Despite the pandemic situation in 2020, we got to test drive the entire crossover/sport utility vehicle (SUV) model line-up of Chery Philippines. We were quite impressed with all the models, starting with the entry-level Tiggo 2 subcompact crossover vehicle, to the more-upmarket Tiggo 5X Lux compact SUV, to the fully-equipped Tiggo 7, and up to the top-of-the-line Tiggo 8. After having sampled, driven and enjoyed all four models, we felt that the rejuvenated Chinese car brand, which was relaunched in 2019, is on the way to a more successful stint in our local car market.
Chery Philippines surprised us further by coming out with the Arrizo 5E EV, their fully-electric vehicle that has an incredible driving range of around 350 kilometers on a single full charge. Even though we were not able to fully explore the capabilities of the 4-door Chinese electric sedan since we were only given a limited time for the test drive, nevertheless, we were able to get a peek into Chery Motors’ concern for the environment and we foresee a profitable and sustainable future for the brand.
More Pleasant Surprises in Store
Just when we thought that our good friends at Chery Philippines were taking a much-needed breather after successfully launching these five impressive models, they surprised us yet again with a bolder, more aggressive model, the new 2021 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro. More than just a reskinned Tiggo 7, the new model offers a variety of features that enhance the comfort, convenience and enjoyment of driving. Chery kept the best characteristics of the Tiggo 7, tweaked it up a notch, and added more luxury and power to earn the “Pro” moniker.
One look at that massive front grille with its strong and dynamic 3D-like design, you can already get the impression that the Tiggo 7 Pro is a more distinct and far more luxurious model. The multi-cavity reflective headlight is claimed to be three times more efficient than a comparative regular halogen headlamp. It also stays on for around 30 seconds to illuminate your path after you get off the vehicle at night. Chery labels it as the “Follow Me Home” function. We think it’s a great idea.
Hidden Message, Err… Engine
Like the Tiggo 7, the Pro is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 145 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. However, a quick peek under the hood revealed that the factory hid the engine underneath a lot of plastic to provide additional sound deadening so only a whisper of engine noise permeates into the passenger compartment. We can only guess that the massive plastic cover is the factory’s subliminal message that their vehicles are now reliable and trouble-free, especially with their 10-year, 1,000,000-kilometer powertrain warranty.
The turbo-4 of the Tiggo 7 Pro was tweaked to produce more torque – 210 Newton-meters between 1,750 and 4,400 rpm to be precise – which is 9 Nm more than the Tiggo 7 to provide brisker acceleration. A 9-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) and four-wheel disc brakes make this 1,465-kilogram compact crossover go faster, sip less fuel, and stop quicker while McPherson front struts, independent multilink rear suspension, and the T1X Comfort Chassis, which was based on shared Jaguar Land Rover technology, conspire to make the ride smoother and the handling sharper.
Luxury, Convenience, and Security in Mind
To start with (pardon the pun), the Tiggo 7 Pro’s intelligent Keyless Entry system with Remote Start not only locks and unlocks the doors, it also opens and closes the windows, starts the engine, and turns the aircon on – all with just the use of the remote key. In fact, you don’t even need to reach for anything. The doors unlock and the side mirrors fold out automatically when you come near the vehicle with the key in your pocket or purse. The reverse automatically happens when you walk away. It’s just simply convenient!
Chery designers did their homework with the interior. In front, there are two well-bolstered power seats clothed in double-stitched soft leather with electronic lumbar support adjustment for the driver’s seat. A 7-inch multifunction digital instrument cluster is situated behind a 4-spoke D-shaped steering wheel with control buttons that controls the infotainment system monitored thru a 10.25-inch true-color touchscreen. The 8-inch climate control touchscreen, electronic gear shifter, electronic parking brake, and wireless mobile phone charger reside on a “floating” center console that has a blue-lighted bin below. Every detail of the interior was designed to flaunt the modern technology lurking underneath the Tiggo 7 Pro’s skin.
Room With A View (And Safety, Too)
Like the Tiggo 7, the piece de resistance of the Tiggo 7 Pro is its huge panoramic sunroof that provides all the occupants adequate sunlight and a view of the heavens. Rear seat passengers are treated to a comfortable bench seat with ample head-, shoulder- and legroom, and a rear aircon vent for their cooling comfort. In keeping with today’s safety standards, there are ISOFIX mounting points for child seats and bolsters, six airbags, and a myriad of safety features such as ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), ESP (Electronic Stability Program), EBA (Emergency Brake Assist), BOS (Brake Override System), BAS (Brake Assist System), HDC (Hill Decent Control), HHC (Hill Hold Control), TCS (Traction Control System), and ESS (Emergency Signal System).
The backrest of the rear seat has a 60/40 split to maximize the “utility” function of this compact SUV. The rear cargo hold has a retractable soft cover to hide items in the trunk from prying eyes. Removing the soft cover exposes around 475 liters of space behind the rear seats, which is more than adequate for two-weeks worth of groceries or several pieces of luggage. Folding the backrest completely forward increases the cargo space to around 1,500 liters, which can be utilized to transports big, bulky stuff, which should be clean so as not to soil the nice interior. A Powerlift automatic tailgate completes the cargo-carrying convenience.
Driving Safety Enhanced
To further enhance driving safety, Chery equipped the Tiggo 7 Pro with several real-time driving aid and information systems such as cruise control, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), LED daytime running lights (DRLs), and automatic headlamps. We particularly liked the 360º High-Definition Panoramic Camera that shows a real-time view of the vehicle’s surroundings. Because the windows of our test unit came heavily tinted, some areas may be difficult to see, especially during tight maneuvers, or when merging into traffic. The panoramic camera is a Godsent to newbie drivers and those with spatial difficulties.
You may think that a compact SUV with a “floating roof” design, integrated roof rack, N95 cabin filter, and all the abovementioned safety, performance, comfort, convenience and luxury features will cost an arm and a leg, but that’s what caught us by surprise. The cherry on the top of this Chery Tiggo 7 Pro is its competitive price, which is P1,198,000, only three grand more that the Tiggo 7. Add the aforementioned 10-year/1,000,000-kilometer engine warranty, a 5-year/150,000-kilometer vehicle warranty, and FREE periodic maintenance service AND emergency roadside assistance for three years, and the 2021 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro is beginning to look like another hit in the making.
Classification: 5-door compact crossover vehicle
Engine type: Turbocharged liquid-cooled inline-4 DOHC 16V
Capacity: 1498 cc
Maximum power: 145 hp @ 5500 rpm
Maximum torque: 210 Nm @ 1750-4400 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed CVT
Suspension: Macpherson struts (front) / independent multilink (rear)
Brakes: Ventilated discs (front) / solid discs (rear)
Wheels and tires: 10-spoke 18-inch alloys, 225/60R18 Yokohama Avid GT
Length: 4500 mm
Width: 1824 mm
Height: 1746 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Ground clearance: 210 mm
Curb weight: 1465 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 51 liters
Maximum load space volume behind 1st row – 1500 liters
Maximum load space volume behind 2nd row – 475 liters
Chery Auto Philippines
United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI)
728 A. Bonifacio Avenue, Balintawak, Quezon City
Tel. Nos.: (+632) 8442 4076 to78