April 28, 2022 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

Chery Picking

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro & PHEV

Chery has had a very colorful storied journey since it was founded in 1997 as a large state-owned enterprise with headquarters in Wuhu, China. Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. began their exports in 2001, and by 2003, they were recognized as being China’s largest automobile exporter. By 2011 Chery’s volume of exports accounted for 25% of its annual production. Then in 2012 Chery went into a 50:50 joint venture with the Jaguar Land Rover Group (the first Sino-British joint venture for high-end automobiles in China) to produce vehicles (Evoque L and Evoque Plug-In Hybrid, Discovery Sport and Plug-In Hybrid, Jaguar XF-L, Jaguar XE-L, Jaguar XE-L, and Jaguar E-Pace model family) and Ingenium engines for the China market. The Changshu production site is Jaguar Land Rover’s first vehicle manufacturing plant outside of the United Kingdom and it is a Global standard model plant.

In 2020, Chery rabidly returned to our domestic Philippine market with the striking mid-size pre-facelift Tiggo 8 crossover in its top Luxury EX trim. They swiftly followed with the Tiggo 7 Pro, Tiggo 5x, and Tiggo 2 to cover the market spectrum.

This is the fourth time that the Chery brand enters our market. I remember when James Deakin and I awarded the entry level Chery QQ the “Best-in-Class” C! Award back in 2004, we received a lot of flak from consumers who were in disbelief. I still stand by that award because the QQ was genuinely the best in its segment at the time. It offered car buyers a very affordable city solution that came with considerably more standard equipment than any other vehicle in its class and it did perform precisely as designed. It also planted the seed that established brands had to further be aware of more competition in the market, and adjust accordingly. The biggest issue back then with the first importer was not even about the Chery brand but its after-sales support.

Chery Automotive is now handled by its new official Philippine distributor, the United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI) which is also the distributor of Foton. So I am confident that buyers will certainly get the guaranteed support that they deserve and even more. UAAGI had concrete plans to have 30 dealerships throughout the country within two years before the pandemic struck. Chery currently supports their entire model range with a 10-Year or 1,000,000-kilometer engine factory warranty, a 5-Year or 150,000-kilometer General Vehicle Warranty, free preventive maintenance service for three years, and 3-years of free roadside assistance! These are very serious after-sales consumer support commitments from Chery Philippines and they plan to even expand these commitments with the three new model variants, two of which are seen and reviewed here: the Tiggo 8 Pro powered by a very lively 194 bhp / 214 lb-ft of torque direct injection 1.6-liter with intercooled turbo engine, and the debonaire Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid) that has a 95-kilometer pure EV range and has the combined ICE and EV power of 242 bhp and 281 lb-ft of torque through a 1.5-liter multipoint turbo engine and 19.27-kWh (55Ah) lithium-ion battery pack. The third variant of the heavily updated Tiggo 8 Pro, that is coming soon, is powered by a 2.0-liter direct injection intercooled turbo (241 bhp @ 5500 rpm & and 277 lb-ft @ 2000-4000 rpm) and will have features that are enjoyed in the PHEV model.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

The Tiggo model series name may be identified, in Western perspective, to 1891 Derbyshire, central United Kingdom. Chery Automobile was supposed to enter the North American market this year under HAAH Automobile Holdings with the VANTAS brand based on the Chery Exeed models and the T-GO brand. HAAH announced that the bespoke Vantas VX and TXL would be assembled in China and would arrive in the United States of America by the end of 2022, however, due to difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other external factors, the company filed for bankruptcy in July 2021. I am confident that a new group will work on it; the new Chery products are genuinely world-class and desirable.

The new Tiggo 8 Pro series are Chery’s flagships for our Philippine market. On a side note, the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV was developed and produced principally for their China market only. Thankfully, Chery Philippines was able to convince them and merited a production run for the Philippines, so our market is the very first outside of China to enjoy the feature-rich and sensible electrified 7-seater crossover.

The rigid modular T1X chassis with fully independent suspension is once again the base of both new Chery Tiggo8 Pro models, which was developed with Jaguar Land Rover technology and influence, together with the Bosch ten-in-one ESP 9.3 control systems. The updated and facelifted new Chery Tiggo 8 Pro models are built on the carried over chassis from the previous outgoing Tiggo 8 model, with completely redesigned front and rear ends with the “Life in Motion 3.0” design language combined with a complete overhaul in the cabins and drivetrains. The new models are slightly longer by 22 mm (0.9 in) and marginally taller by 1 mm compared to the Tiggo 8. The Pro PHEV further distinguishes itself from its unelectrified brothers with a different contrasting and more pronounced front grille surround, different front bumper cooling ducts, and for the rear, the dual exhausts are faux but real in the 1.6T and 2.0T variants.

In the very attractive interior cabins, the dashboards are different. The Pro PHEV features continuously presented dual 12.3-inch displays with the LION4.0 infotainment system, very tasteful homogenous climate control venting, and a Sony 8-speaker surround audio system, while the 1.6T uses a more traditional layout treatment with separate instrumentation (12.3-inch digital instrumentation and 10.25-inch floating touchscreen) and venting. Both models have excellent full LED-lighting (with integrated front Dynamic Turning Signal) on both ends, 360-degree AVM (Around View Monitor) in 720p, an 8-inch control screen for the climate control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, aluminum alloy one-piece load-bearing roof racks that supports a load of up to 80kg, and massive 1.96m2 skylight panoramic moonroofs. The very stylish seat designs and comfort levels are identical, though the 1.6T comes with active ventilated front seats in delightful brown surfaces, and ambient interior lighting. I must emphasize that the level of comfort from the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro and PHEV seats are absolutely exemplary.

