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Wheels of the Week: The Chery on top

The new Tiggo 8 Pro models bring unparalleled offerings to their class, writes SHERYL GOLDSTUCK.

Chery last week introduced the upgraded versions of its Chery Tiggo 8 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro Max models to South Africa. The new models boast enhanced features, a refreshed design, and a completely reimagined interior.

The Tiggos have unparalleled offerings in their class, featuring luxurious amenities like a panoramic sunroof, full leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and an integrated voice control system as standard features.

The Tiggo 8 Pro model stands out with its distinctive design, setting it apart from other midsize luxury seven-seater SUVs on the road. The Chery logo in the grille is illuminated, gradually using an array of LED lights, giving an impression of coming to life. This lighting sequence is synchronised with the LED Matrix headlamps and LED daytime running lights.

The rear of the vehicle features light clusters connected by a striking LED light bar. During the vehicle start-up sequence, the rear lights illuminate from the centre light bar to the lower edges of the tail lamps.

The interior of the Tiggo 8 models ushers in a new era of luxury and sophistication in its price range. This car has one of the most prominent digital screen displays, spanning 24.7-inches in length. The screen in front of the driver presents essential vehicle information and speed, while the right section handles infotainment controls.

The climate control experience has been elevated, with every row equipped with its own air conditioning controls. Front-row occupants are treated to a dual-zone independent climate control system for added comfort. The air quality system now includes an ion sensor that activates the purifying system when polluted air is detected. Notably, the air quality within the Tiggo 8 Pro range is N95 certified, boasting cleanliness akin to that of a surgical operating room.

The centre console has conveniently positioned cup holders, and a fast 50W wireless phone charging pad, with air vent to keep the phone from overheating while charging. Every Tiggo 8 comes standard with wireless Apple Car Play or Android Auto. This adds to the convenience of not having to carry cables for charging or connection to Apple Car Play or Android Auto.

The sound system in the vehicle is supplied by Sony. Comprehensive voice controls to the soothing voice of “hello Chery” allows one to open or close the sunroof, play music, navigate or make calls on command. The Tiggo 8s are equipped with a total of four USB ports, equally distributed between Type A and Type C connections and shared between the front and middle row seats. This makes a welcome change from other brands that either have Type A or Type C.

The front seats are equipped with both cooling and heating systems, which also falls under the voice commands. This is ideal for ever-changing weather conditions in South Africa.

Another convenient feature allows the user, holding the key, to approach the vehicle’s rear and take a step back, prompting the boot to open automatically – this is so useful when carrying bags or groceries

The Tiggo 8 Pro Max is equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, encompassing over 10 intelligent driving assistance functions, like adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance. The vehicle is equipped not only to assist the driver but also to interact with passengers, pedestrians, and other vehicles. For instance, if the vehicle detects a nearby car in a risky situation during an emergency manoeuvre, it can activate its hazards to warn the other vehicle.

The system also monitors both sides of the vehicle and alerts occupants if it senses an approaching car, indicated by a red ring light around the door-mounted speakers.

If there is any criticism of the car, it would be that the onboard navigation system,  as with any other car that has built-in mapping, is not as good as what your phone can deliver.

Buyers of the Tiggo 8 Pro receive a 5-year / 60,000 km service plan and a 5-year / 150,000 km comprehensive mechanical warranty. Opting for the Tiggo 8 Pro Max awards buyers with a 7-year / 90,000 km service plan and the same mechanical warranty.

Chery’s exceptional engine warranty offers 10 years or 1-million kilometres of worry-free driving.

The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro lineup comprises two models:

  • Tiggo 8 Pro 1.6T Executive: R609,900
  • Tiggo 8 Pro MAX 2.0T Executive: R669,900

The first 100 customers who acquire the new Tiggo 8 Pro Max will be welcomed into The Max Club, unlocking exclusive lifestyle benefits, a 5-year My Chery Care package, and the opportunity to win one of three trips to China later in the year.

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