Changes include a more powerful engine and a host of additional standard comfort and convenience features.
“The J3 has been well accepted in the South African market since its launch and we are very pleased that we can now offer our customers even better value for money as this is one of the best equipped cars in the highly competitive B-segment of our market,” said the Managing Director of Chery SA, Brett Soso.
The 1.6-litre petrol ACTECO engine which powers the Chery J3 now has variable valve timing (VVT), which increases peak power output to 93kW at 6 150rpm from 87kW, with torque climbing to 160Nm at 3 900rpm from 147Nm.
The engine is economical too, with a claimed 8.3 litres per 100km on the combined cycle with an emission level of 194gm/km. Power from the willing engine goes to the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox.
Additional standard equipment in the Chery J3 1.6 VVT TXE now includes an electronic stabilisation programme (ESP); which is an active safety system that uses the anti-lock brakes and traction control sensors, amongst others, to detect if the vehicle is sliding out of control. It “reads” the road and senses if you’re in trouble.
Also a new addition is a multi-function central touch screen, which is now Bluetooth and DVD compatible, with satellite navigation.
The other new features are: restyled alloy wheels, improved seats that are softer and more comfortable, park distance control (PDC) and a reverse camera.
These new features are in addition to: climate control, an advanced audio system with six speakers, iPod and USB functionality, AV facility and MP3 compatibility, multi-function steering wheel, black leather seats and interior trim.
There are also automatic on-and-off functions for the headlights and for the rain sensor windscreen wipers, electric windows and exterior rear view mirrors, remote central locking, adjustable headlight beam height, individual reading lights, follow-me-home light function and ISOFIX mountings for child seats.
The sporty appearance of the instrument panel is carried through to a waterfall-like centre panel which drops down to the gearlever console. It houses all the switches and the multi-function touch screen.
Safety has been a high priority item in the design and development of the Chery J3 and it is fitted with six airbags – two front and two side airbags for the front seat occupants and two curtain airbags for the rear seat passengers. The all-disc braking system has a new generation anti-lock braking system (ABS), and electronic braking distribution (EBD) and, as mentioned, now also standard with ESP. There are LED taillights and rear fog lights for improved night visibility.
The luggage space is spacious with a capacity of 415 litres with the rear seat backrests upright. They can be folded forward to provide a larger load space. Towing capacity with an unbraked trailer is 750kg.
The products are backed up by an extensive after-sales support system, which includes a three-year / 100 000km warranty, three-year / 75 000km service plan and three-year roadside assistance. The first service is due at 5 000km and thereafter at 15 000km and then onwards with 15 000km service intervals or annual service intervals, whichever comes first.
The much improved specification level and the weak rand have resulted in the price rising from R189 900 for the previous model to R209 900 for the 2014 model.