The Chery J1 is now officially the outright cheapest new car in Australia, with the price dropping $1000 to a staggering $10,990 drive away.

General Manager of Chery Automotive Australia, Dinesh Chinnappa, said the dramatic 8.3 percent price reduction was a result of the strength of the Australian Dollar.

“The Australian dollar is running at levels not seen since 1983, the year Australia won the America’s Cup,” Mr Chinnappa said.

“We have decided to pass on the benefit of the strong Australian dollar to the Australian car buying public.”

The Chery J1 five-door hatchback is available for $11,990 drive away, and until May 31 it will be sold with a $1000 cash back offer.

The J1 is powered by a 1.3-litre petrol engine with 62kW of power and 122Nm of torque. Its combined cycle fuel consumption is 6.7 litres/100km.

Standard features include alloy wheels, air-conditioning, six-speaker CD player and electric windows and mirrors.

Safety features include dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and front seatbelt pretensioners. It does not come with the option of adding extra airbags, and as electronic stability control is not an option, the J1 is not available in Victoria.

Chery has 45 dealers around Australia and every J1 is covered by a three-year, 100,000km warranty.

The price of the Chery J11 compact SUV remains unchanged at $19,990 drive away, however, Mr Chinnappa said strength of the Chinese industry would lead to even better deals for Australian new car buyers in the future.

“The massive recent expansion of the Chinese auto industry will have increasing benefits for Australian consumers in coming years via a greater variety of vehicles on sale with low prices and high levels of standard equipment that represent unbeatable value for money.”

In March 2011 – Chery’s first month on sale in Australia – the fledgling Chinese brand delivered 219 new vehicles (51 J1s and 166 J11s). The monthly figure placed it ahead of well-established marques like Citroen, Dodge, MINI, Proton and Skoda.

  • Planned Obsolescence

    Why isnt sold in Victoria…what makes them so lucky??


    • Joker

      for whatever reason…be thankful!!!

    • mark

      all new cars sold in victoria must have electronic stability control

    • Henry

      No ESC (Electronic Stability Control) Victoria don’t sell cars without it cause it a saftey issue it will be available with ESC soon though…

      • Karl

        Hopefully not too soon.

    • K20A

      Why we’re so lucky you say? Because we are the state with the best beers :)

      • Daniel

        If you live in Victoria and buy the car in NSW, can you get it registered in Victoria?

        • Jessa

          I really want to know the answer to this question too, does anyone know?

  • Henry

    It should stay that price i guess it’s Defenetly worth it!

  • Azza

    Is that a chicken drum stick or a gear stick LOL

  • vincent

    To all other car makers:
    Your car price reduction is long overdue!!

    • aussieitalian

      WHAT? You get what you pay for.. you buy cheap – you pay twice.

  • nickdl

    As much as it’s a horrible car and I resent the fact that the Chinese have brought in these death traps to the market, it’s good to see that a manufacturer is reducing prices due to the strength of the dollar. After the GFC they were all very quick to put the prices up on all cars, even locally made ones. Now that conditions are much better, they have been very slow to pass on savings to consumers.

  • Sonic

    No thanks… I choose life.

    What maniac would buy this over a Suzuki Alto? The Alto comes with six Airbags and Electronic stability control as standard, and is only a little bit more expensive.

    • GW

      Alto just has 4 seats and 1.0 engine. Also it has less equipment than J1 except the 6 airbags and esc. For example, the alloy wheels, front fog light,power windows and mirrors. The most important thing is the paint and safty. Chery has the most advanced paint equipment in the world. The same as volkswagen. Also although j1 is a little car and doesn’t have 6 airbags as alto. It is safer than alto because it is heavier than alto.

      • Handsome_Al

        Ok… So your power windows, your front fog lights, your alloy wheels, and good paint job will save your from death?? Well I can respect your point of view though that you choose flashy over safety.. But i love my life..

        And Since when a heavier car is safer? That’s all relative..

        • john

          you’re only as safe as the nut behind the wheel

      • Sonic

        Last time I saw a crash test video of a Chery car, the crumple zone included the front ‘A’ pillar and the dash. The Suzuki scored a 4-star safety rating, which probably means the pillars didn’t deform too bad under impact. Cars can be made lighter, without compromising safety… it all comes down to smart engineering.

      • Don Quay

        GW, basic high school physics says that a heavier vehicle hitting a solid object will have more energy in the collision than a lighter vehicle would in the same situation. So a heavier vehicle is not always safer.

        • Bimmerc

          That’s true, but in head on collision, the heavier vehicle generally is safer.
          If two vehicle head on crash, one is 4 star safety Audi Q7, and another is 5 star safety Mini, which one would you like to seat in?

