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The Jaecoo J7 unveiled at St John's College in Johannesburg. Pic by SHERYLGOLDSTUCK. .


We give Jaecoo J7 its first SA test drive

The Jaecoo J7 is a new midsize SUV launching in South Africa today. SHERYL GOLDSTUCK takes it for its first test drive in SA.

It’s not often that I am the first in the country to test drive a new vehicle, but it’s equally rare that I cannot find fault with a new car.

The Jaecoo J7, a midsized SUV launching in South Africa today (12 April 2024), is packed with features and aims to be your off-road oasis or city cruise companion, depending on your mood.  Taking it on its first media test drive in South Africa last week, I was struck by its retro vibe, kind of like a modern take on a drawing of a lion. Boxy but handsome, it lets everyone know it is ready for adventure.

The name Jaecoo comes from “jaeger”, German for “hunter” and the old favourite word, “cool”.

The tough exterior is deceiving  because the inside is as soft as a cub. The seats are more comfortable and softer than my easy chair. The finishes are modern and luxurious. Space is not an issue, seating five adult passengers with ease – even the tall ones and the hunter.

The cargo capacity is also very impressive. No need to skimp on packing when going on that long road trip. There is enough space for the luggage and camping equipment. The back seats fold flat, which can accommodate the kitchen sink or the lion, and more.

The Jaecoo J7 really shines when you leave the lion chasing the hunter behind. This SUV is built for adventure. Jaecoo boasts an “All-Terrain Driving Intelligence System”, with features like rapid-fire all-wheel-drive engagement and a super braking system.

Jaecoo has loaded the interior with tech. I am talking a giant sunroof for the lion to get some air, a sleek 10.25-inch LCD dashboard, and a stylish three-spoke flat-bottom multi-function steering wheel.  The tech vibe inside the cockpit is truly impressive. Boosted by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip, every interaction feels swift. Features like the premium Sony speakers, 540° panoramic imaging, and W-HUD heads-up display come together to create a fusion of cutting-edge technology and luxurious comfort, providing users with an all-encompassing upgrade from simple enjoyment to intelligent driving. The lion passengers will also appreciate the smoothness of the ride.

The intelligent driving assistance system, paired with the exclusive ARDIS (all-road intelligent off-roading system), effortlessly adjusts to seven all-wheel-drive modes, including urban, desert, mountainous, water-crossing, and muddy terrain. This results in an intelligent driving experience that has lane-changing capabilities and maximizes travel efficiency for any road condition.

 The LKA (lane keep assist) is as aggressive as the lion that the hunter is after. This means being alert at all times while driving on your cool adventure.


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 engine warranty spanning 10 years or 1 million kilometres is also included in the purchase price.

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