2014 JAC J5 | new car review
Designed in conjunction with Pininfarina, the J5 is the best looking sedan in the brand's line-up.
Interior materials are bordering archaic.
Designed in collaboration with Pininfarina, the 2014 JAC J5 is more than just the prettiest model in the brand’s line-up. Awarded with a 5-star NCAP crash test rating, the J5 is as safe as it is good looking, with its honeycomb grille, wrap around headlamps, chrome around the fog lamp housings and discreet rear diffuser.
Inside, the focus on sticking to the bare minimum and keeping costs low is more evident than ever before. While piano black trim runs along the dashboard, centre console and door panels, it isn’t enough to offset the aura of years long gone from the books of automotive design. Orange backlights for the displays and archaic knobs for the A/C controls probably would’ve cut it in 2004, but in 2014, I’m afraid not.
Fitted with rear A/C vents, parking sensors, motion sensitive door locking, leather seats and 6 speakers, the Chinese sedan offers a lot of features for a vehicle that costs a mere AED 49,900.
What’s on offer?
Under the hood of the 4,590mm long Chinese sedan resides a 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine, which gets mated to a 4 speed automatic transmission – sourced from Mitsubishi – and sends 143 horsepower and 165 Nm of torque to the front wheels. Equipped with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), the J5 automatically adjusts the brake force applied to each wheel and can transfer braking pressure front-to-rear or side-to-side to help optimize the available traction.
Up until this point, the Koreans (Hyundai, Kia, and SsangYong) were positioned as value propositions. They seemed to offer a lot of features, which translated to better value for money to the average Joe. However, with the sudden shift in importance towards Chinese automakers, it really is quite difficult even for the Koreans, to keep up with the amount of bang the Chinese offer for your bucks.