          • Don Quay

            I did say “solid object”, meaning something stationary such as a tree or a brick wall. And I did say a heavier vehicle is “not always” safer, meaning sometimes it is. Yes, I would rather be in the Q7 than the Mini. (I usually think of Landcruiser vs Yaris in this scenario) The Mini would give me additional crush space, not a very attractive idea for the Mini passengers though.

    • Al

      Electronic stability control is for people who cannot drive.

      Why not put on a helmet when you get up in the morning and take it off when you go back to bed? You might stumble one day and hit your head…..

    • Brent

      if you cant drive you need the Electronic stability control, for a cheep car its a good price as long as the motor keeps going with no probs the rest is bullsh%t.

  • PoisonEagle

    When are you testing them, Caradvice? I need a good laugh.

    • Don Quay

      They won’t let anyone in the media drive them. Just like Great Wall Motors, the distributors know how crook they are and don’t want the word getting around.

      • Zac

        I’m pretty sure Drive did a review of the J1.

  • filippo

    If I hear of a single owner complaining on ACA/TT (not that I watch that trollop but sometimes the ads are unavoidable) about their Chery falling apart or killing their beloved Jaykxson, I will find their council house and burn it down.

  • Dan R.

    Ban this crap!

    • tekkyy

      yeah they should ban it if it comes back wih a ridiculous ANCAP rating
      (like Cerato’s low-range 4 stars)

      • Martin

        How is 4 stars ridiculous? Anything that’s at least 4 stars is acceptable. How about banning the 3 star 4×4 utes too then?

        • Phil

          One of the most awarded cars by the Australian media and one of the best sellers in its class – The Hyundai Getz is only a 3 star performer.
          It does has a 4 star rating if optional side airbags are fitted, however no one options them. ABS and ESP are also optional but again, about 99% roll out of the showrooms without them.

  • The Original Stevo

    Why can’t us Aussies use our ingenuity and come up with a worthy competitor in price and value. All you’d need is a shopping trolley & a bit of tinfoil and we would be able to match the chinese.

  • Jim Goose

    Up until now,we’ve been buying everything from China,bar their cars. Now it looks like many households will be wall to wall with Chinese products. Its a sad reflection on our nation when we can’t,or won’t make anything ourselves. Everything in my house is Chinese,and my car is Japanese,only because Aussie cars are too big for me. I’m sure lots of people are in my shoes.

    • john

      the shoes made in china……

    • nickdl

      Time to buy a Cruze then.

      • binladen

        you mean Dawoo! LLLLOOOOLLLL

      • Grant

        Cruze is a Daewoo with a Holden Badge

  • TryBeforeUsay

    Recently I got a chance to test drive Chery J11 SUV (automatic) at a dealer at Sydney west. The interior of J11 is not as refined as others, but is good enough for practical use. What surprises me is the driving of the car. The car drives like a sedan and the engine is quite responsive. I also manage to drive the car on M4 for a few kilometres. No vibration, no rattle, minimal noise, very smooth, so far not a bad impression.

    • nickdl

      I suppose if you had a 1986 Camira as your previous car then you could say that, yes. May I recommend a three year old Mitsubishi Outlander if you’re after a small automatic SUV. It will still have two years warranty on it, not to mention far better quality and reliability and more features (including ESC on many models) to boot. Perhaps also worth looking at a Toyota Rav4 or Suzuki Grand Vitara of similar vintage.

      • binladen

        The JII is only half year old. How the hell do u know they are less reliable!!! HOW??

        • GW

          Alo the j11 price is 6K cheaper than toyota and mitsubish.

        • nickdl

          Ok then can you tell me why they are so cheap? It can’t be due to low labour costs as many manufacturers charge more for cars made in India or Thailand, both of which have lower labour costs than China and the latter has a free trade agreement with Australia.

          Perhaps it’s a lower testing and development budget, then. The thing that creates a car’s quality, durability and safety. From some of the stories I have heard about people with Great Walls, I wouldn’t touch one of these with a 10 foot pole.

          Oh and GW, if you read my comment, you would see that I mentioned a USED Outlander. You can pick up a current model from 07-08 for around $20k. The depreciation has been done by the previous owner and you will still have some factory warranty left. Not to mention it’s a bigger, better looking car.

      • Eric

        From MMC web site

        “10 year or 160,000km Powertrain Warranty (whichever comes first) (non transferable). “

  • aussieitalian

    Has anyone got a Chinese product in their homes that’s lasted over the 3 year warranty?
    I guess their cars will be the same? Time will tell..

