Review: 2024 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro - A tale of unexpected affection

Review: 2024 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro - A tale of unexpected affection

Two years ago, the notion that Chery would make a triumphant return to Malaysia, armed with a lineup of modern SUVs, would have seemed far-fetched. Historically recognized as the quintessential budget brand, Chery was the go-to choice for those who needed mobility without a hefty price tag—a straightforward, economical solution for budget-conscious consumers.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Howe much is the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro?

    RM158,800.
  • What powertrain does it have?

    A 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine and 7-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission
  • How much power does it have?

    256 HP and 390Nm of torque
  • How many seats does it have?

    Technically 7, but it's more of a 5+2 arrangement
  • What kind of warranty does it have?

    Basic is a 7year/150k + 5 Year free service but you can pay to extend that to 10 years/1 mil km + 7 Years free maintennace
  • However, the narrative has dramatically shifted; Chery has re-entered the Malaysian market not just to compete with the big boys, but to redefine their image with a range of SUVs that are brimming with premium features and contemporary flair.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro front end

    Gone are the days when purchasing a Chery meant settling for basic functionality. Today, the brand's vehicles are packed with advanced technology and luxury amenities, offering substantial value while retaining their "bang for the buck" ethos. This transformation is both bold and strategic, positioning Chery as a serious contender in the competitive SUV segment.

    To date, Chery has launched three SUVs in Malaysia (one that's an EV), with plans to expand this lineup even further. Among these, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro stands out as a particularly intriguing model. It’s not just another vehicle in Chery’s portfolio—it's a testament to the brand's commitment to design, innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction at relatively affordable price.

    Without further ado, let’s dive into what makes the Tiggo 8 Pro a must-consider for those in the market for a new SUV.

    Initial Impressions: A rocky start

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro rear end

    Stepping into the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro, I was met with a blend of anticipation and skepticism. Priced competitively at RM160k(RM159,800), the SUV makes a bold promise to deliver a premium experience at a not-so-premium price.

    As the engine roared to life, so did my expectations, but the first interaction with its dual-clutch transmission was less than stellar. The gear shifts felt abrupt, marring the smooth start I had envisioned. This initial hiccup set the stage for what I anticipated might be a challenging relationship.

    The Engine: A surprising delight

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro engine

    As the kilometers added up, so did my understanding and appreciation of the Tiggo 8 Pro’s capabilities. The heart of this SUV, a 2.0-liter turbocharged TGDI engine, boasts a healthy 256HP and an impressive 390Nm of torque. For context, these figures are akin to what one might expect from a robust 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine. The power under the hood is palpable and thrilling—a testament to Chery’s strides in engine technology since they began building them themselves in 2005.

    The rush of torque is particularly satisfying, providing a spirited drive that began to endear the Tiggo 8 Pro to me. The generous torque of the engine not only delivers a thrilling surge and robust pull from low down in the rev range, but it also provides vital responsiveness for maneuvering through tricky situations, such as during overtaking.

    However, it's important to note that this is not an all-wheel drive SUV; all that robust torque is directed to the front wheels, which can make handling a bit challenging in certain conditions, such as during rain. While traction control does help maintain stability, it's wise to remain mindful of this, as with any vehicle possessing significant torque.

    Adapting to the transmission and rear view mirror

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro transmission

    The more time I spent with the Tiggo 8 Pro, the more the quirks of its 7-Speed dual-clutch transmission became familiar rather than bothersome. Designed to strike a balance between fuel efficiency and driving enjoyment, the transmission started to show its true colors.

    I began to anticipate its responses, aligning my driving style to its unique rhythms. This adaptation turned initial doubts into driving pleasure, highlighting how the Tiggo 8 Pro blends efficiency with the excitement of a sports-oriented vehicle. When the transmission hits its stride, you'll truly come to appreciate its performance—the gear shifts are smooth, satisfying, and remarkably predictable.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro rear view mirror

    Yet, not all was perfect. The wide-angle rearview mirror, while expansive, took some getting used to, as distance perception was slightly skewed. But like the transmission, once understood, it became another quirk to appreciate rather than a flaw to critique, as it did provide an all you can see view.

    Exterior design: It's one handsome looking SUV

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro side profile

    Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but from every angle, the exterior design of the SUV maintains an aesthetically pleasing balance, making it difficult to spot any flaws.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro grille

    The vehicle exudes a premium feel, from its expansive, diamond-studded grille to its Dodge Charger-inspired taillights, quad exhaust tips, and T-shaped third brake light—all elements that contribute to its visually appealing design.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro brake lights

    By the way, the Chery logo at the grille illuminates, really providing a nice touch when you walk to the SUV at night time.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro taillights

    Unlike many 7-seater SUVs that appear overly stretched from the side, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro maintains well-proportioned aesthetics that enhance its SUV credentials. Additionally, the wheel and tire combination is perfectly suited to its substantial body, ensuring it doesn’t appear underwhelming or mismatched.

