New JAECOO J7 officially launches in South Africa

The highly anticipated JAECOO J7 has officially launched in South Africa, hitting the market as the very first model from the newly established urban off-road SUV brand. Endowed with cutting-edge design and forward-thinking technologies, the J7 is poised to take the local market by storm, with the three-strong range priced from just R549 900.

Tony Liu, Executive Deputy General Manager Chery / OMODA & JAECOO South Africa, says the new J7 perfectly embodies the brand’s “From Classic, Beyond Classic” philosophy and is as such the ideal model to introduce the innovative new marque to the country. In addition, South Africa is both the first right-hand-drive market to launch the J7 as well as the first in Africa.

“As South Africa’s first taste of JAECOO, the new J7 has an important role to play. Boasting high levels of sophistication and performance – not to mention a modern yet classic design aesthetic – the J7 will appeal to customers who love the great outdoors but are not prepared to compromise on either comfort or standard specification,” Liu said.

All three derivatives in the J7 range are powered by an efficient turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine producing generous peak outputs of 145 kW and 290 Nm, and mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard. In the case of the base Vortex and mid-spec Glacier variants, drive is delivered to the front axle, while the range-topping Inferno features all-wheel drive, incorporating the brand’s advanced new All Road Drive Intelligent System (ARDIS).

The inclusion of ARDIS in the Inferno derivative completely redefines the off-road driving experience, allowing effortless navigation through mud, sand and several other types of terrain. This means drivers – who furthermore benefit from a 21° approach angle, a 29° departure angle, 200 mm of ground clearance and 600 mm of wading depth – needn’t worry about encountering varied surfaces.

The proprietary ARDIS intelligent off-roading system includes as many as 7 driving modes, allowing the JAECOO J7 to adapt to a wide variety of surfaces by dynamically adjusting the vehicle’s responses in real time. So, whether navigating urban streets or muddy terrain, the system handles each driving scenario with finesse and capability.

Specification levels are extremely generous across the line-up. Belying its entry-level positioning, for example, the Vortex grade includes items such as power-adjustable front seats, an electric tailgate, a 13.2-inch touchscreen, a 360° panoramic camera system, wireless smartphone charging, 18-inch alloy wheels (framing red brake callipers), LED headlamps, front foglamps, automatic windscreen wipers, 7 airbags (including a driver’s knee airbag), front radar and several added safety features.

Meanwhile, the mid-tier Glacier model (R599 900) upgrades to 19-inch alloys and a 14.8-inch touchscreen, while also gaining items such as innovative inter-seat airbags, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats (with a memory function), a head-up display, an integrated dashcam and a raft of extra driver-assistance features. The latter includes items such as automatic emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, traffic-jam assist, lane-departure warning, intelligent high-beam control, rear cross-traffic assist and more.

Finally, the flagship all-wheel-drive Inferno (R679 900) ships with the aforementioned ARDIS system, along with extras such as a heating function for the leather-trimmed steering wheel as well as privacy glass.

Shannon Gahagan, National Brand and Marketing Manager for OMODA & JAECOO South Africa predicts that the J7 will spark a new urban off-roading trend among local buyers.

“The JAECOO J7 offers outdoor-loving customers something entirely new: far more toughness than a typical urban SUV but also more comfort and technology than traditional off-roaders. Add lofty levels of standard specification, a potent powertrain and highly competitive pricing, and you can see why we believe the J7 will take the local market by storm,” said Gahagan.

The J7 was launched in South Africa on 12 April 2024 at St John’s College in Johannesburg. After the day’s activities, invited guests – including brand ambassadors such as actor Senzo Radebe – attended an event hosted by MC Anele Mdoda. Thanks to an exclusive pre-launch drive of the J7, Anele was ideally positioned to play host, having been one of the very first people in South Africa to experience this exciting new vehicle from behind the wheel.

Later, JAECOO guests were treated to a music festival that included entertainment from DJ Mörda (aka Murdah Bongz), who had the crowd on its feet with his mesmerising dance moves and captivating stage presence.

Earlier, Khavhagali Vhalinavho from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presented a talk on environmental protection. Liu explained that this topic is a key part of JAECOO’s broader sustainability vision.

“Right from the conception of the JAECOO brand, we knew we wanted to create a more environmentally friendly off-road experience than is typical, providing the urban elite with not only a more comfortable but also a greener travel adventure. The protection of the great outdoors is important to our customers, so it’s important to us. That’s why we’ve chosen to partner with IUCN,” concludes Liu.


JAECOO J7 1.6T Vortex FWD 7DCT – R549 900

JAECOO J7 1.6T Glacier FWD 7DCT – R599 900

JAECOO J7 1.6T Inferno AWD 7DCT – R679 900

All 3 versions of the JAECOO J7 come standard with a 5-year/70 000 km service plan and a 5-year/150 000 km mechanical warranty. An additional industry-leading engine warranty spanning 10 years or 1 million kilometres is also included in the purchase price.