    • Dean

      The Chinese-made dishwasher in my house is already 5 year old. Not even a single problem…

      • binladen

        SO WAS MY MICROWAVE, COMPUTER, TV, ETC . So many bloody Chinese haters around these days. After five year they will all shut up just like Japs and Korean cars. Come up Aussies, don’t tell me Cruze is Australian. It is GM for god’s sake. Invent someting and make somthing TRULY ASSIE before making fun on anyone else please!

  • Shak

    Well almost everything that i have bought of Chinese manufacturing origin is still going strong. Same cant be said of my Australian built items.

    Either way, its both entertaining and a good prediction of the future to see that Chery, a brand here for only a couple of months is outselling long established brands such as Skoda, Dodge, Citroen et al.

  • cherry

    now everyone can afford to pop a virgin chery.. cheers

    • Nasal Explorer

      I think that’s a very poor attempt at a pun.

  • PoisonEagle

    If they don’t allow them to be tested by journalists, how did Drive manage to get hold of a J1?? and Carpoint an X240. They must have been determined. Either way, the success of Great Wall shows that it wouldn’t have much bearing on sales anyhow. I guess they wanted to build up momentum before people realise they are awful.
    It shows no faith in a product to not allow them to be tested, but I’m sure some journos would be fair and measure them against different criteria compared to established marques (i.e. durability, etc should be sufficient).
    I went to a Chery dealer and had a look; Build quality on the J11 looked just fine, the inerior and equipment levels made it kind of tempting, but the J1 was gauche rubbish- the seat fabric had already started to fade in our sun.

  • Roger Ramjet

    I would rather buy a used Suzuki Swift or Mazda 2 over this coffin on wheels!
    Even at $10990, it is too expensive. Cars with the J1’s levels of build, safety and engineering are hardly worth any more than $7000 in the used market. So it should be priced accordingly to that!

    • Sam 300TD

      The thing too about buying a good second hand car like the ones you mention is depreciation. Depreciation is the biggest cost of owning a new car.

      IMHO the Chery will basically lose half its value once its driven away, and eventually be worth next to nothing in 5 years time. On the other hand a quality second hand car will continue its depreciation at a steady rate, more like $1500 per year.

      Additionally, if it was a good car like a Mazda 2 or a Suzuki Swift, you know you are getting a good car and after 5 years (if you looked after it) you will still be able to sell it easily, hopefully for around $3000.

  • DGS

    Even at $11,000 it is still $3000 over priced.

    At best this is a disposable $8,000 car.

    Don’t waste your money. The Great Wall C30 (a larger car) will come in around $12,000 and will be much better value for money than this. (I wstill wouldn’t buy one)

  • Wayne Kerr

    I have a friend who works in the Chery engineering division of Australia. It employs Aussies to engineer these cars to Australian standards. The biggest challenge is actually the stigma attached to Chinese cars. There’s more Aussie expertise put into cars than you think.

    Maybe this car won’t start off that great but wait a few years and see.

  • D Is For Drive

    And after all that said above they still sold 219 cars in their first month of sale.

  • darkone

    Had alook at these j1 cars,thought they were cheap and nasty compared to the jap brands,but fo 11k a good cheap town or work hack they would make,or courier car.I also had a look at the Geely mk,the salesman told me they have an old corolla engine in them,and they are a much bigger car for 11990 drive away here in WA.still cheaply built but nothing different to the first Daewoos on the market.the Geely was well equipped and they also own volvo.apparently I was told it has a 4 star crash rating,but from who I wasnt told.

  • Sumpguard

    I had a close up look at a couple of these last week and the interior took me back 20 years, the tyre brand I have never heard of and the seats looked nasty. Having said that it offers an opportunity for some people to get into the new car arena at a bargain basement price.

  • john

    geez i would be absolutely cheerin that they are not sold in victoria look at them who would want to see that on the roads

    • Matt Man

      I think its strange that Victoria wont let this on the roads, but some of the rust bucket death traps getting around Melbourne is CRAZY!
      Maybe VIC roads wont let them go on sale in VIC because of all the death traps driving around already. When Gazza in his 86 ford falcon with bald tires, rusted panels, and trailing a oil slick up the Monash, you dont want to be in the next lane driving a Chery

  • eagleofpoison

    I’d rather a donkey with rotten fur and mange.

  • GW

    I found that if somebody say chery is good he will get a vote “-“. It is too early to say anything. Give chery one year and chery will give us a suprise. When the j3 come later in june, all the oz will see how safe can a small car be. If the j3 price starts at 15000. I think it will get a good future.

