Chinese brand Jaecoo is finally in Malaysian showrooms. That’s right, Chery’s subsidiary Jaecoo, the sub-brand created to build stylish SUVs for the younger demographic, is now in Malaysia. Interestingly, the company says that Jaecoo will be marketed as a completely different brand despite its relationship to Chery.
The Jaecoo J7 AWD, which will compete against vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, will make its official debut in this market by the summer of 2024. To show the company’s dedication, two J7 units have been brought into the nation for testing as of early December, in advance of the vehicle’s formal introduction.
According to a press release from Chery Malaysia, the company plans to promote the Jaecoo J7 as a “premium urban off-road SUV” that “perfectly embodies the brand’s ‘From Classic, Beyond Classic’ brand philosophy” by “blending traditional automotive excellence with contemporary innovation.” That sounds like the car has a lot to live up to. Fingers crossed it can deliver.
The J7’s exterior design aims to make it an off-road capable SUV with a rugged appearance. It has electrically retractable door handles, LED headlights, welcome lights, and a tail light design that resembles the Ford Everest.
A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox mated to a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine generates 197 hp and 290Nm of torque with the company’s All Road Drive Intelligent System (ADRIS) distributing drive to all four wheels.
The J7’s interior is equipped with features like a head-up display, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a 14.8-inch centrally located touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, and a six-way electric adjustable driver seat with ventilation and heating functions. In addition, a centre armrest box with cooler, and a huge panoramic sunroof are also offered for further luxury.
Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features like adaptive cruise control (ACC), traffic sign recognition (TSR), intelligent active speed limiting, lane departure warning (LDW), lane keeping assist (LKA), integrated cruise assistance (ICA), rear collision warning (RCW), and speed assistance are among the safety features of the J7 AWD.
In addition to the standard features, Qualcomm’s 7 nm 8155 chip will be installed in Jaecoo automobiles. Remarkable computational power and reactivity are claimed for the chip, with a two-second boot-up time and a 30-second processing time for more than 20 instructions.
Jaecoo spokespeople say that the J7 will compete with the likes of Honda and Mazda, but looking at this SUV’s styling and packaging, dare we say it could even challenge such upmarket rivals as Volvo and even BMW with looks like that. Also, the J7’s interior is as advanced and futuristic and maybe even as simple as any of Germany’s SUVs. And if Jaecoo’s handling and performance stack up against those Euro rivals, as we suspect it might, then potential buyers may have a real bargain on their hands.