News Detail

The Chery Explore 06 Is Built In China, But Made For The World

Issuing time:2024-01-29 15:54Author:Ethan Robertson

What is it?

What if a Chinese brand were to produce a car here in China, specifically for sale in foreign markets? This is not a hypothetical, it's actually happening, and the car in question is this, the Chery Explore 06. Prices for the Chery Explore 06 will vary depending on the market, but here in China, it's priced at about 16-20,000 USD.

In markets outside of China, this vehicle is known as the Chery Explore 06, the Jaecoo J7, and the Jaecoo 7. For simplicity's sake, and because the front end has a big old Chery logo on it, I'm going to call it the Chery Explore 06.

Chery Explore 06.jpg

Made to go abroad

One big giveaway that this car is designed mostly for foreign markets is the styling language, which differs from that of the other Chery models sold here in China, including the Cherry Tiggo 7 Pro that we reviewed earlier this year. This version is called the Metropolis, but there's another version called The Offroad. How are they different? For starters, they have different front-end styling language. The Metropolis retains the traditional Chery strakes, whereas the Offroad has a large Chery logo on the front grill, similar to a Ford Raptor.


They also differ in one very important way, and that is the powertrain. While both use the same 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood, but the Metropolis only comes in front wheel drive, whereas the Offroad comes only in all-wheel drive.

Another giveaway that this thing is mostly intended for foreign markets is that it's almost exactly the same size as the Tiggo 7 Pro. In terms of the styling, I think we have to admit that it's clearly heavily inspired by a particular Range Rover model. That continues to be apparent on the rear end, though, the taillights do have their own pleasing grid pattern.


Interior tire treads

The Explore 06 has two screens, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 13.2-inch center display. Unless you get the top-spec of the Offroad model, then it measures 14.8-inches. Heated and cooled seats are also only available on the Offroad model. The Explore 06 comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Huawei HiCar, and a menu that can be set to Chinese or English. The in-car infotainment system is powered by a Snapdragon 8155 processor. There was a time where that was a big deal, but now feels like pretty much every car has one. Either way, it makes for a system that is easy to use and quick to respond to commands.


The interior of the Explore 06 has some, shall we say, unique design elements. The doors, for example, are reminiscent of the handgun door handles of the MHero 917. On the dashboard, we have a variety of patterns, including one that looks like nothing more than tire tread. The center console features a single wireless charging pad, and aft of that is something that I’ve never seen; a specific cubby made for putting tissues. Place a tissue box inside, and you can pull them out at your leisure. It's kind of ingenious.

The Explore 06 has a wheelbase measuring 2.672 meters. Not a big car, but rear legroom is pretty decent with the seat adjusted for some of my height, which is five foot nine or 1.75 meters. It also has an 8-speaker Sony sound system as standard and a large panoramic overhead sunroof. Fold down here. Center console, armrest and two USB ports, type-A and Type-C. Rear cargo space measures 410 liters with the second row up, 1338 liters when you lay them down.


Nothing new here

Underneath this sleek exterior, this thing is essentially a Chery Tiggo 7 Pro. It's got the same powertrain, that 1.6 liter turbocharged four-cylinder making the same power, 145 kilowatts and 290 meters of torque (195 HP/215 lb-ft), same 7-speed DCT, same MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension. The claimed 0-100 km/h time is in the quote “8-second range. That, to me at least, means it's probably closer to 9 seconds than it is 8 seconds. But power was never an issue with this engine, it was refinement that was lacking, and that remains true. Above 3000 rpm things start to get a little bit harsh.

You can alleviate this by putting it into Eco mode, but that creates its own set of problems. The transmission then lunges to the highest possible gear and the throttle response becomes essentially non-existent. Our test drive event started with 45 minutes of commuting through downtown traffic, which isn't particularly fun if it is at least realistic for a city version of a compact SUV. I almost immediately took it out of Eco and put it into Sport, because I found it more tolerable.


Two problems you cannot alleviate with the different driving modes is the steering and the suspension. The steering has two modes, Comfort and Sport. Sport I would describe as very light, and comfort I would describe as among the lightest steering effort I have ever experienced in a vehicle. We're talking about steer it with your pinkylevels of light. What’s worse, it’s got a very rubber band quality to it.

As for the suspension, I'm just going to use the exact same phrase that I use to describe the suspension of the Tiggo 7 Pro, floaty, but harsh at the same time. Then again, Cherys have never really sold based on their driving dynamics. They've sold because they offer a lot for a little, and this car is no different.



The Explore 06 is interesting, not necessarily because of what it is, but because of what it represents the continued expansion of Chinese vehicle exports. Much has been made of the danger that EVs pose to traditional automakers in their own markets. But having driven the Explore 06, I don't think they're safe in the ICE segment either.


Chery Explore 06 City
Engine: 1.6L Turbo 4-Cylinder

Transmission: 7-speed DCT

Power: 145 kW, 290 Nm (195 HP/215 lb-ft)

Fuel Consumption: 6.98 L/100 km (WLTC)
Size: 4538*1898*1680

Wheelbase: 2672 mm

CDM Price (as tested): 18,400 USD

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