Chery Tiggo 4 Pro Review: 1.5T Elite SE

  Colin Windell


 7 Feb, 2022

There is a seminal moment in the process of road testing a car when, suddenly everything falls into place and you know you have ‘bonded’ with the car.

It does not matter the size, shape or performance of the vehicle – this bond is more of an affirmation the automaker in question has got a lot of things right. If the bond does not happen, then exactly the opposite applies.

With the Chery Tiggo my moment of zen happened in a shopping centre parking lot. Having reversed out of the bay (with a great view from the rear camera), I stopped to give the parking attendant his dues for wheeling the trolley and helping me unload.

With both hands still gripping the steering I said “Hey Chery” and was rewarded with a “what’s up” from the dashboard. “Open the driver’s window.” 

The expression on the attendant’s face was purely priceless as the window dutifully eased open. He took a step back, shook his head and muttered “Dis ‘n spook kar.” (It’s a ghost car).

When I had a brief drive prior to the official launch of the Tiggo, I was impressed with the quantum leap in quality and workmanship compared to the earlier version that was sold in South Africa.

Certainly, on its brief stay with me, the Tiggo attracted the same kind of public attention usually reserved for raunchier race-bred sportsters.

Design, style, fixtures, fittings, comfort, noise levels, performance have all risen to new heights. True, that is just making the comparison between the old version and the new. 

The Tiggo 4 Pro is the first ambassador of the modern Chery design language. It includes a large grille with integrated LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights. If nit-picking, this grille is, perhaps, a little too similar to the Hyundai style.

The Chery Tiggo 4 Pro is shod with 17-inch machined alloy wheels and the entire external package sitting on those wheels presents a very neat looking vehicle, proportionately accurate and rather neat looking.

The Tiggo 4 Pro is powered by a 1,5-litre petrol engine and a choice of two manual and a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The flagship version of the Tiggo 4 is equipped with Chery’s TCI turbo-charged engine. This turbo-petrol engine delivers 108 kW and 210 Nm of torque to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or CVT – the latter option on my test unit.

The Tiggo 4 Pro offers a choice of Eco or Sport driving modes, the latter injecting a suitable measure of urgency into the vehicle. For a CVT gearbox, the Tiggo version works a lot better than many on the market, helped by the fact the engine is turbo-charged so the hunt for the right ratio is swift and not the long-winded whine often associated with these gearboxes.

There is a touch of turbo-lag but nothing too serious or that would impact a driver in the normal use of the car in and around town and on the annual holiday trip.

Still, if anything can be improved over time, it would be this gearbox.

In terms of handling, as expected there is a bit of front-end push into tight corners but even on the standard fit Chinese tyres, it behaved with impeccable manners. Kitted with tyres more specific to our roads (especially urban dirt roads) this would improve even more.

While aimed at the compact SUV category, the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro has a 2 610 mm wheelbase and an overall length of 4 318 mm, placing it much higher against larger SUVs and crossover vehicles.

The Tiggo 4 Pro is also one of the first models to ride on Chery’s new six-dimensional beam platform, called the 6D Longitudinal Beam Structure. More than two thirds of the vehicle’s frame and structure is built with high- and ultra-high strength steel, and the 6-dimensional design gives it tortional rigidity and crash safety. 

All models of the Tiggo 4 Pro are equipped with passive and dynamic safety systems, including two or six crash bags (depending on the model), vehicle stability control on all models, hill hold control and, on higher specification models, hill descent control and cruise control.

As one of the newest models in the Chery global family, the Tiggo 4 Pro will introduce dual-screen luxury as a standard feature in the compact SUV class.

Entry models have a 3,5-inch TFT full colour screen in place of a traditional analogue instrument panel, while higher specification models increase the size to a full 7-inch screen. 

Taking centre stage in the cabin is the second large full colour screen. This screen is a 10,25-inch capacitive touch screen that incorporates most of the vehicle control and is equipped – throughout the range – with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity and a DVD player.

All models also have air-conditioning, power windows all round and automatic headlamps, to name but a few luxury features. Luxury versions add even more specifications, including a powered sunroof, an intelligent voice command system and climate control.

At R359 900 it is a little more costly than its direct rivals, but does offer a good dose of additional specification. It butts up against the Haval Jolion 1.5T Luxury (R342 900), Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xr (R333 300) and Kia Sonet 1.5 Ex (R326 995).

Just two examples of the higher specification are full leather seats and reach adjustable steering in the Tiggo, not present in any of the opposition.

The Urban Cruiser has the lowest claimed fuel consumption at 6,2 l/100 km and the Tiggo on my standard cycle returned 7,3 l/100 km which, for a turbo-charged mill, falls well within the acceptable range and pretty much on par with the claimed figures for the other vehicles in the group.

As a value-for-money proposition, the Tiggo has an enormous amount going for it.

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Chery Tiggo 4 Pro Review: 1.5T Elite SE
There is a seminal moment in the process of road testing a car when, suddenly everything falls into place and you know you have ‘bonded’ with the car.

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