Review: JAC S1 1.3 MT 2018

Review: JAC S1 1.3 MT 2018


Hello, this is Niky Tamayo for Top Gear Philippines
and we’re here with the JAC S1. Or is it the JAC S2 Mini? Or the JAC Refine S1? The JAC S1 might just be the smallest crossover…in
the world. Now, the JAC S1 was designed at Turin in Italy
and you can tell. This is the most stylish thing you can get
for this much money, which is P585,000. That would get you a base Mirage, a Wigo,
or a Celerio. But none of them have leatherette. None of them have an external spare tire carrier. None of them have roof rails. In fact, none of them are a crossover. As you can see, the grille is not quite Hyundai-ish. It’s somewhere in that range but they call
this an ‘hourglass.’ It’s not a hexagonal grille like Hyundai uses. And you’ll note these fine touches, like the
blue halos in a car under P1 million. Where else do you get that except on a BMW? And they have their name embossed in the headlights,
a nice Easter egg for owners. And banana-type wipers–we used to pay a lot
of money for those. Now, let’s take a drive and find out how good
it really is. As you all know, the world has gone crossover-crazy
over the past few years. China is no exception. And the smallest crossover was the Geely Panda
Cross, which was basically the Geely Panda, the really tiny hatchback. JAC decided to redesign the J2 from the ground
up to look more like an actual crossover. But not just a crossover, they made it look
like an SUV. Despite all the dress-up kit, this is still
just a small car. So, is it really a crossover? Is it really an SUV? With a ground clearance of only 185mm, it’s
not gonna go very far off-road. And with front-wheel drive, you can’t get
anywhere there anyway. This has SUV-worthy suspension, and SUV-worthy
tires, and not quite SUV-worthy fuel economy, but it’s not quite as good as a regular mini
hatchback. In mixed driving, the S1 returns fuel economy
that’s maybe 1-2km/L lower than a regular mini car. It sounds bad, then you consider that it’s
got much heavier tires. This thing weighs over one ton, whereas your
regular Mirage or Celerio weighs around 800kg. This has a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine,
rather than the three-cylinder engines that you get in the Japanese competitors. You actually get a leatherette interior that’s
real flash. Our test unit here is covered in red leatherette. All further units will be coming with black
leatherette with contrast white stitching. Yes, really classy stuff, similar to what
you get on the S2. And it comes with a touchscreen, back-up camera,
Bluetooth. The one place where the S1 falters compared
to mini hatchbacks is its space. Legroom is a little snug, as this only has
a 2,390mm wheelbase. It’s got the width of a subcompact. It’s still easier to drive, it’s easy to fit
into places, it’s got a very small turning circle as you can see here. Unfortunately, it only comes with a manual
transmission. It may be cable-actuated, but it’s not sloppy,
not like what you get in some mini cars out there. In the end, the S1 is not an SUV. It’s a crossover, but just barely a crossover. This is a lot of car for little money. It’s the biggest small car you can buy? Or is it the smallest big car you can buy? I don’t know what it is. If you’re looking for the cheapest car that
you can drive across the pockmarked EDSA roads without fear of damage, this is it. So, for Top Gear Philippines, this has been
Niky Tamayo, signing out.

About the Author: Michael Flood

9 Comments

  1. Wait 3 years by this time you will hear reviews from early buyers, hang on to your hard earned money,

  2. Dagsa ang new brand cars sa pinas at lalo mgdudulot ng trapik sa edsa. Sana drive test din sa trapik kung magooverheat ang mga yan.

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