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Monday, May 23, 2022

First Drive: 2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro 1.6T

Chery’s a brand on a mission, and while they still have a mountain to climb, they know they’ve got the tools to do it. In the decades since the uncheerful QQ, they’ve managed to transform themselves into makers of vehicles with design and technology that match the best of the world. Although they still prefer to drop the name of their suppliers (Bosch being the most notable example) and their inspirations (Audi being the most mentioned) so casually into their marketing presentations, it’s time for them to stand on their own because the proof’s in the pudding; and the pudding doesn’t get any tastier than with the Tiggo 8 Pro.

At P 1.65-million, some will balk, and ask what Chery Auto Philippines is smoking. Yet, drop the badge snobbery for a minute, and you’ll immediately appreciate how far they’ve gone with their design. Thanks to the hiring of foreign design talent (yet another favorite of theirs to drop into conversations), they’ve come up with their own design DNA; one that goes beyond copy-pasting someone else’s work.

If anything, the Japanese and Korean automakers have a right to be worried. The Tiggo 8 Pro passes the all-important driveway test. There’s not a line wrong here; no oddball or other weird stuff going on. It looks impressively tidy with just the right amount of chrome bits to give it that snazz. Plus, it’s well-finished too with a quality paint job, consistent finishing, and solid levels of construction. Oh, and yes, they’ve fitted it with absolutely everything. It leaves little to the imagination with its LED lighting elements with scrolling signal indicators to boot, a panoramic sunroof, and brightly finished 18-inch alloy wheels.

As impressive as it is outside, the Tiggo 8 Pro delivers when you step inside. It’s filled edge-to-edge with soft-touch plastics, plush leather, and even well-textured plastics. There are some economy bits, but they’re few and far in-between. The two-tone color scheme and expansive aluminum trim also do well to distract passengers from finding them. The layout is pretty close to a Land Rover, which shouldn’t be surprising because they are, after all, Chery’s joint-venture partner in China. With that, it gets a large 7-inch all-digital gauge cluster and a massive 12.3-inch tablet-style infotainment display. And compared to its other mainland rivals, it comes with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Now priced squarely in the mid-sized SUV category, the Tiggo 8 Pro encounters one slight problem: the third row. If treated merely as vestigial or jump seats, that’s no problem. However, for families that will regularly use them to adults, the headroom is eaten up by the panoramic sunroof. An average-sized Filipino adult would fit just fine, but anyone north of 175 centimeters (5 feet 9 inches) will find their heads brushing against the ceiling. The second-row slides fore and aft though, so there’s no issue when it comes to the available knee room.

Another oddity here is that entry into the last row of seats can only be done on the right-hand side. Though the entire second row folds completely flat, only the smaller part—the 40 of the 60/40 split-fold detaches from the floor rails. Sure, nimble individuals can still manage to climb over the folded seat back, but geriatrics and overweight motoring journalists will have a difficult time.

Opting to choose an engine not dictated by friendlier tariffs with China, the Tiggo 8 Pro comes with a 1.6-liter direct-injected turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Driving the front wheels, it makes 195 horsepower and 290 Nm of torque, according to Chery Auto Philippines. It transforms the overall driving experience from something that’s ho-hum to something mildly exciting, at least. It won’t set your loins on fire, but it’s enough to pull its unibody frame and three people aboard with ease. Even better, the dual clutch automatic doesn’t suffer from the usual trope. Shifts are smooth, refined, and quick. In this short jaunt through Subic and Bataan, it’s enough to give Kia’s dual clutch system a run for its money.

When it comes to ride, it sides with what people consider to be traditional luxury. Although the Tiggo 8 Pro unit tested still came with its delivery tire pressure (42 PSI), the ride quality remains solid. It’s likely that dropping the tire pressure down to its recommended level would result in a soft and waft-like ride. As it stands, it manages to glide through humps and bumps, with just the jarring from the ultra-stiff tires jolting the cabin. Honestly, it does neuter the driving experience somewhat, but at least it isolates the passengers from the hustle-and-bustle of the outside world. Oh, and it’s worth noting that Chery says the cabin’s ultra-quiet at idle, registering just 35 decibels. It’s a believable figure.

New to the Tiggo 8 Pro is Chery’s suite of advanced driver assistance systems. It bundles eight different functions: Adaptive Cruise Control; Forward Collision Warning; Lane Keeping Assist; Autonomous Emergency Braking; Lane Departure Warning; Rear Cross Traffic Alert; Door Open Warning; and Blind Spot Detection.

Again, a full drive is required to find out once and for all if it works on Manila’s chaotic roads, but through the roads of Subic, it works perfectly. Unlike other systems, the Tiggo 8 Pro can even read the speed limit signs, and adjust the speed of its adaptive cruise control automatically.

