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Chery premium brand Jaecoo here in H2

Chinese premium brand Jaecoo takes on RAV4 et al with medium segment J7 SUV

7 Mar 2024

CHERY has wasted no time in announcing the introduction Down Under of its recently minted premium brand Jaecoo, due here in the second half of this year with a Toyota RAV4-sized SUV called the J7.


It is the third medium size SUV the Chinese manufacturer will offer in Oz following the already available Chery Tiggo7, the Tiggo8 in April and then the Jaecoo J7 later on in 2024.


Jaecoo only appeared on the radar a couple of years ago with trademarking and IP registration and at an April 2023 brand launch in Wuhu, Anhui, China joining an expansive range of brands in the Chery stable some of which might make it to these shores.


As well as the RAV4, the Jaecoo J7 will be up against well-established medium-size SUV staples like the Mitsubishi Outlander, Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Nissan X-Trail, Kia Sportage and many others not forgetting Chery’s own Tiggo 7.


Jaecoo’s future here was only officially announced last week, in the process making Australia one of the first countries to get the newly established “rugged urban SUV brand”.


At last year’s Auto Shanghai Jaecoo was pitched as an independent brand with a promo slogan of “From Classic, Beyond Classic”. However, the J7 is essentially a repurposed version of an existing Chery model, suitably upgraded to fit the “premium” tag.


Images of the J7 show chunky lines with a tapered roofline and toothy grille that could ring a bell Down Under given current styling preferences/trends.


The J7 has a seven mode All Road Drive Intelligent System (ARDIS) system each optimising the vehicle’s dynamics, power delivery and other functions for specific driving scenarios.


Jaecoo says each mode delivers a “unique experience” that brings out the best in the SUV for that chosen condition.


The company tapped international engineering and design specialists to bring technical advancements. They included chief engineer Peter John Matkin, ex-Jaguar and designer Chris Rhoades, ex-Mercedes-Benz and Daimler.


The Jaecoo J7 seats five adults in a “luxurious cabin that also features a 14.8-inch vertically positioned touchscreen”.


Overseas variants in front wheel and all-wheel drive are powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol four-cylinder engine with 145kW and 290Nm driving through a seven speed dual clutch auto transmission.


A 1.5-litre petrol/electric hybrid is also available.


Adding kudos to its potential off-road capability is the J7s 200mm ground clearance and short body overhangs front and rear.


The model is 4500mm long, 1865mm wide, 1680mm high, and rides on a 2672mm wheelbase.


Overseas models have extensive comfort and safety kit that will likely carry over to Australian spec’ vehicles. Features include electrically adjustable heated and vented front seats, multiple ambient lighting options and premium audio while on the safety side it has adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitor, lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and traffic jam assist.


“We are delighted to announce that the Jaecoo brand will be coming to Australia, and we look forward to introducing this exciting new brand to Australian consumers, which is setting new standards for luxury and versatility in sports utility vehicles,” said Chery and Jaecoo Australia managing director Lucas Harris.


Mr Lucas also confirmed the Jaecoo J7 will be available here in two- and all-wheel-drive variants with “strong performance, innovative design, remarkable safety features and forward-thinking intelligent technologies”.


More details and local specifications will be issued closer to the J7’s launch later this year.


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