By Otsile Kadiege and Khulekani Dumisa
After launching their compact SUV (Tiggo 4 Pro) a few months ago, Chery South Africa has added yet another SUV to its local tally. Meet the all-new Tiggo 8 Pro – a seven-seater which boasts a striking look, a luxurious, spacious and high-tech cabin with a host of safety, and driver assistance systems at an attainable price.
The new Tiggo 8 Pro demonstrates Chery’s next-generation “Movement Design” design language. Chery says the new philosophy mixes bionics and aesthetics to create a vehicle that has a fluid design that hides its size, while maintaining a striking presence. Marketing, speak? Perhaps but the bold looks cannot be ignored. The Tiggo 8 Pro’s exterior highlights include a striking three-dimensional grille that’s said to be inspired by the stars in the galaxies. It’s surrounded by fully automatic ‘Tiger Eyes’ matrix-LED headlamps with dual daytime running lights. Other unique design elements of the Tiggo 8 Pro are subtle satin chrome finishes across the lower air intake, chromed roof rails, 18-inch chrome/black alloy wheels and LED rear lights with dual fog lights.
Inside, the Tiggo 8 Pro boasts three interactive displays – the first being a 10.25-inch touch display with an infotainment system featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The second display is 8-inches in size and solely controls the climate settings and the third display is a configurable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. As standard, the Tiggo 8 Pro range is fitted with Sony’s 8-speaker surround sound system.
Creature comforts include adjustable rear seats, three USB ports throughout the cabin, a 12V charging port in front and a coat rack and armrest in the rear. There’s also mood lighting, a large panoramic sunroof and privacy glass in the Executive model.
There are two grades to choose from, namely Distinctive and Elite. The former is draped with leather seats while the Executive model gets two-tone black/brown leather seats with intricate patterns. All Tiggo 8 Pro models have a six-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory setting, and in the Executive model, the front passenger also receives four-way electrical adjustment and electrically adjustable lumbar support. The rear seats in both models can fold completely flat in a 60:40 configuration.
Safety and driver assistance systems
On the safety side of things, the Tiggo 8 Pro is fitted with six airbags as standard. Also standard across the range is the full list of safety features usually expected in far more expensive SUVs. This includes Traction Control (TCS), Roll Stability Control (RSC), ABS brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and of course ISOFIX child seat anchors.
Driver assistance systems include 360-degree view cameras tyre pressure monitoring (TPM), hill assist and downhill ascent control (HAC) and a host of other assistance systems through Chery’s intelligent safety package. This uses an array of sensors to offer Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Automatic Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Traffic Sign Recognition (TSC), Intelligent High-beam Control (IHC), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSD), Front Collision Warning (FCW), an emergency Brake Override System (BOS) and a Door Open Warning and Prevention (DOW) system as standard.
Powering the Tiggo 8 Pro is a single 1.6 TGDI engine delivering a maximum power output of 145 kW at 5 500 rpm and 290 Nm available between 2 000 rpm and 4 400 rpm. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT) that delivers power to the front wheels.
Pricing and warranty
The entry-level Tiggo 8 Pro Distinctive is priced from R496,900 and the top spec priced just under R600,000 at R546,900. It comes standard with a 5-year / 150,000 km general warranty that is linked to the vehicle is standard, as is a 5-year comprehensive roadside assistance plan. Chery will also offer customers a comprehensive 5-year / 60 000 km service plan as standard with its flagship Tiggo 8 Pro. Like the Tiggo 4 Pro, the flagship will be sold with a comprehensive 10-year / 1-million-kilometre engine warranty. Only the original owner is afforded this warranty and it is not transferrable.
Off the bat, Chery has a good product on their hands – good looks, decent quality, and ample cabin (the car sits seven), and luggage space. This is particularly evident when the last row is folded down. The tech is impressive with an accurate voice command system, digital odometer, and crisp infotainment screen. Safety also benefits from the tech with features like lane-keep, blind spot monitor and adaptive cruise control. This is matched by a sufficiently powered engine with an adequate automatic transmission, and comfort on city and open roads.
The not so great is a weird rear-view mirror which appears like a magnifying glass, less than impressive SONY sound system, harsh acceleration at take-off and fuel consumption which is a tad high approaching 10L/100km. Would these dissuade us? Highly unlikely with the overall package and compelling pricing.
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