  • Duckula

    I agree, as much as its fun to ‘bag’ cheapo cars, really 99% of the comments have no proof any of their statements are true… its perception, granted these cars MIGHT be rubbish, but most people dont really know..yet.

  • ovr40

    The people who buy these are just used car buyers that hope a new car will last longer than a used car of the same price. They will probably never even go back to the dealer for service. They probably don’t have health insurance, life insurance or a mortgage to repay. Safety is not their highest priority. The government should protect these people by removing unsafe vehicles from the market – new and used. Well done Vic for taking this important nanny step (at least part way).

    • Ovr40

      OK, maybe not the used cars. Lets keep the unsafe used cars so the P platers can prop up their resale values.

  • GW

    I think a brand new car is better than a used car. One of my classmates bought a second hand 2002 astra from a guy in sydney for 7800 dollars and just used it for less than 5000 kilometers because the gearbox had problems. Then he changed a second hand gearbox and a computer in the car for more than 3000 dollars and at last want to sell it. At this time, he found that the car was recorded as a repairable written off. So he at last sold it for 3000 dollars. Another class mate bought a 2001 volvo s60 for 12000 dollars and kept it for less than 1 year and spent more than 15000 dollars to repair it for this and that problems. Also he sold it for 4500 to a dealer. He wanted to trade in this volvo when he bought volskwafen tiguan but the dealer just wanted to pay 500 dollars. So why should have risk to buy a used car and you can buy a new car for the same price?

    • Nasal Explorer

      Looks like your classmates all make bad car choices.

      • matt

        each to their own, my sp20 i got for “10,990 driveaway” 2 years ago now as a work runner is goin fantastic, i dont think i would contemplate a chery, even for the same price, given the choice again.

    • Peter

      You know you can just use the dollar sign ($), instead of writing “dollars” every time.


    • nickdl

      If money is such a big issue (which it probably would be for Chery buyers) then you can’t go wrong with a used Japanese car which would ultimately be safer and cheaper to own.

      • toxic_horse

        Cheaper to own? how do you figure that

  • Shane

    I think long term these cars are designed to fall apart.

    I cringe at the sight of these Great Wall cheap utes getting around and I will cringe more when I start seeing these little Cherys getting around.

    I may not need a large car but I continue to purchase Aussie cars whilst I can to support local manufacturing. People don’t think about the people who build our Aussie cars, but i’m sure the majority have a family and a mortgage to support.

    • Eric

      So people in China dont have bill’s. Hmm


  • HJP

    So far all the Made in China products works fine for me. Although they may not be appealing at this stage, give these Chinese car manufacturers another 10 years and they will be like what Hyundai is today. Hyundai used to have below average quality 10 years ago but they have improved a lot.

  • http://caradvice OSU811

    why would anyone buy this over a run out Hyundai Getz!
    which is only about $1000 more at the moment!!
    I know where I would be spending my money-)

    • Phil

      Hyundai Getz without the optional side airbags only has a 3 star safety rating. ABS and ESP is also not standard on Hyundai Getz where as ABS is standard on the Chery.

  • http://CarAdvice Michael Todd

    You have to wonder why any other of the “big” car makers haven’t made a $10,990.00 car?

    • http://caradvice OSU811

      its called having a reputation and selling quality cars!!
      (holden excluded with there ex Daewoo crap they served up)

      • http://CarAdvice Michael Todd

        Dont you think a quality car could be built and sold for less than $10k

        • http://caradvice OSU811


          • http://CarAdvice Michael Todd

            How much would it cost to make a Yaris? Or a Mazda 2?

  • schultzy

    Just wait until the Greed Brigade (Aust Govt) gets hold of it & doubles the price, just like they have done with so many “proper” cars.

  • chook

    We all know that we sell iron ore to china . I read somewhere that we get about 250 dollars per ton . On these numbers we get one of these toycars for 48 tons of ore . Once the ore is sold should we really want it back at all ?. Once the mining boom ends we may then see how the benefits from it have been squandered !!

  • Plot

    When will Korean and Chinese build a $750000 Lexus LFA?

  • Hung Diep

    Tired of morons saying you are buying a deathtrap, do you plan to have a life treatening accident in every car you purchase? Idiots! Only bad drivers need 10 airbags. Im happy with a seat belt and brakes.

  • Jess


    • nickdl

      Vicroads will refuse rego. Can I suggest that you buy a 2 yr old Swift or a brand new Micra for a similar price? You can register either of them in any state you want because they are safe enough.

  • kj

    I have one but I’m not happy with it it feels like it’s incomplete I’m looking at selling it seeing what price I will be able to sell it if any one has an idea of how much can you please send back a message or email me at