One of the most frequent questions we get is: “should I buy one of those cool new Chinese SUV’s?” We recently spent a week with Chery’s Tiggo 7 Pro in an effort to find out…
You should know: Not long ago, Chinese cars were a bit of a joke. Cheaply made with a strong smell of glue, plus the Chery products looked a bit like an actual cherry. Now, though… have you seen the car on these pages? It’s well-balanced with crisp lines and pucker SUV proportions, including today’s trendy floating roof line, semi-aggro face and oversized grill.
More info: It gets even better inside, where you’ll find some sort of kinky ménage à trois between a Honda, BMW and Tesla. The cabin is reasonably spacious (475-1500L cargo space) and comfortable but its highlights are beautiful shapes and soft surfaces, accentuated by fine chrome details and enough screens to make any millennial happy. It looks modern and stylish.
What else? Power comes from a 1.5L 4-cylinder turbo-petrol to the tune of 108kW or 210Nm, driving the front 225/60R18 wheels via a modern CVT and 3-way drive modes. It’s here where you’ll find differences to the more established Europeans or Japanese, although considering their propensity for jerky DCT’s or howling CVT’s, this drive-train isn’t much worse.
Why you shouldn’t: The power delivery isn’t always smooth and while the manufacturer claims 6.8L/100km from the 51L tank, we didn’t get near that figure. It appears that the general public is also struggling with that claim, especially around town. We also found some infotainment graphics a little low-res at times.
Why you should: The price of about 440k to 485k for two well-specified models with four airbags, full vehicle stability control with ABS etc., automatic LED headlights, climate control, voice command, keyless access and start, rear camera, plus plenty of infotainment and communication features.
The more expensive “Executive” models get two more airbags, a panoramic glass roof, a surround camera, lane mitigation and adaptive cruise control. Yup, all included in the price! Chery also includes a 5-year/150,000km warranty (1 million on the engine for first owners) and a 5-year/60,000km service plan.
Does that mean you can buy this Chinese SUV with our blessing? If you’re an “early adopter” who can stomach the odd teething problem, you most certainly have our recommendation!
FULL SPEC LIST
|Engine:||1,498cc i-4 turbo-petrol|
|Max. Power:||102kW @ 5,500rpm|
|Max. Torque:||210Nm @ 1,750rpm|
|Avg. cons.:||(claimed 6.8L/100km)|
|Top Speed:||No claim|
|List Price:||From R437,900|