Chery only just relaunched in Australia in 2023, and now it’s set to be followed by the company’s fledgling Jaecoo brand.

    The mid-sized, five-seat Jaecoo J7 SUV will arrive in the second half of 2024, offering a choice of both front- or all-wheel drive.

    The company says pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch, though it has confirmed the J7 will offer a 14.8-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen.

    It’ll also offer an available All Road Drive Intelligent System – or ARDIS for short, not to be confused with the blue telephone box.

    In other markets, the J7 is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 145kW of power and 290Nm of torque, mated with a seven-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission.

    A 1.5-litre four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain has also been detailed for overseas markets.

    It boasts 200mm of ground clearance, just 20mm shy of a Subaru Forester, and measures 4500mm long, 1865mm wide and 1680mm tall on a 2672mm wheelbase.

    That makes it around 100mm shorter but 10mm wider than a Toyota RAV4.

    In China, standard equipment includes a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a power-adjustable driver’s seat, while some models also include heated and ventilated front seats, 64-colour ambient lighting and a head-up display.

    Available safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic assist, traffic sign recognition, and traffic jam assist.

    “Jaecoo will be positioned as a more premium product offering than the Chery brand and will be targeted towards a more adventure focused consumer,” said a company spokesperson.

    It hasn’t confirmed whether Jaecoo vehicles will be sold through Chery’s existing dealership network.

    Founded in 2023, Jaecoo is the name used for exports of Chery’s Tansuo 06 (aka Explore 06) and Tiggo 9.

    These models are rebadged as the J7 and J9, and it’s the former that will debut the brand in Australia.

    When asked whether the J9 will come here, a spokesperson said the company “[continues] to assess all models for applicability in this market”.

    The Jaecoo name is a portmanteau of the German word ‘jäger’ (or hunter) and the English word ‘cool’.

    Chery has a dizzying array of brands, in classic Chinese car company fashion.

    In addition to its Chinese-market Karry commercial vehicle division, it established the premium Jetour brand in 2017, following it with SUV brand Exeed in 2018. Both of these brands are offered in export markets like South America and the Middle East.

    Last year, it also established the iCar and Luxeed electric vehicle (EV) brands.

    In Europe, Chery plans to sell vehicles under the Omoda, Jaecoo and Exlantix brands.

    Even more confusingly, Chery vehicles are sold as Chireys in Mexico.

    The Jaecoo name was first registered with IP Australia in 2022, with Jetour being trademarked the same year and Exlantix in 2023. Chery says there are no plans to launch these other brands at this time.

    Mystifyingly, Chery has also trademarked the names Coogaar, Couggo, Lepus and Lepas, as well as Fownix which is used on Chery products sold in Iran.

    While it’ll wear a different badge, the Jaecoo J7 will be the third mid-sized SUV offered by Chery in Australia.

    The Tiggo 7 Pro went on sale late last year, while the larger Tiggo 8 Pro is due in April.

    Both offer a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, with the Tiggo 7 Pro being on the smaller end of the segment with dimensions similar to the Mazda CX-5 while the Tiggo 8 Pro is closer to a Mitsubishi Outlander in size and offers three rows of seating.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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