The presentation test drive of the new JAC E-J7 it was different from what we journalists are used to. We went to meet the 100% electric Chinese sedan, with coupe airs, which is already on sale in Brazil for BRL 264,900. But, upon arriving at the event, we came face to face with a fleet of German sedans, with Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Did not understand? Let’s do it by steps. The core idea of JAC, of course, was to allow journalists to try out the new car and highlight the entire investment in electrification. But beyond that, the brand has a bold ambition to position the JAC E-J7 as alternative to German luxury sedans with combustion engines – and without charging more for it.
Then, in a closed circuit, we participated in a kind of drag race with all four cars. Yes, JAC E-J7 X Audi A4 X BMW 3 Series X Mercedes-Benz C-Class. In the case of the three-pointed star model, namely, it was an older version – not the 2.0 mild hybrid rated by the Car Journal at the end of 2021.
Drops in the is
The JAC E-J7 has dimensions and power (193 hp) similar to its German rivals. However, as was expected, the immediate torque of 34.7 mkgf of the Chinese electric left the German trio “in the sand”. In all the sprints, the electric did better against rivals, especially the old C-Class.
In other words, the focus is on cost-effectiveness – the traditional brand strategy. The key that JAC wants to hit is: its product costs the same (or less) as traditional gasoline models, but with zero emissions. Oh, of course! And that leaves the Germans behind at 0 to 100 km/h.
By way of comparison, the Audi A4 – which comes closest to the Chinese, in numbers – has 190 hp. With 1 centimeter less in the bodywork (4.77 meters against 4.76 m), it takes 7.3 seconds to reach 100 km/h. The E-J7 needs just 5.9 seconds to accomplish the feat.
Volkswagen Group finger
Built on its own platform, but with Volkswagen’s dynamic chassis part, the JAC E-J7 also inherited traits of the German brand in its design. The rear, for example, has the same style as the ID.4 SUV, with a reflective strip that connects the car’s taillights.
The arrows are dynamic, as in the Audi (also from the VW Group). The closed grille, as in all electric vehicles (since it does not require cooling) is replaced by a hatch that hides the charging plugs.
Still talking about design, one of the great highlights of the E-J7 is the fastback style. This even resulted in a differentiated trunk opening. Unlike conventional sedans, which only open the lid, the JAC has a full opening of the lid (along with the rear window), as in hatches and SUVs. By the way, the large estate in question carries up to 590 liters. Underneath, there is no spare tire, after all, the model uses Runflat technology.
The beautiful model, designed in the Italian studio of JAC, still stands out for its black roof, with panoramic sunroof. The wheels are 17″.
Inside, the 2.76-meter wheelbase comfortably accommodates four occupants. In fact, even a fifth member is welcome, without anyone having a fit of claustrophobia. After all, unlike combustion models, Electric cars have a flat floor and eliminate the high central tunnel, giving more comfort to the middle passenger. There, it even has air conditioning outlets and two USB ports.
Sitting in the driver’s seat (which only has electrical adjustment for the seat base), it is possible to notice, at first, the interesting mix of materials, such as piano black and rubber parts. THE digital instrument panel, 10.25″, up to color change. The function is possible via a button on the right side of the steering wheel.
The central 13-inch screen has a vertical format, in the best tablet style. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection, however, are wired. Induction charger is not on the list, but we have USB sockets in the front, autohold system, electronic parking brake and leather upholstery.
Among the safety items, we find front, side and curtain air bags, in addition to the Isofix system for attaching child seats. The JAC E-J7 also has traction and stability controls, electronic brake distribution, hill start assistant and tire pressure monitoring. Finally, front parking sensors and height-adjustable headlights are part of the package.
In addition to the sprint tests, the Car Journal managed to go around the Haras Tuiuti circuit (in Tuiuti, in the interior of São Paulo). The model runs up to 402 km on a battery charge of 50.1 kWh. According to JAC, it takes 30 minutes to get 30% to 80% in fast recharge points. And despite the battery pack, on average, the E-J7 is only 100 pounds heavier, on average, than its combustion competitors.
Considering the current average cost of fares of BRL 0.62 per kWh (data from Aneel), the model owner will pay BRL 7.75 per 100 km, which is equivalent to 1.2 liters of gasoline per 100 km . With each full recharge, the owner of the JAC E-J7 will spend just over R$30. “It’s the equivalent of an average of 80 km/l in a combustion car”, emphasizes Sergio Habib, president of Grupo SHC and JAC Motors Brasil.
THE dynamic behavior pleases and the JAC E-J7 holds up well in corners. Courtesy of the marriage between the low center of gravity, provided by the batteries positioned in the floor, with the independent suspension in the four wheels, with Multilink system in the rear. And, as we saw at the beginning, resumes and accelerations are excellent. The driving position is good and the steering system has three selectable modes, while load regeneration has two actuation levels. Top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h.
This little hand from Volkswagen made the brand rise to the next level. So, if when you remember the brand you still think about that J3 sold at the beginning of the last decade, which competed in the entry-level compact segment, forget it! THE JAC E-J7 It’s definitely a few steps up.
However, other trams also compete in this range between 250 and 300 thousand reais, such as Fiat 500e, Mini Cooper SE, Peugeot 208 e-GT and even the veteran Nissan Leaf. And besides, fighting with Gol and Palio is one thing. Facing competition from the A4, Series 3 and Class C is another, completely different, with an audience that has many other demands besides getting ahead at the traffic lights.
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- vigorous sprints
- Nice design and good finish
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay do not have wireless technology
- Roof drop yields less headroom for rear occupants
Technical sheet – JAC E-J7
142 kW (193 hp)
automatic, 1 gear
0 to 100 km/h:
150 km/h (electronically limited)
Autonomy (NEDC Method):
Total battery power capacity: