Proton Exora – Top alternatives

Proton Exora – Top alternatives

In a market where MPVs are quite a common sight, the Proton Exora has to be one of the more distinguishable ones. The Exora was Proton’s first go at building its very own compact MPV with seven seats. It used the versatile P2 architecture for its underpinnings and was launched for the first time back in 2009. Ten years on, the Proton Exora continues to soldier on without almost any drastic redesign. Of course, over its longstanding production run, the Malaysian automaker has had to perform a few facelifts and has kept improving upon its formula.

Proton Exora exterior

The 2019 Exora is sold in two trim levels: there’s the RM 59,800 Executive base option and the fully-equipped RM 66,800 Premium model. The Exora is equipped with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 138hp and 205Nm of torque, and cog-shifting chores are handled by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). For an affordable and compact MPV, the Proton Exora’s 0 to 100 kmph time of 11.3 seconds and a top speed of 185 kmph are nothing to scorn at. Meanwhile, the frugal drivetrain also impresses when it comes to fuel economy, managing up to 12.8 kmpl. However, what if you want to scout for other options? So, here are three such alternatives for the Proton Exora.

Alternative 1 – Perodua Alza

Perodua Alza

Wearing a price tag of between RM 51,490 to RM 62,690, the Perodua Alza is even more affordable than the Proton Exora. Despite that, you still get the advantage of having seven seats but in a more compact package. Also, in spite of being smaller than the Exora, the Perodua Alza actually fields a longer wheelbase - measuring 2,750mm instead of the Exora’s 2,730mm. This means the third-row passengers of the Alza don’t have to sacrifice much on knee room. However, the Perodua Alza loses points on build quality, fit & finish, overall styling and the features list is a bit lacking, too. Under the hood of the Alza is a 1.5-litre four-pot that produces 102hp and 136Nm of torque, and can be had with either a 5-speed manual (base trim only) or a 4-speed automatic. In terms of safety, this Perodua only scored four stars in the ASEAN NCAP, but does come with dual airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, and ISOFIX points as standard.

Alternative 2 – Proton Ertiga

Proton Ertiga exterior

If you aren’t too happy with the Perodua Alza’s styling and the Exora is a little too big, then the Proton Ertiga is an option worth considering. Priced from RM 56,773 to RM 62,278, the Ertiga is not only cheaper than its rivals, but its styling is also less awkward compared to a few cars in its segment. The Proton Ertiga is essentially a rebadged Suzuki of the same name, which means it’s basically a Japanese car and as such, should perform reliably for a long time. It, too, offers three rows of seats, but its last row isn’t nearly as good as the other two on this list so far. And while its interior may not blow you away with flamboyant styling or snazzy features, it’s still a decent space and nothing feels like an ergonomic disaster. The Ertiga is powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine that makes 91hp and 130Nm of torque, and all except the base variant come with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, its standard safety list features rear parking sensors, dual airbags, ABS with EBD, and ISOFIX anchor points.

Alternative 3 – Toyota Avanza

2019 Toyota Avanza

The Toyota Avanza was recently facelifted for the 2019MY, and with this, it has become even more popular than before. Oh, and of course, being a Toyota doesn’t hurt, either. On the flipside, this also means it’s more expensive than its true blue Malaysian rivals - starting from RM 80,888 for the entry-level E variant. The new Avanza’s design update has brought along a reworked front fascia, new alloy design for the wheels, and a slightly tweaked rear end. Toyota has worked on improving the interior as well, as it now gets an upgraded multimedia system, better NVH isolation, and more optional equipment across the range. However, the base trim of the Avanza still gets full-LED headlamps, front fog lamps, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, automatic climate control, and a two-DIN audio system with support for AUX, USB, Bluetooth and CD.

The 2019 Avanza’s standard safety catalogue encompasses two airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, second-row ISOFIX points, and rear parking sensors. The rear-wheel drive Avanza uses a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre four-banger that produces 103hp and 136Nm of torque, all being directed via a 4-speed auto ‘box. It’s definitely not too light on its feet, but can still hit 180 kmph should you push it hard enough. If not pushed hard, this compact MPV can return up to 13 kmpl. However, while its performance and fuel economy may not impress much, its reliability and strong resale value sure will.

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