- Chery has officially launched in SA, and its Tiggo 4 Pro is priced to sell.
- Range-topping models offer stellar spec and drive considering asking price.
- Impressive engine and comfort for less than R360 000.
- For motoring news, go to Wheels24
Finally, Chery has officially launched in South Africa. The Chinese automotive brand has been teasing South Africans for months, and as of November 24th, the company has formally rolled up its dealer shutters to welcome customers.
The all-new Chery Tiggo 4 Pro is leading the company's charge in SA, and they are pulling no punches with the model as it launches with keen pricing and a 10-year or 1 000 000 million kilometre engine warranty that will undoubtedly add peace of mind for early adopters and first-time new car buyers.
A standard four year or 150 000km factory warranty applies to all new Tiggo 4 Pro models sold. This warranty remains with the vehicle. The second, a free extension for another five years and 850 000km for the engine is added automatically at the end of the first warranty, provided that the vehicle is still owned by the original owner.
Priced to sell in a popular segment
There are five new Chery Tiggo 4 Pro models for South Africans to choose from:
- Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5 Urban (five-speed manual) - R269 900
- Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5 Comfort (nine-speed CVT auto) - R299 900
- Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5T Elite (six-speed manual) - R319 900
- Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5T Elite (nine-speed CVT auto) - R 349 900
- Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5T Elite SE (nine-speed CVT auto) - R359 900
We evaluated the range-topping Elite SE version at the vehicle's launch in Johannesburg this week. At R359 900, it's not cheap, but it's feature-rich, surprisingly lovely to drive, and it's packing the kind of head-turning looks you'll pay twice as much for compared to other SUVs in the compact segment.
Chery has knocked it out of the park here in terms of styling, creating a gorgeous vehicle that looks appealing from every angle. Compared to its predecessor that was sold here in limited numbers in the past through a third-party importer, the new Tiggo 4 Pro is generations ahead of the Chery products we were initially introduced to a decade ago.
Do you think the new Chery Tiggo 4 Pro looks hot or not? And, would you consider it over your current brand of vehicle or as your first new vehicle? Let us know in the comments section, or please send us an email here.
It's certainly big enough for a small family
The new front-wheel-drive Tiggo 4 Pro measures 4318mm in length, it's 1831mm wide, and it stands 1662mm tall with a ground clearance of 180mm. Space-wise, you'll have an abundance of it in the cabin, thanks to a relatively square wheelbase and innovative interior packaging and styling. It was easy to find a sweet position for the driver's seat, and the cabin's view proved respectable. However, the vehicle does have a rather large C-pillar, so you'll have just to peer a little harder when checking your blind spot over your left shoulder when changing lanes.
If you have a small family, you'll appreciate its rear legroom and wide-opening doors that will make it easy to load and unload child seats using its standard-fit ISOFIX anchor points. The boot is also respectable in terms of size at face value, looking to be on par with what you'd get in its competitors. Chery had not provided official measurements at the launch for the boot capacity.
Overall, my co-driver and I were left seriously impressed at the levels of space and the airy feel of the cabin. We also had a standard-fit sunroof in our car that added more light and energy to the cabin. You get comfy and supportive seats, with electrically-operated everything and a decent climate control system. It's a thoroughly compelling package, and we found it very challenging to find fault with the launch vehicles.
The only real challenge we had with the Tiggo 4 Pro's interior and its design and packaging was the height of the front passenger seat. You can't lower or raise the front passenger seat, and it feels as though it's mounted too high. This gives an odd sensation that you're sitting on top of the car rather than in the vehicle as a front seat passenger. Taller front-seat passengers might complain of a lack of headroom, so check out the passenger side of the cabin and see if your co-driver will be comfy with that height.
