Can the Chinese JAC S7 compete with the best-selling compact SUVs?

A newcomer enters the fray
by Jason Tulio | Mar 22, 2018
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JAC
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Yesterday, we reported that Chinese manufacturer JAC has entered the passenger vehicle market with a lineup of sedans, passenger vans, and SUVs. During the official launch, the carmaker highlighted the S7, a 2.0-liter SUV priced at P1,390,000. And while the local office doesn't have the full spec sheets ready just yet, the official Chinese website gives us a good idea of what we can expect. 

It seats seven people, so it competes with the likes of the all-new Honda CR-V and the Nissan X-Trail in the compact SUV segment. Its dimensions stretch 4,790mm long, 1,900mm wide, amd 1,760 tall. In the real world, it's slightly larger than the CR-V and a bit smaller than the Mazda CX-9. 

What was most striking for us was the interior. Where we expected a bare-bones job, we were greeted with a well-assembled cabin replete with smooth plastics and leather galore. In fact, the layout of the buttons and A/C vents reminded us of a Mercedes-Benz interior. The doors have a hefty weight to them as well. The Infinity speakers onboard were equally impressive. The sound reverberates well (but doesn't crack) throughout the cabin with the volume turned up. 

The SUV boasts an array of modern tech and safety features as well, including a heads-up display, a 360-degree camera, cruise control, and automatic climate control. 

As mentioned, the S7 is powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine. The Chinese site identifies the powertrain as being turbocharged with 174hp and 300Nm on tap, paired to a six-speed dual-clutch tranny. It boasts a top speed of 170kph. 

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We'll try and get a test unit of the S7 soon for a proper review to see how it fares on the road. But until then, what are your impressions of it so far? Do you think it can compete with the big boys of its segment? Sound off below. 










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PHOTO: Jason Tulio
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