    Infotainment: Not the snappiest, but filled with nice features

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro infotainment

    Regarding the center screen in the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro, while the exact size isn't specified due to its integration with the meter cluster—a combined display totaling 24.6 inches—it is undeniably expansive. This dual-screen setup, reminiscent of what you might find in a Mercedes, boasts a vibrant and high-definition display that enhances the cabin's modern feel.

    While the screens offer ample space to appreciate features like wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, navigating through the system could be more intuitive and responsive. It's not that the system performs poorly, but it isn’t the fastest on the market either. However, once you get accustomed to its quirks, it becomes quite manageable, and you can truly enjoy the crisp audio from the 8-speaker Premium Sony sound system.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Sony speakers

    Additionally, the touch-sensitive AC controls positioned just below the center screen can be inadvertently triggered due to their sensitive nature and proximity to frequently used touch areas. This, too, requires a bit of adaptation. Once familiarized, these interactions become second nature, enhancing the overall user experience.

    Interior and design: Premium ambiance

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Malaysia

    Inside, the Tiggo 8 Pro exudes a sense of thoughtfulness in design and choice of materials. The cabin feels refined, with a layout that could easily be mistaken for that of luxury brands. Every start of the engine feels ceremonious, enhancing the overall premium feel of the SUV. While the black and brown interior might not cater to all tastes, it’s executed in a way that exudes elegance and should appeal to the majority.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro rear seats

    The functionality of the interior space is commendable. The second row of seats not only offers comfort but also versatility with their ability to recline and slide, providing ample legroom and making long journeys more enjoyable. The second row passengers will also have access to amenities, including air conditioning vents and USB ports, underscoring the Tiggo 8 Pro’s commitment to passenger comfort.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

    The NVH levels in the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro are impressively managed, offering a quiet and refined cabin that underscores its premium ambiance. Enhanced by subtle ambient lighting, the interior provides an unexpectedly luxurious experience—one that you wouldn't have imagined possible from Chery just a few years ago.

    The Third Row and Practicality

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro third row seats

    Venturing into the third row, the space is more compact, designed more with children or short trips in mind. Yet, it’s not without its conveniences—cup holders and air conditioning controls add a layer of comfort that is often missing in vehicles where the third row feels like an afterthought.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro boot

    Although the boot space is limited with all seven seats in use, it is sufficient for small luggage, and the flexibility of the seating arrangements allows for larger items when the third row is not needed.

    Driving Dynamics and Safety

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro driving

    On the road, the Tiggo 8 Pro demonstrates a competent handling profile. The SUV takes corners with assurance and manages high speeds without unsettling the cabin. However, the ride can sometimes feel busy, as the suspension works hard to smooth out road imperfections. It’s a firm setup, which some might find a bit stiff, but it does a respectable job of soaking up bumps and potholes.

    The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro excels in safety, boasting an array of features often reserved for more expensive models. Its comprehensive safety suite, equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, enhances the vehicle's security, making it an ideal choice for family-oriented buyers. The extensive list of safety equipment includes lane departure warnings and keeping assistance, blind-spot detection, door open warnings, rear cross traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, and front collision warnings with automatic emergency braking (AEB). Furthermore, parking is made effortless with the support of an all-around camera system, which pops up at the centre screen in most low speed situations.

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro tyres

    In terms of airbag protection, the Tiggo 8 Pro goes beyond the standard by including a driver’s knee airbag and rear side airbags—features seldom found in vehicles within this price range in Malaysia, typically exclusive to luxury cars. These additions underscore Chery’s commitment to safety, cementing the Tiggo 8 Pro’s status as a top-tier contender in its class.

    Concluding Thoughts

    Chery Tiggo 8 Pro rear view

    As my time with the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro drew to a close, my initial reservations had transformed into genuine admiration. For RM160k, the SUV offers a compelling package that marries affordability with a luxe driving experience. It really is a testament to Chery’s ability to deliver a vehicle that can compete with, and in some aspects surpass, its pricier counterparts.

    In summary, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro is a standout in its category, challenging the norms of what a mid-range SUV can offer. Its blend of powerful performance, thoughtful interior design, and robust safety features make it a worthy contender for anyone in the market for a seven-seater that feels premium without the premium price tag. The Tiggo 8 Pro is not just a vehicle; it’s a statement—Chery is here to redefine expectations and deliver excellence.

    2024 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro specification

    • Drivetrain: 2.0-litre Turbo TGDi Direct Injection
    • Power output: 256HP
    • Torque: 390Nm 
    • Transmission: 7-Speed Dual Clutch
    • Seats: 7 (5+2)

    Adam Aubrey

    Adam Aubrey

    Adam Aubrey is an experienced writer and presenter with over a decade in the automotive industry, known for his passion for rebuilding older cars from the golden era of automotive design. His work also delves into the future of vehicles, highlighting the exciting potential of electric propulsion.

    Read Full Bio

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