In Brief: 2019 Proton Exora – it’s 10 years old, still worth your consideration?

Hans · Sep 9, 2019 09:26 PM

In Brief: 2019 Proton Exora – it’s 10 years old, still worth your consideration? 01



Proton Exora | Gallery

The Proton Exora was first launched in 2009, thus making it nearly a decade old now. Most manufacturers will keep their models for around five to seven years before replacing it with a new model.

To be fair, the similarly priced Perodua Alza is just as old as the Exora but unlike the Alza, the Exora has been given several significant improvements including a new turbocharged (but still port injection) engine, and more recently, a vastly improved infotainment system.

In Brief: 2019 Proton Exora – it’s 10 years old, still worth your consideration? 02

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How much is 2019 Proton Exora?

The updated 2019 Proton Exora has just two variants – Executive (RM 59,800) and Premium (RM 66,800). Both are powered by the same 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to a CVT-type automatic.

In Brief: 2019 Proton Exora – it’s 10 years old, still worth your consideration? 01

Our pick of the range is the Premium variant, simply because it comes with electronic stability control (ESC), which is now considered a basic feature. Even entry-level cars like the soon to be introduced new Axia will soon come equipped with it.

Pros and cons of 2019 Proton Exora?

The strongest selling point for the Exora is how much car you get for every Ringgit. Ultimately, no other competitor can match the Exora’s combination of space and low purchase price.

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Where other MPVs will only offer rear air-conditioning vents and blower for the second row (the Alza doesn’t even have it but its cabin is smaller so it’s not so critical), the Exora provides individual air-conditioning vents on either sides of the roof, for both second and third row passengers.

In Brief: 2019 Proton Exora – it’s 10 years old, still worth your consideration? 03

Its one-touch fold and tumble mechanism for the second-row seat is also the best in the segment, making it the easiest to climb inside the third row seats. All of the Exora’s rivals require your two hands to fold and tumble the middle row seats before squeezing into the third row.

It also has the biggest boot. Even with the third row seats up, you still have enough space for stroller or a small wheelchair.

In Brief: 2019 Proton Exora – it’s 10 years old, still worth your consideration? 04

Like all Protons, the Exora has above average ride and handling. It’s fairly composed at highway speeds and despite the taller ride height, doesn’t handle too differently from a sedan. It certainly drives better and is more comfortable than a Perodua Alza.

The downside to all these is its high fuel consumption. The Exora is very heavy, tipping the scales at over 200 kg more than a Honda BR-V. All these heft is moved by a 1.6-litre engine which although turbocharged, is not the same kind as those used by more current European and Japanese engines, which pair turbocharging with direct fuel injection instead of the Exora’s older port fuel injection.

In Brief: 2019 Proton Exora – it’s 10 years old, still worth your consideration? 05

Yes the Exora produces more power than a Honda BR-V or a Perodua Alza, but that’s only because it burns a lot more fuel, not because it’s more efficient. On the move, it doesn’t feel any faster, but adequate for what it is expected to do.

There’s also no ISOFIX but that’s not really a big deal. Remember that it is a myth that ISOFIX child seats are safer. No, ISOFIX only make the installation of child seats easier, at the cost of being a lot more expensive.

In reality, ISOFIX or not, installing a child seat is quite a hassle and from our experience, it’s better buy multiple seats rather than moving one very expensive ISOFIX-standard seat between cars. Remember that child seats have a limited life span and your child will outgrow it pretty soon.

Some buyers will still doubt Proton’s reliability and would rather trade-off the Exora’s horsepower and space for Honda/Perodua-level reliability and low running cost. While Geely is doing an excellent job of turning around Proton, the Exora is still a legacy product of Proton.

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If you can trust that the days of poorly built Protons are now history, the Exora is still a very worthy choice, even if it’s nearly 10 years old.

What are the Exora alternatives?

The C-segment Exora has no direct competitor within its price bracket. The closest rivals are the Honda BR-V (from RM 80,989) and Perodua Alza (from RM 54,290 for automatic) – both from lower B-segment, and are a lot smaller than the Exora.

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The Honda BR-V offers the best combination of price, comfort, practicality, proven reliability, and low fuel consumption.

It might only have two airbags but it comes with electronic stability control (VSA), thus giving it a sufficiently good, if not basic balance between active (accident prevention) and passive safety (injury lessening).

It’s also the most comfortable in its class, with a very passenger car-like handling and ride comfort.

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The Perodua Alza is just as cheap to buy as the Exora but it’s even cheaper to run. However it’s also a lot smaller. Its third row seats are very small, even for children. It’s more of a 5+2 seater rather than a seven-seater but for some buyers, this is what they need as not every MPV owner needs all seven seats all the time.

By trading off some interior space versus the Exora, the smaller Alza offers buyers easier parking/handing as well as lower fuel consumption.

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Another alternative is the SUV-like Perodua Aruz (from RM 72,900). The Aruz has more safety features – six airbags and autonomous emergency braking (ASA 2.0) on the highest specification variant – but its ride comfort and handling is quite poor.

It’s based on a Toyota Avanza, is bigger and heavier than an Alza, is noisy at highway speeds and fuel consumption is quite poor too.     

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Hans

Head of Content

Over 15 years of experience in automotive, from product planning, to market research, to print and digital media. Garages a 6-cylinder manual RWD but buses to work.

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