REVIEW | Chery Tiggo 8 Pro has everything a good family car needs (except decent brakes) | Wheels
- chery tiggo 8 pro has everything but a sink, but its brakes are disappointing.
- There is a lack of refinement in body control when braking and during emergency stops.
- it redeems itself thanks to a sumptuous interior and comes with a stellar warranty.
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Priced at R546 900, the new seven-seater chery tiggo 8 pro is hugely attractive. After all, in this world of ever-rising car prices, you won’t find a roomy family vehicle like this, packed with so much luxury and technology, for this kind of money.
a decently equipped hyundai grand creta will cost you around r559 900 (and that’s a slightly smaller suv), while something like a new volkswagen caddy will cost Around R600 400 (and it’s a commercial vehicle underneath). If you’re willing to make do with a five-seater, you might consider the baic b40 as an option (r609 500), but you might want to read about our experience with that car first.
Reading: Chery cars review
We drove the tiggo 8 pro for the first time at its launch in south africa earlier this year and we were blown away. There were some concerns surrounding the vehicle’s brakes during launch, as the brake pedal felt wooden, and you really had to stand on it to stop the car, even at suburban speeds. Since these launch cars had about 100km of run on them, we figured the tires hadn’t even been properly scrubbed yet and the brakes needed to break in a bit more before we could properly assess their stopping power.
braking performance raises concerns
Now that we’ve had a week to evaluate the Tiggo 8 Pro, driving it daily around Johannesburg and on the highway to Pretoria and back a couple of times, we can report that braking remains a challenge on the Tiggo 8 Pro. Sure, it stalls and you get used to the feel of the brake pedal after a few days, but the artificial feedback does nothing to increase confidence on the trail. in fact, using the brakes during inclement weather highlighted the car’s lack of composure in an emergency.
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When you stand on the anchors, the car feels like it’s transferring all its weight to the front axle. we tested some emergency stops, from 60 km/h and 100 km/h in a controlled environment. Although we did not have GPS measuring equipment attached, the vehicle stopped later than other SUVs we tested on this same track. If you’re cornering and braking, the experience is even more daunting as the vehicle launches with a lack of body control. it’s too fidgety when you need to brake in an emergency, which worries us as it’s a family car.
It might have seven airbags, all the traction control tech, and might be made of strong metals, but Chery has to address the brakes on this vehicle to bring it in line with other vehicles we’ve tested.
some strange things we experience
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Away from the weird brakes, the chery tiggo 8 pro has a weird inside rear view mirror. it’s almost like you’re looking through a wide-angle lens, which took some getting used to. Sometimes, depending on the glare from the sun, looking in the rearview mirror would give me a headache. it would blind my eyes, and the unorthodox magnification almost made me not want to look in the rearview mirror while driving, which is very irresponsible.
The chery tiggo 4 pro offers a traditional mirror view, which didn’t prove to be a challenge, so we’re not sure why the automaker would change the setup on this car to its detriment.
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We also found the car’s transmission unrefined and sluggish in normal drive mode. It’s like the dual-clutch gearbox gets confused depending on throttle position; this often leads to a moment of unresponsiveness before the vehicle selects the correct gear and engine boost arrives. you have to be very careful with your foot on the accelerator to avoid that twisting kick that makes your head rock back and forth from a standstill, especially when the road is a bit wet.
This lack of refinement isn’t a deal breaker, but it does make the car feel grittier than it should when you’re spending over half a million dollars.
there are many redeeming qualities
although we were a little disappointed in the riding experience of the tiggo 8 pro, even with a few miles on it, it offered several redeeming qualities that make it a worthwhile offering. those seven seats we mentioned are exquisitely finished in excellent leather-like material and are comfortable.
You also get a respectable level of interior refinement with neatly trimmed doors and a properly executed dash. There was no rattling or squeaking, and the build quality seemed on par with other vehicles at this price point. we liked the driving position and the clear view from the cockpit.
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Kids liked the expansive moonroof and awesome audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. We were quickly able to stream Apple Music and Netflix audio in the car to keep the youngsters entertained. They were able to use Siri to request the content they wanted as the vehicle is equipped with an impressive microphone system. The car also comes with an integrated voice control system. just say, “hello, honey,” and it will do almost anything you ask of it. It’s one of the few cars we’ve tested with voice control that can open and close the windows and moonroof using your voice. pretty impressive.
worth a try if you want something different
You get more than enough power and torque here from the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine (145kw & 290nm), but it’s delivered patchily. That seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox also works well in sport mode, providing decent shifts, albeit half a second after calling the gear stick. we averaged around 12 litres/100km in our combined cycle run, but we kept it in sport mode for most of the test to avoid its lethargy.
We also drove it in manual mode most of the time to prevent the gearbox from hesitating in traffic or at low speeds. Four-wheel drive would have been nice too, as the front-wheel drive Tiggo 8 Pro struggled for grip in the rain with its front-wheel drive setup.
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Overall, when it comes to features, you get seven airbags, anti-lock brakes, an electronic stability program, and a fantastic set of cameras that make driving and getting around easier. The boot is also decent as you can still load around 193 liters of cargo in the rear with all the seats upright. Drop the seats and you can easily transport your and your partner’s mountain bikes to your favorite trails. You won’t be disappointed by the space or amenities, and if you don’t push the vehicle too hard, you may find it perfectly satisfactory for you and your family’s needs.
chery is looking to right its previous importer’s mistakes and they promise decent aftersales thanks to a growing network of dealers now in over 50 outlets across the country. Since the launch of the Tiggo 4 Pro late last year, the company has been selling more than 500 vehicles a month. This tiggo 8 pro will further increase that number, while the company also plans to launch the tiggo 5 and tiggo 7 here in the coming months.
With a decent five-year/150,000 km mechanical warranty and a five-year/60,000 km service plan, at least you’ll have peace of mind when it comes to cost per km for the next half decade. Chery is so confident in its engine that it gives first-time owners of its vehicles a 10-year/1,000,000 km engine warranty. If you’re an early adopter/trend setter and looking for a big car at a decent price, give the Tiggo 8 Pro a try, but be aware of some of the quirks we mentioned.
ps: if you bought a tiggo 8 pro, please share your thoughts on living with the car with us and the rest of the wheels24 in the comments section below (or send us a email here).
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