It's full of tech with a superb range of standard features
The range-topping Elite SE version of the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro comes with almost every feature you could want in a vehicle, including the sunroof mentioned above, which drivers can pop into tilt mode for extra street-cred, and a nifty voice control system that can operate functions of the vehicle. Our launch vehicle had a few issues, however, when it came to the voice control system. It would not respond in most instances when long-pressing the voice control button on the multi-function steering wheel. Then when it did activate using the 'Hey Chery' activation word (which you can change to something else if you like), it would say that it cannot perform that function yet.
We suspect that because these cars were brand new with less than 50km on them, a software or firmware upgrade was required to ensure Chery Southern Africa unlocked the latest features for our market. In fact, on the vehicle's beautiful full-colour multimedia interface, a tile popped up that prompted us to 'upgrade system', but we could not as the vehicle asked for a flash drive to be inserted. We are sure that Chery dealers will ensure that customers receive the latest software and firmware in their cars before customer deliveries begin.
Another exciting thing that happened on the launch drive was the intermittent shutting down of the vehicle's multimedia system. We had the radio playing and attempted to use the car's Apple CarPlay function, but it would not have any of that. After a few minutes of the radio playing, the multimedia system would abruptly shut down. My co-driver was charging his Apple iPhone, and the system would also cut power to the USB ports situated in the glove box between the front seats. This might have something to do with that 'upgrade system' tile we saw on the screen. In the past, an experience like this would have immediately soured a new car test drive, but we have to make peace that we're living in a world where everything needs an update to ensure it's running smoothly. If you buy a PlayStation 5 today, it will ask you to update it immediately. It's the same if you purchased an iPhone 13 Pro Max, one of the best devices ever made; you'll need to update its computing infrastructure immediately.
It drives better than we ever expected it to
We'll be frank. We expected the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro to wobble, moan, creak, and feel like jelly. We also expected it to have a lethargic engine and a terrible gearbox. You can imagine the grin and joy then when I turned the wheel for the first time to leave the parking lot from the launch venue, and it felt good in my hands, immediately.
The steering is slightly over-assisted in ECO driving mode, but in SPORT mode, it's as good as you're going to get in this segment. The car turns in with confidence, there's just enough body roll to keep you honest with your intentions around corners, and it rides so well on gravel and tar that you'd think this car came from a leading Japanese or Korean manufacturer within the first few 100 metres of driving it.
Seriously, it was hard to pinpoint flaws with how it rode and handled, particularly at the price point of less than R360 000.
The engine, well, what a treat. It's a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit in the range-topper that's good for 108kW and 210Nm of torque. These output figures might not set your heart on fire, nor are they class-leading in any way, but Chery has made an intelligent move by pairing it with a lovely CVT gearbox. The transmission isn't as honed as Hyundai's IVT, but if you're not erratic with your throttle input, it pulls hard from the line and overtakes with confidence. Our launch car was a bit thirsty, using around 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres (Chery hasn't published claimed figures yet). We were, however, mainly in the SPORT driving setting, and the cars were, as we mentioned, brand new, so they need time to run in and loosen up a bit before the best consumption figures are to be achieved.
Seriously though, the Tiggo 4 Pro proved to be such a fun car to drive, but more importantly, it proved itself to be so comfortable on some heavily corrugated roads around Gauteng and the North West Province. We think it's going to impress you on your test drive if you're interested in buying one.
If you look beyond the badge and what Chery is doing with its exceptional 10-year warranty on parts of this car, as they are confident in it, you're probably looking at one of the best cars we've assessed this year.
We're serious; at R359 900, I would be tempted to become an early adopter if I were in the market for a new vehicle that could offer space for four that's ideal for the city and suited to long-hauls for holidays too. Chery has 30 dealers nationwide, and you can book a test drive of the Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5T Elite SE right now. Please give it a twirl, then let us know what colour you're ordering. Chery seems to have the right car at the right price, with a plan this time to back customers correctly.
We're looking forward to spending more time with the Tiggo 4 Pro soon, so stay locked on Wheels24 to read more about this newcomer.
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