From time to time, Chery may still lean on more known brands and talent to tell the world that they’ve got a world-class car over here, but frankly, they don’t need to. Even without some far-fetched western connection, the Tiggo 8 Pro comes across as a legitimately good choice. From a purely product perspective, they’ve gone a long way. From a company that was known for the QQ comes a legitimate challenger in the mid-sized SUV space. The world’s changed, Chery’s showing the way, and everyone’s watching.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Specifications

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Dimensions
  • Overall Length: 4,722 mm
  • Overall Width: 1,860 mm
  • Overall Height: 1,746 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,710 mm
  • Minimum Ground Clearance: 196 mm
  • Seats: 7
  • Trunk Volume: 1,179 to 2,101 liters
2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Engine & Transmission
  • Engine: 1.6 TGDI 4-cylinder (Euro 5)
  • Maximum Output: 195 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
  • Maximum Torque: 290 Nm @ 2,000 to 4,000 rpm
  • Front Suspension: Independent, MacPherson Strut
  • Rear Suspension: Independent, Multi-link
  • Transmission: 7-speed DCT, Wet-type
  • Driving Modes: Eco, Sport
2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Suspension
  • Front Brakes: Vented Disc
  • Rear Brakes: Disc
  • Tire Sizes and Wheels: 235/55R18
2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Exterior Features
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Load-Bearing Roof Rail
  • One-touch Power Windows w/ Anti-pinch
  • LED DRLs
2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Comfort Features
  • Multi-function Steering Wheel
  • Push Start Button
  • Intelligent Remote Key
  • Automatic Dual Zone Climate Control w/ Rear AC Controls
  • Electronic Lumbar Support
  • 8-inch LCD Instrument Cluster
  • 12.3-inch Infotainment System w/ Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • 8 Speakers
  • Mobile Phone Wireless Charging
  • Black/Brown Interior Color
  • Multi-color Ambient Lighting
2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Safety Features
  • 6 SRS Airbags
  • ABS with EBD
  • ISOFIX Child Seat Anchors
  • Electronic Stability Program
  • Hill Assist Control
  • Emergency Brake Assist
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control w/ Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Front Collision Warning
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Door Open Warning
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors
  • 360-degree Camera
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Electronic Parking Brake w/ Auto Hold


  1. Features pack n value for money, but for peace of mind n sure durability ill go for battle tested crv

    1. Much better peace of mind if only CRV got a 10-year engine warranty and 5-year general warranty. Ha!

    2. CR-V with that underpowered, late 2000s-era Euro 4 diesel engine they used on Euro Civics more than a decade ago? Pass.

  2. Good job Chery Ph. Let's see how Geely responds through a potential facelift of the Okavango.

  3. As I have said before from its launch, it was mind-blowing. From the price point to the features, you'll definitely wonder what Chery is smoking lately.

    Kidding aside, this is a legitimate threat on the mainstream brands, let alone Chinese contemporaries (heck, even Geely are absolutely stubborn to put Android Auto or Carplay or even their ADAS.)

    1. To add, looks like Uly got a sweet time and a good experience driving this Chery. It's evident from this review.

  4. Checked online and pricing should be between 20,000 to 25,000 USD. Thats 1.3M. 1.645M seems to much. I am expecting that these might get heavy discounting around 150-200k by Q4 this year.

    1. You also have to take tariffs/taxes into account (given that it's not a 1.5L engine, it might get excluded from ACFTA, for example.)

  5. Any word on powered operation of the liftgate?

  6. Weird thing to ask Uly but how was the smell of the interior? I didn't like it when I saw this last MIAS.

    1. kaya pala ganyan ka na mag isip. nagka permanent brain damage ka pala kaka amoy ng fumes.

    2. I forgot to remind you guys na Ford is also Pikon. Remember when Uly trashed Ford Territory in his review that Ford pulled their advertorial money out of this site?

      That is why I only rely on for unbiased reviews.

    3. Unbiased? Look at the hundred articles here praising Mazda lolz

    4. Becuase it's praiseworthy, you ignorant dolt. It's not as if other review sites difder in their opinion. You don't get local & foreign awards just by giving out payola. Also, those complaining on the Ford Territory review aren't exactly unbiased commentators, one of them is the founder of the Ford Everest/Ranger PH owner's group on FB. He gets special treatment, discounts, freebies, advance info from Ford execs & dealers because of that. I know because I'm a member of the FB group. The others are existing Ford owners so they're also not objective in their judgment.

  7. Uly where you able to try the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistant, where these stable, centered on the road and safe distances where always present

    1. No, I wasn't able to try it. Convoy driving made it difficult to try out the tech...but given how it can read road signs, lane keep and adaptive cruise control should work well.

  8. With the influx of Chinese quality cars, this will be good for the automotive industry, either the competition keeps up with the technology, comfort and warranty or pull down their prices. And those saying because it is made in China, well check your phones or any electronics you are using it might be manufactured their


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