Review: Chery Tiggo 8 Pro – What Is There To Like?

Review: Chery Tiggo 8 Pro – What Is There To Like?

What Is This?

By today, you would probably have encountered quite a fair number of new Chery vehicles on the road in Malaysia. A couple of years ago, Chery Automobile had made clear its intention to re-establish itself in Malaysia as part of its global expansion strategy. Chery was and still is the largest exporter of vehicles among the car makers of China; in 2023, it exported 937,148 vehicles making it the leading exporter among its peers for 21 consecutive years.

For Malaysia, Chery had started off with the trendy SUV body style, introducing 2 of its models to the market i.e. the Omoda 5 5-seater SUV, and the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro 7-seater SUV. Compared to the flashier Omoda 5, the Tiggo 8 Pro’s styling is more understated and mature. There is very little drama with its exterior styling  but this approach will allow the Tiggo 8 Pro to withstand the test of time and trends. The current Pro models use the Chery global design team’s ‘Life in Motion 3.0’ design language which includes a prominent galaxy-inspired geometric matrix diamond front grille.

The exterior features include automatic LED headlights with daytime running lights, LED tail lights, welcome light, hands-free powered tailgate with remote unlocking, keyless entry with remote engine start and cooling activation, as well as roof rails which are practical for installing a roof-top box so you can maximise the cabin for passengers. FYI, rear cargo volume is only about 193 litres with all the seats occupied (though it expands to 892 litres with the 3rd row seats folded down).

What Is Inside?

Inside, there are 7 seats wrapped in quilted and perforated leather and are complemented by matching trim on the dashboard, door cards and centre console. The dashboard is styled in a way that it would not look out of place in a premium marque. So while that isn’t true open-pore wood trim on the dashboard, it still adds a a classy look to the interior without being kitschy. The ‘open-pore wood’ trim extends to the doors to surround the door handle and homage covers for the Sony tweeters. And just like a modern-day vehicle, the Tiggo 8 Pro has a curved 24.6″ widescreen display on the dashboard that is split into an infotainment screen and a multi-info display for the driver.

The front seats feature powered adjustment, with the driver getting lumbar adjustment and position memory for up to 3 people. The front seats also have built-in cooling and heating which are a welcome function. On the inner side of the front passenger’s backrest is a ‘boss seat’ control for the rear passenger to conveniently adjust for rear space. There is also a 2-zone climate control system for quick cabin cooling, and the 3rd row’s air-conditioning is independent (fan speed only) and can be switched off when not needed. In the 2nd row however, the ‘boss’ does not have a say to the climate control temperature. Furthermore, I would prefer physical buttons for the climate control rather than a touch panel but that isn’t a deal breaker. All in, it is an interior that doesn’t look like it tries too hard and this is when one starts to appreciate it. I also find the ambient lighting rather pleasing at night.

Some might even enjoy the powered panoramic sunroof, which I don’t care much for in almost every vehicle tested. But to those who use it, you might be pleased to know that the sunroof responds to the “Hello Chery” voice control. Similarly, the powered tailgate, the defroster, the air purifier function, climate control, windows, high beam assist, multimedia volume, radio etc can be controlled by voice command. Yes, some of these functions are actually within easy reach of a finger but voice presents another option for control and allows you to not need to take your hands nor eyes off of driving.

Other helpful features include a 50W wireless charging pad, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, built-in driving recorder, and 2 USB ports in front and 2 in the 2nd row (Type 2 and Type C). Third row passengers however, have to make do with a 12V socket for charging their devices.

What Makes It Go?

The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro comes with a 2.0L TGDI turbocharged petrol engine producing 256 hp and 390 Nm of torque which are sent to the 19″ wheels in front through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT). Drivers can choose from 3 Drive modes i.e. Eco, Normal and Sport, with the electric power steering also providing mode adjustment to suit different preferences. The front wheels are connected to MacPherson struts while the rears are to a longitudinal towing-arm type suspension. Chery Tiggo 8 Pro_2.0 Litre Turbo GDI Petrol Engine

In some markets, the Tiggo 8 Pro uses a smaller 1.6L TGDI engine with 197 hp and 290 Nm. But seeing how some Malaysians can be enamoured by output figures, perhaps it is a wise move by Chery Malaysia to use the larger engine so few would feel shortchanged.

A smaller engine of course, would burn less fuel particularly while idling in city traffic thus lowering emissions and fuel costs. However, the larger 2.0L engine really offers more satisfaction in highway driving. That said, my average fuel consumption ranged from as low as 7.4L/100km (with half of it on the highway, and carrying 6 passengers) to 9.2L/100km (with a lot of idling time for taking photos). A sure way to ensure optimal fuel consumption would be to have the tyres properly inflated (the tyre pressure monitoring system comes in handy), and to minimise engine idling.

How Does It Feel?

Admittedly, the first time in the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro during a preview drive didn’t impress much but I have to qualify that it was a pre-production unit. That all changed to a more positive note after the official launch with a showroom unit. Chery_Tiggo 8 Pro

The ride comfort felt better and is what you would expect from a vehicle of this class. This SUV took road undulations and speed bumps without much drama. The turbocharged engine in Sport mode also makes overtaking on the highway fairly effortless. In the other 2 modes however, the slight lag between putting your foot down on the throttle and the corresponding acceleration is a bit more apparent. But this isn’t something an owner cannot adapt to. However, the quality of the driving and handling seem to be limited by the stock tyres but this is also easily solved. Overall, the driving experience is more than decent.

The Tiggo 8 Pro also comes with Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) including Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping System, Blind Spot Detection, Door Open Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control with Integrated Cruise Assist, Front Collision Warning with Vehicle Identification, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Intelligent High-beam Control, Traffic Sign Recognition and Traffic Jam Assist, and a 540-degree high definition panoramic camera system. Being assistance features, they are mainly useful as driving aids and can be switched off if you prefer.

What Is There To Like?

So what is there to like? I’d like to first pick out some of the things I don’t like so much, such as the mismatching typeface used in the cabin, and the visual imbalance of the model badging at the rear. I also would have liked to see at least 1 USB port for the 3rd row seats, seeing that we are now well into the 21st century. Also, there is a learning curve for some of the control layout. For example, the volume rocker is on the centre console rather than the steering wheel. Additionally, the company has also acknowledged the position of the latch for folding the 2nd row seat of the test unit as that derived from the left-hand-drive variant.

But what I do like is that the vehicle feels well put together, as a whole. I also like that the removable tonneau cover has a dedicated storage space in the boot, indicating that someone had thought about it practically. I also like that the front centre storage box has a cooling function. Additionally, it has one of the most comfortable headrests I have laid my noggin on in a ‘mass market’ vehicle. Chery Tiggo 8 Pro_White

Launched with a retail price of RM159,800 and covered by a 7-year / 150,000 km, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro has a lot going for it with its combo of comfort, space, power and features. Anyone who needs a 5+2 seater to ferry around 6 passengers regularly, or just needs some extra boot space, should put this on his / her radar. Particularly if you’re frequently taking long drives.


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