The climate control system uses pharmaceutical-grade air purification. The N95-level air-conditioning purifier filters more than 95% of particles and pathogens, while the AQS + PM2.5 air quality control system detects irritating gas, automatically switching between inside and outside circulation to block harmful bacteria. The Tiggo 8 Pro also comes equipped with RICSCS (remote initiative cabin self-cleaning system), which automatically enables the intelligent cabin to self-clean, purify the air, sterilize bacteria, and remove dust and odor.

The Tiggo 8 Pro with the 1.6T is the new dynamic performance standard for its class and for the money. It is smooth and versatile when required and enthusiastic when the opportunity presents itself. The shifting can be overridden with the steering wheel paddleshifts with adjustable driving modes managing the excellent 7-speed DCT transmission.

 

The Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV on the other hand is a true master of affordable efficiency and refinement. The Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV can also be quite swift but there is a profoundly stronger emphasis on fuel and emission efficiencies. For maximum operating range, the Plug-In battery can be fully charged using a common grounded household 240V plug with the supplied charger for approximately 5 hours of charging from a completely depleted battery pack to gain as much as 95 kilometers of pure EV range in silence and with no carbon emissions. Once you speed past 38 km/h though, the engine will wake up and take over with the traditional hybrid system. The capabilities and adjustability of the system is remarkable. You can also adjust the brake regeneration settings to suite your driving requirements. The DHT Super Hybrid Continuously Variable Transmission combined with the multiple drive modes is also one of the keenest that I have ever tested.

We tested both new Chery Tiggo 8 Pro units before their launch at the MIAS 2022 so you may notice that the rear monikers on the purple PHEV unit are either taped up or state a different “Plus” name instead. As it stands, Chery has solid winners here worthy of long-term duty and love from buyers looking for tremendous value in intelligent and thoughtful packaging for their next 7-seater crossover.

Specification – 2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro

Engine: Inline-4

Location: Front, Transverse

Displacement: 1598 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder

Fuel Injection: Direct Injection, Intercooled Turbo

Max power: 194 bhp @ 5500 rpm

Max torque: 214 lb-ft @ 2000-4000 rpm

Transmission: 7-speed Dual Clutch, Front-Wheel-Drive

Front suspension: Independent MacPherson Strut with Gas-Pressurized dampers and anti-roll bar.

Rear suspension: Independent Multi-link, coil springs with Gas-Pressurized dampers and anti-roll bar.

Fuel Capacity: 51 liters (13.5 gallons)

Load Capacity: 889 liters with third-row fixed, 1179 liters with third-row folded, 2101 liters with 2nd-row folded

Ground Clearance: 190 mm

L x W x H: 4722 mm x 1860 mm x 1745 mm

Wheelbase: 2710 mm

Brakes: Front 12.4-inch (316 mm) ventilated discs with single-piston calipers / Rear 12.3-inch (314 mm) solid discs with single-piston calipers Integrated Electric Parking Brake, ABS, HAC, ESC, DBC, TSA

Wheels: 18”x 7.5J Multi-spoke Two-tone Aluminum Alloys

Tires: P235/55R18 100V Cooper Evolution CTT SUV

Weight: (kerb) 1565 kg. (3443 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 7.9 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 218 km/h (136 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 6.8 L/100 km Overall

Price as tested: PhP 1,645,000.00

 

C! RATING 9.5/10

+The most dynamic in its class, very attractive, balanced ride, very comfortable seats, feature-rich.

No AWD. Wish the Sony audio was standard.

Specification – 2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV

Engine: Inline-4

Location: Front, Transverse

Displacement: 1498 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Dual VVT

Fuel Injection: Multipoint Injection, Atkinson-cycle, One 33.5 hp (25kW) / 59 lb-ft @ 2984 rpm & One 54 hp (40 kW) / 52 lb-ft @ 5457 rpm Permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, 19.27-kWh (55Ah) lithium-ion battery pack.

Max power: 155 hp @ 5500 rpm (Combined power with EV: 242.5 hp)

Max torque: 170 lb-ft @ 1750-4000 rpm (approximately 281 lb-ft combined with EV)

Transmission: DHT Super Hybrid CVT, Front Wheel Drive

Front suspension: Independent MacPherson Strut with Gas-Pressurized dampers and anti-roll bar.

Rear suspension: Independent Multi-link, coil springs with Gas-Pressurized dampers and anti-roll bar.

Fuel Capacity: 45 liters (12 gallons)

Ground Clearance: 190 mm

Load Capacity: 889 liters with third-row fixed, 1179 liters with third-row folded, 2101 liters with second-row folded

L x W x H: 4722 mm x 1860 mm x 1747 mm

Wheelbase: 2710 mm

Brakes: Front 12.4-inch (316 mm) ventilated discs with single-piston calipers / Rear 12.3-inch (314 mm) solid discs with single-piston calipers Wheels: 18”x 7.5J Multi-spoke Two-tone Aluminum Alloys

Tires: P235/55R18 100V Cooper Evolution CTT SUV

Weight: (kerb) 1769 kg. (3892 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 8.9 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 212 km/h (132 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 6.4 L/100 kms. Overall (95 kilometer Pure EV Range)

Price as tested: PhP 2,400,000.00

C! RATING 9.5/10

+The most affordable and most versatile full-featured Plug-In PHEV in the market, balanced ride, desirable, good Sony audio, very efficient, remarkable cabin design and interior materials, very comfortable and peppy.

Price. No AWD. No powered trunk. No wireless smartphone pad.

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