Friday, October 16, 2020

Review: 2020 Chery Tiggo 7 1.5 Comfort


Like it or not, the Chinese carmakers are here, and they’ve pretty much overturned the pecking order. Their disruptive pricing means that in a P 200,000 price spread—P 1 million to P 1.2 million—there are at least five new offerings in the market. It’s become so competitive (and lucrative) that Ford, once so proud of their branding, had to turn to China for a quick badge slap job just to get a piece of the action. In such a competitive landscape, where does the Chery Tiggo 7 lie in all this? Time to find out.

There are some attempts to give the Tiggo 7 some unique style, but whether that’s successful is a verdict best left to the beholder. It is, admittedly, unique amidst the slew of Chinese crossovers. Chery calls the design lingo, “hydrodynamic” (influenced supposedly by the shaping nature of running water), and as a result combines both hard and soft edges on the car. Subjectively, it’s a mixed bag for me. I actually like the front and rear ends, but I just don’t get the side creases that terminate with the side turn signal lamp. It’s just plain weird. Objectively though, it’s well-loaded with the sole Comfort trim getting HID headlights, 18-inch wheels, power folding mirrors, and as de rigueur with other Chinese offerings, a giant sunroof.




Despite all of the Tiggo 7’s attempts at style outside, inside, they’ve gone mostly for a straightforward approach. There are some odd bits here and there which I’ll get to in a bit, but overall, the cabin is laid out well. The steering wheel only adjusts for tilt, and the seats do require muscle power (sorry, no electronic adjustment here), but the resulting driving position is actually quite comfortable. Sadly, despite being positioned higher than the Tiggo 5X, there’s no soft touch plastic in sight; even the parking brake is traditional. Still, everything feels solidly put together.

As to the odd bits I was referring to, the most obvious one is the tachometer that swings in a counterclockwise direction. If that’s not weird enough, you also have the positioning of some of the controls. Normally, switchgear is bunched based on function—climate control, infotainment, and what have you. In the Tiggo 7 though, everything is crammed to a set of three knobs and six buttons all located in the same cluster on the dashboard. The air conditioner is controlled by the two outer knobs, while the infotainment volume and power are controlled by the central knob and button. Heck, even the driving mode selector (Eco or Sport) is crammed with the front and rear defogger. Weird as the layout is, at least Chery did provide tactile physical controls as the overreliance on a touchscreen is a mortal sin.




In terms of room, the Tiggo 7 passes with flying colors. Despite its P 1.195 million list price (P 1 million net of discounts), its size is more compact SUV than compact crossover. With that, head- and legroom are in abundance. The rear passengers are treated very well too with three 3-point seatbelts, adjustable seatbacks, adjustable headrests, and their very own air vents. If there’s one area that could use some improvement, it’s the lack of usable cubby holes. While there seems to be a smartphone slot in front of the shifter (perfect, because Apple CarPlay comes standard), it can’t even fit a smartphone with a 5-inch screen. Any attempt to put one there will result in the said smartphone flying around even at the slightest vehicle movement.

Positioned as the sportiest among Chery Auto’s local offerings, the Tiggo 7 does have the right ingredients, at least on paper. It uses the larger Tiggo 8’s turbocharged 1.5-liter engine (145 horsepower, 210 Nm of torque), and together with a body that’s 101 kilograms lighter it should at least give formidable straight-line punch, right? Well, not exactly. Similar to the Tiggo 8, the 6-speed dual clutch here is tuned more for comfort than outright response. Most of the time, it’s preoccupied in trying to mitigate or quelling shift shock (it does so quite convincingly, actually). Switching over to Sport or jabbing the throttle does liven things a bit, but not by much. Of note though: once it gets going, it’s fast.




The Tiggo 7’s ride and handling characteristics are also parallel to that of the powertrain. Thrown into a corner, it prefers to roll through them. It’s tidy enough, but the roly-poly feel means steering corrections are necessary to keep it in line. What it trades for that sense of agility is one plush, cushy ride. The suspension is tuned towards the soft side, but unlike in the case of the Ford Territory, the body structure (despite the giant sunroof) plays along. As a result, no one will feel car sick, and there’s no noticeable dive during braking.

Overall, the Chery Tiggo 7 doesn’t carry the same level of whizz-bang as the competition. It can’t claim to have all the toys to make a tech-loving millennial wet their pants, nor can it claim some sort of Swedish engineering connection. What it is, is a silent worker—content to blend in the background, toiling away to make sure you get to your destination in relative comfort. On paper, it blends along with the myriad of Chinese crossovers. In practice though, it manages to nail most of the basic ingredients resulting in a compact SUV that’s comfortable in its own skin.





2020 Chery Tiggo 7 Comfort

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Ownership 2020 Chery Tiggo 7 1.5T Comfort
Year Introduced 2019
Vehicle Classification Compact SUV
Warranty 5 years / 150,000 kilometers,
10 years / 1,000,000 kilometers (powertrain)
The Basic
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 145 @ 5,500
Nm @ rpm 210 @ 1,750-4,400
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 6 DCT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 8.77 km/L @ 16 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,505
Width (mm) 1,837
Height (mm) 1,670
Wheelbase (mm) 2,670
Curb Weight (kg) 1,440
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-Link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Maxxis Bravo HP M3 225/60R18 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear, w/ Rear Camera
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Hold Assist
Hill Descent Control
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen (as tested),
LED (as standard)
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Manual, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface PVC
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB
Bluetooth
Apple CarPlay
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes

2 comments:

  1. It was interesting, up until the point where I read 6-speed dual clutch. I hate dual clutch

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sadly, it uses a dry DCT. Dry DCTs are not known to be reliable. I hope every manufacturer includes the type of DCT (if equipped) they are using in the spec sheet. https://www.cheryinternational.com/model-Tiggo7.html

    ReplyDelete

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