January 22, 2021 By Paolo de Borja Photos by the author

Top 5 Things to Watch Out for on the Chery Tiggo 8

The return of the Chery brand in our local market feels different compared to its initial arrival in the mid-2000s. Remember the QQ? Sure, the little cute car received criticism due to its small stature and its release in our country marked original arrival of the China-branded cars. And to be completely candid, local buyers really weren’t as welcoming back then. However, the inexpensive price still gave the QQ some pros. And we believe that the most of the flack the brand received in the past was due to the aftersales support, and not on the car itself.

Now under new distributorship in United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI), Chery Auto Philippines has stormed back into our market with a lineup of crossovers to get a share in the pie. At the top of this list its flagship Chery Tiggo 8. Revealed at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, this elegant-looking midsize crossover is an excellent example of the progress Chery has made since it was first introduced in our market.

If you can’t believe that this stylish crossover is a Chery, I don’t blame you. The Tiggo 8 was a pleasant surprise in many aspects. And here the Top 5 things worth looking at on the flagship crossover:

#1 The Tiggo 8’s striking exterior

Shocked is the word we’d use to describe how we felt upon seeing the Tiggo 8 in person. It goes against the trend of sharp and boxy lines seen in today’s crossovers and SUVs. Instead, the Tiggo 8 applies more of a fluidic and conservative styling without sacrificing appeal. The black grille is demanding but not tacky in size. These are matched by black body cladding and a set of 18-inch rims finished in gun-metal . We also appreciate how the chrome finishes are subtly placed instead of being stamped all over the car. LED headlights and LED daytime running lights don the face of the Tiggo 8, in line with  the upscale construction of the crossover. The rear is very pleasant with the taillights that stretch fully to either side, resembling those of European crossovers and SUVs. Completing the exterior is a powerlift tailgate, which again is evidence of how fully-loaded Tiggo 8.

#2 The Tiggo 8’s best qualities are in the interior

Honestly, we never expected to see what we witnessed in the interior of the Tiggo 8. It’s neither boring nor does it try to do too much. Faux leather material is used on the seats, bits of the dashboard, and door sidings. Chery claims that the Tiggo 8 uses the same seats installed in some Jaguars and Land Rovers. Speaking of Jaguar Land Rover, the layout of dual-climate control system is very similar to that of some Range Rover models. It’s up to you how you take that comparison, but we sure enjoyed operating the upscale-looking system. One of the key features in the interior is the ambient lighting. Again, it’s subtly utilized when considering the entirety of the interior and blends in just fine. At the center of the dash is a 10.25-inch infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink for Android users. The driver’s seat can be electronically adjusted in six ways while the front passenger seat is manually adjustable. Room at the second row is quite spacious considering the large dimensions of the Tiggo 8. Occupants here also have their own a/c vents. The third-row seats don’t offer the best space, but it’s easily adjustable since the second-row seats are slidable.

#3 The technology and equipment on the Tiggo 8

The Tiggo 8 has its own smart watch that can lock/unlock, roll down the windows, open the moonroof, and start the engine. Driver assistance technology include a 360-panoramic camera view, cruise control, hill descent control, and auto hold function. It has a fully-digital instrument cluster themes  of ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Passionate.’ Interesting choice of names. On safety equipment, the Tiggo 8 has four airbags, stability control, and an electronic parking brake. It’s also commendable how the doors automatically unlock as you approach the car with the key fob in your pocket.

#4 The warranty on the Tiggo 8

Talk about trying to make up for the past. Alongside the free three-year maintenance package, Chery offers a ten-year or one-million-kilometer engine warrants for all its models. Under the hood is a 1.5-liter inline-4 turbocharged gasoline engine that’s connected to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.

#5 The price of the Tiggo 8

At a price of P1,340,000, the Chery Tiggo 8 is indeed a bang-for-the-buck mid-size crossover when considering the size, interior quality, and the technology it comes with. The dimensions and styling can rival those of more established models like the CR-V, RAV4, and Forester – but hundreds of thousands of pesos cheaper. Overall, Chery did an excellent job in designing and equipping the Tiggo 8 with everything a modern consumer looks for. What we have only yet to see is the long-term durability and its ability to mend the mend the past reputation of the brand in the eyes of local buyers.

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