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Juliet McGuire

First drive in the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

So Chery arrived back in South Africa with quite a bang when it launched the Tiggo 4 Pro last year. I was so impressed by that car. I have recommended it countless times since I drove it and every single person who has actually taken my advice (it doesn’t happen often) has messaged me afterwards to tell me how much they love their new car. When I got the invite to the Tiggo 8 Pro, I was so worried that it was going to be a massive let down after the hype of the Tiggo 4 Pro. I am so thrilled to report that it is, in fact, as incredible.

THE RIVALS

The Tiggo 8 Pro is a seven-seater and so takes on the likes of the Kia Sorento, the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, and Land Rover Discovery Sport to name but a few . But let me tell you something, none of its rivals offer the value for money that this Chery does. It is quite astounding. You will see the full pricing list at the bottom of this review, but what I will say for now is that it starts at an incredibly low R496 900. I know they don’t compete in the same segment, not even close, but just quickly consider that a Volkswagen Polo GTI will cost you around R480 000 as standard. This should give you an idea of that value for money I am talking about.

COMFORTABLE AF

First things first, the seats. Oh. My. God! They are some of the most comfortable car seats I have ever sat on. It is like sitting on squishy clouds. And the headrest, well the headrests must be made from kittens. All kinds of soft! Just sitting so comfortably makes for a pleasant drive. As driver or passenger. Leather seats are standard. The Executive get black and brown leather seats.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

There are just two trim levels to choose from, the Distinctive and the Executive. The interior of this Tiggo 8 Pro is something else. It is luxurious and comes standard with no less than three screens. The12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an 8.0-inch screen that houses the climate control. Speaking of which, the Executive models have a third air conditioning system for the rearmost seats. How nice?! It all looks very sleek and very modern. There is also wireless charging, voice control and a Sony sound system with 8 speakers. 

ALL THE POWER TO YOU

It is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 145 kW and 290 Nm, which means it is certainly punchy enough. It is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. There is a slight delay when you put your foot flat which can be a tad unsettling, so, if like me, you enjoy a bit of speed from standstill, this is not the car for it. When turning on to a road, I put my foot down and the poor transmission had no idea what to do and after what felt like an eternity, the power kicked in and the car catapulted in to which ever direction the wheels were faced at that point. A tip from me then, keep your wits about you when attempting this manoeuvre.

The fuel consumption is also shockingly high, which is so unfortunate. The same was said about the TIggo Pro 4. We were seeing a reading of around 11.2//100 km at one stage. It is the only real letdown about this car. If the fuel consumption sat at a reasonable number, these cars would almost be faultless.

SPACE FOR DAYS

A seven-seater usually means that the last row is for tiny children only. And have almost no legroom, but we were able to test just how spacious this car is when it was time to head to the airport. I shotgunned the front seat because behind me stood four tall and terrifying men. Ok, they weren’t terrifying, but they weren’t small in stature. One of them climbed in to the last row and commented on how he actually had space for his legs, which was a win. Next to him sat all of our bags. The other three piled in to the second row and again, the comment was on how much legroom there was. The driver and I were obviously the most comfortable and both had ample legroom. I also held all the control in terms of air-conditioning and music. I don’t hate being in control.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

SAFETY IN NUMBERS

If safety is a concern for you, then Chery had you in mind when putting the Tiggo 8 Pro together. It has six airbags as well as ABS with EBD, brake assist and electronic stability control with traction control. ISOFIX child seat mounts are also standard. There is rear park distance control and a 360-degree rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines, a tyre pressure monitoring system, hill assist, downhill descent control, keyless entry and push-button start as standard. 

The Executive model adds Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent High-beam Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Front Collision Warning, an emergency Brake Override System and a Door Open Warning and Prevention system.

FINAL WORDS

I know I mentioned the price of the Polo GTI earlier and it seems a bit absurd in a review about a seven-seater SUV, but it gives context to the value this car truly offers. Cars in general these days are hellishly expensive. So when a product comes in to the market at such a low price, one worries that it is too good to be true. We think it will be cheap, smell weird and kill us instantly if we are involved in an accident. I am so thrilled to say that the Tiggo Pro 8 is a car that is as good as any of its rivals, if not better in many respects. The price point is merely a bonus.

PRICING OF THE TIGGO 8 PRO

The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro will follow the example set by its smaller sibling, the Tiggo 4 Pro, and offers a comprehensive 10-year / 1-million-kilometre engine warranty. Only the original owner is afforded this warranty and it is not transferrable. 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.

  • Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Distinctive – R496 900.00
  • Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Executive – R546 900.00

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