The Chery J3 small hatchback has been lightly upgraded with standard stability control, a more powerful engine and the availability of an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the first time.
Responding to mandatory government legislation that requires all new passenger cars to have electronic stability control (ESC) standard from November 1, Chery’s local distributor, Ateco Automotive, has made the potentially life saving safety feature standard on manual and new auto J3.
For that same reason, the unavailability of ESC on the Chery J1 light hatchback means it has been discontinued locally, making the J3 the cheapest Chery available in this market.
Although the Chery J3 manual has been upgraded with ESC, pricing remains unchanged at $12,990 driveaway.
The addition of a automatic CVT raises the price to $15,990 driveaway, but it gets unique alloy wheels and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder upgraded with variable valve timing, so outputs rise from 87kW of power and 147Nm of torque, to 93kW at 6150rpm and 160Nm at 3900rpm.
The ‘seven speed’ CVT is marginally more economical than the manual version, too, rated at 8.7L/100km, down 0.2L.
Cruise control is also now standard equipment, in addition to 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, rear parking sensors, six airbags, leather seats and steering wheel, power windows and mirrors, and a six-speaker CD player.
All Chery models are covered by a three-year/100,000km warranty and free roadside assistance over that period.
Read CarAdvice's Chery J3 Review here.