 159,800 (~ RM 99k). These prices are very close to the Boyue - our X70 - which ranges from CNY 88,800 (~RM 55k) to CNY 119,800 (~ RM 74k).
Of course these prices will be vastly different in Malaysia but it sure is nice to think about. All we know is - we'd love to finally see Proton's MPV game stepping up to a whole new level.