Moskvich-badged Clone of the JAC JS4 Chinese Crossover Gets Reviewed

Moskvich 3 SUV 10 photos
Photo: Youtube video capture
Scandal in Russia: the low-cost Chinese SUV JAC JS4 assembled in the CKD collection is offered under the Moskvich brand name at a price 40% higher than in China. The "journalist" presenting the first review compares it to rivals from Toyota and Mitsubishi.
When Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced he wanted to revive the Moskvich brand that disappeared more than 20 years ago, Russians rejoiced. And some thought the Russians would manage despite the blockade imposed by the civilized world.

But it was all a bubble because the Russians could not develop an entirely new model in such a short time and without Western components.

So they bought a model from the Chinese as a CKD collection and assembled it in the Avtoframos plant in Moscow, taken over from Renault this spring by the Russian state institute NAMI.

The new Moskvich 3 SUV is, in fact, the Chinese JAC JS4 SUV, which has had its logo and name changed. The JAC JS4 is sold in China with two engines: 1.6 liters naturally aspirated/109 ps (107 hp) with variable valve timing combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox and 1.5-liter turbo/136 ps (134 hp) with a 6-speed manual or CVT. All versions have front-wheel drive, and there is no option for all-wheel drive.

Photo: JAC Motors
In Russia, only the top version is sold with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, which has 150 ps (148 hp) compared to 136 ps (134 hp) in China.

The interior of the original model is very modern, with a 10.25-inch digital display for the instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch display for the multimedia system, which is compatible with Car Play and Android Auto. There are no physical buttons, as the climate control panel is a touchscreen.

However, in Russia, the car only comes with a classic instrument cluster instead of a digital display, as shown in the video. A closer look reveals that many elements are copied from VW Group. For example, look at the graphics of the trip computer display placed between the speedometer and tachometer, the buttons on the steering wheel, or the shape of the automatic gearbox shift lever.

The video posted by Lisa Rulit was watched by 1 million people in only two days, while the YouTuber's channel has 1.68 million subscribers.

She says the battery is a bit small for Russian climates, but rival models from Toyota and Mitsubishi have moped-like batteries, in her opinon. The engine is very silent, but the sound insulation is poor, and you can still hear everything from outside. Unlike the Renault (probably referring to the Russian-produced Captur, which is bigger than the European Captur), the Moskvich 3 has disc brakes in all corners, unlike the French crossover that comes with drums at the rear.

Photo: JAC Motors

Regarding the infotainment system, she says it moves as shown in the pictures. She also added: "Whenever I say something good about Moskvich, people criticize me in the comments, so you can see how it moves." She said the system's speed is good, but as you can see, it has some delay. But at least you can send short messages (sms) via voice commands.

The suspension is classic, McPherson struts on the front and semi-independent on the rear and the YouTuber said that the Moskvich 3 cushions bumps well and offer excellent comfort for all occupants. The car was tested inside and around the factory area, and Lisa noticed that the low grip made the ESP system work very often.

The vehicle has an official fuel consumption of 6.3 l/100 km, but she expects consumption to reach 11-12 l/100 km in winter conditions.

She concludes that it is a low-cost car, which shows in the materials' quality. Only the driver's window has an auto down/up function; for the rest, you must keep your finger on the button until the end of the ride. The YouTuber isn't thrilled with the touch-sensitive climate control either.

The Russians said at the press conference that they had to start somewhere, and that's why they made a few changes to the Chinese model.

Finally, she compares the car to the Toyota Rush SUV, which is bigger. Still, a Moskvich 3 with the optional automatic transmission version comes at a similar price to this Japanese vehicle.

Photo: JAC Motors
At the moment, Moskvich has opened 11 dealerships in Moscow and 23 more in the rest of the country. All Russian state-owned companies will likely have to buy this car because they have no alternative since Western manufacturers have closed dealerships in Russia.

People are not too enthusiastic about the new Moskvich, and most of them criticize it in YouTube comments. Many are outraged by the price charged in Russia for this car. The price starts at 1,993,000 rubles, the equivalent of 26,000 euros ($26,770). In China, the same model with a 1.5-liter turbo engine fitted with an automatic gearbox starts at $18,770.

One user says this price is only suitable for authorities who want to change their car fleet rather than ordinary people working hard in factories. And another says you're better off buying a used car than this junk. The junk appeal is exaggerated because the car doesn't look bad on the outside, either.

But the attitude of the Russian government is reprehensible because it chose to speculate on the price of a low-cost car at the expense of ordinary Russian citizens who are affected by inflation and international restrictions and can no longer afford to buy a new vehicle at a reasonable price.

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