The Chery brand isn’t entirely new in the local automotive fold. If you remember well, the Chinese marque sold cars here in SA years ago before fizzling out and before the end of 2021, the brand made a comeback.

Infused with new energy, the Chery brand hit the market with its new Tiggo 4 Pro and later its Tiggo 8 Pro which sits at the top of the Tiggo range. Like its Chinese competitor, Chery’s comeback to the market proves that if we were to get rid of the notion that Chinese products aren’t durable, we may just lose driving something solid. A perfect example is the new Chery Tiggo 8 Pro which sets a new benchmark in the automotive segment. It is offered in two trim levels; Distinctive and Executive.

Exterior Design

In terms of looks, it does look the part and follows the same mature recipe worn by the petite Tiggo 4 Pro model. It spawns what Chery calls ‘Movement Design’ that comes in the form of a 3D front grille inspired by the stars in the galaxies. 

The exterior design is further complemented by two fully automatic headlights with dual daytime running lights that are standard across the entire range. Other unique design elements include subtle but striking satin chrome finishes across the lower air intake, which double as a strike plate, the fog lamps, grille, windows and lower door section.

The rear is accentuated by LED rear lights with dual fog lights and a high-mounted central stoplight. The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro rides on 18-inch alloy wheels in chrome and black design.

Chery Tiggo Pro 8 front and side view

Interior design

The interior of the new Tiggo 8 Pro is decent, thanks to hard-wearing materials, great quality cabin appointments as well as a digitized cabin. There is a 12.3-inch high-res instrument panel and a secondary 8-inch wide climate system.

There is a fully-automatic, dual-zone climate control with N95-grade air purifying as standard with the range-topping models adding a third air conditioning system for the rear seats. The Tiggo 8 Pro also features a 10.25-inch high-definition floating multimedia display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone pairing. The system features two USB ports and a good Sony sound system with 8 surround speakers as standard. The system works seamlessly well.

The range-topping Executive model also adds a panoramic sunroof.

Chery Tiggo Pro 8 Interior

Safety

Offered as standard across the range are six airbags, traction control, roll stability control, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, emergency brake assist and ISOFIX child seat anchors. Other features include rear park distance control plus a rear-view camera with dynamic guides and a 360-degree parking view, auto-locking on the drive, remote car locking and automatic window closing, tyre pressure monitoring, hill assist and downhill ascent control, an anti-theft alarm and keyless entry with a push-button start as standard.

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

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Sideview

Powertrain and Transmission

At the heart of the new Chery Tiggo, 8 Pro beats a 1.6-litre TGDI petrol engine with 145 kW and 290 Nm which is mated to a 7-speed DCT transmission that drives the front wheels. It is equipped with three driving modes; Standard, Eco and Sport.

With most of the driving done in Standard, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro goes about its business in the most aplomb manner. However, there is a small amount of torque steer when pulling away but once the car gets going, that dies down further giving the Tiggo acceptable road manners.

Fuel Economy

Sadly, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro is far from being economical after registering 10.2l/100km instead of the manufacturer’s claimed 7l/100km. Even on the open road, the numbers slightly drop below 10l/100km which is far from our liking.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Rearview

Pricing and Warranty

Just like the Tiggo 4 Pro, the Tiggo 8 Pro is backed up by 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 as 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

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Executive R546,900

What We Like: Affordable, spacious, host of standard tech

What We Don’t Like: Not the most economical

Verdict

The Chery Tiggo 8 fits the bill of having a spacious SUV that is filled to the brim with a host of standard technologies backed up by an easy driving experience for a lesser price. Chery engineers just need to get the fuel consumption right and all is good.