Driven - Oct 2021

A Short and Sweet Taste of the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro

We braved the wet weather on a cold Monday morning to get our first taste of the new Chery Tiggo 4 Pro! 🌧

So what do we know about the latest Chinese entrant? Well, not much really. Chery South Africa were tight-lipped about any specification or price of their new crossover, which will make its official launch next month. So all we can report on is what we can see, touch and hear 👀

Our time with the car was also quite fleeting and tightly controlled at Gerotek Testing Facilities, where we made use of the skidpan, a light off-road course and quick bash up the twisty mountain pass. Environments in which Chery believes their Tiggo will perform well and we’re glad to report that it did! ✅

The one piece of intel that we do have is that under the bonnet is a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine that produces 108kW and 210Nm. A naturally aspirated version will also be available with just 85kW and 141Nm. The turbo charged engine performed well under acceleration and had enough poke to get us up some of the steeper hills on the mountain pass, while the CVT gearbox seemed decent enough. It did struggle to optimise the revs when going uphill and sometimes landed up in the middle of the rev range when you needed max rpm to get you to the top.

Around the corners is where the Tiggo impressed most as the suspension did a good job of keeping the body from swaying all over the place while there was a surprising amount of grip. It didn’t feel as flustered and out of depth as you may think in this environment. 👏🏽

So what didn’t we like? ❌ The brakes don’t seem to give you a whole load of confidence. There isn’t any significant bite when you stomp on them nor any gradual feel when applying different pressures. In fairness, the conditions were less than ideal and this is still a front-wheel drive crossover in the end of the day. On that note, while your Chery could possibly do a bit of the dirty stuff, I wouldn’t suggest getting stuck in the mud with this one. This is a subjective point but the styling is attractive but generic. The front end reminds us of a Ford Kuga. Anyone else see that?

In what seems to be an abrupt u-turn in our conventional thinking, the latest crop of Chinese cars have exhibited better fit and finish on the inside than some of its more mainstream competitors 😎 The same can be said about the Tiggo’s interior! There’s a good use of quality materials that appears to be well-glued together, plus a host of tech features. But we can’t help but feel we’ve seen similar climate control buttons in a VW Tiguan before! Or maybe it’s the other way round? Who knows.

The centre screen measures at 10.25-inches and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The graphics are crisp and the operation is relatively quick, but it did lack the fancy 360 degree camera system that you would find in a Haval Jolion.

Speaking of the Jolion, that is who we believe Chery has their eyes firmly set on as their main competitor. The Tiggo will compete in the now saturated crossover market where you might also consider a Hyundai Creta, Ford EcoSport, etc. Although, it is interesting to note the differences in size. The Tiggo has a 2 610mm wheelbase and an overall length of 4 318mm – making it almost exactly the same size as a Hyundai Creta, but shorter than a Jolion which has a length of 4 472mm. The likes of the Nissan Magnite and Suzuki Vitara Brezza fall into a smaller category as their dimensions can’t compete with the cars above.

On first impressions, it seems that the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro will have more than a fighting chance in claiming a stake in this pie if they are able to get the pricing right.

But the true test comes on the open road and we’ll report back when we get to spend a bit more time with the car! 👀