"Three months and all's well for our long-term Jumbuck"
The Jumbuck has virtually become the CarAdvice mascot since joining us in late May with just about everyone in the Melbourne office having rotated through the car for a few weeks each.
Despite the almost universally preconceived notion that each of us has had before getting behind the wheel of Australia's cheapest ute that their stint would be an experience akin to dental surgery, after just a few days ever one of us has returned a few remarks about just how surprised we've each been by the half-tonner's capabilities.
Although duties have eased up for the Jumbuck since we last touched base with you, with the tray being given a wee rest, the little lugger has still been put to use in commuting both inner-city errands as well as the occasional Melbourne-Geelong, Melbourne-Mornington and Melbourne-Ballarat runs home for various staff.
Pleasingly the Jumbuck is equally capable in stop-start traffic as it is on the open road with its well weighted clutch and light five-speed gearbox not in the least bit tiresome to use.
In fact the only downside so far has been the length of the cab making it hard to recline the seat for taller passengers on longer trips when it came time to grabbing a bit of shut eye.
The cabin otherwise is holding up very well some 5000 kilometres on and despite Jumbuck's stiff ride, thanks primarily to the leaf sprung rear, has remained relatively rattle free with the small jiggle from under the dash mentioned in a previous update the only issue of which to speak.
Personally I'm still not a fan of the orange-on-orange instrumentation and find the needle of the speedometer hard to distinguish at a glance when back lit at night, and when it comes to night driving, we also have the slight issue of incorrect headlamp aim.
Come to that the foglamps, as found only on the GLSi model, are also rather pointless as they're only able to be activated while the headlamps are on, which makes their functionality as fog lights null and void.
Under the bonnet Proton's 1.5-litre engine has freed up nicely, and now that it's run in, is producing some tidy revs from which to make the most of the humble figures on offer.
With Proton's recent announcement that the Jumbuck is to be retired after almost seven years on the Australian market it won't be long before our long-term car is due to be returned, but rest assured we will have another update before that comes about.
The upside to this situation however is that should you be interested in a half-tonner right now, I could almost put money on the fact you'd get a pretty sweet deal on a Jumbuck were you prepared to haggle.
Proton Jumbuck starts at $14,990 drive-away (vehicle tested $16,990). To find your nearest dealership, click here.