I don’t know if it was right to start reviewing the Chery crossover lineup starting from the largest and most expensive down to the smallest and more affordable. Our first ever lend-out, the Chery Tiggo 8 was one great 7-seater crossover which really amazed us for its price and so was the slightly smaller but still spacious 5-seater Chery Tiggo 7.
Now we’re down to the subcompact Tiggo 5X. Given that its larger siblings spoiled us with luxury-like comfort and features, can this smaller Tiggo replicate it? Well surprisingly, we weren’t at all disappointed at how this crossover is packaged.
Starting with the exterior looks, the Chery Tiggo 5X is familiar, at least for us. It looks like a baby Tiggo 8 with what Chery calls its Crouching Tiger front fascia which we actually couldn’t see where the tiger was but look a bit closer or type “crouching tiger” on Google and maybe you’ll finally see it too. The front grille is also quite nice and this one Chery calls the Starry-Sky, also from the Tiggo 8.
The headlights are not LED units, just projector-type halogens but they do a great job of lighting the road. LED daytime running lights can be found on the bumpers. Also given its price tag of Php 950,000, why complain when it gets projector lights at least, right?
On the side, the Tiggo 5X goes for a less-is-more approach. The body lines are very minimal and hardly noticeable but the 17-inch wheels are quite the looker. They do a lot to enhance the Tiggo 5X’s exterior looks from any angle. At the back, the overall shape is slightly more squared-off. You do get a nice integrated rear spoiler and a pair of LED taillights which look really nice. Faux exhaust tips can be found and look a bit tacky and Chery made little effort to make them look real as evidenced by the fact each fake outlet houses one parking sensor each.
So the exterior looks great, what about the place we spend most of our time in. Well the interior is also not bad at all. While it does look a bit more traditional with simple straight lines rather than the usual swoopy and curvy lines on most new cars, it still looks good. The materials used on the dashboard translate well this variant’s name…Luxury. The entire top portion of the dashboard is surprisingly covered in soft-touch materials which feel like those found in luxury cars. A large portion of the dash is covered in a rubberized and textured plastic which also does feel high in quality. Another surprise, the sides of the center console are wrapped in faux leather. Overall build quality is also excellent with no unnecessary rattles and vibrations plus the center armrest opens and closes with a tight feeling which just feels great. How’s that for Php 950K?
The seats are also covered in a very nice feeling faux leather material. I’m guessing the materials are the same as those used on Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles which Chery manufactures in China. While they are nice to look at and feel nice, I did notice that lumbar support may feel a bit too much. My lower back did not feel very comfortable but I did eventually get used to it in the few days we had the car.
Typical of most Chinese cars we’ve sat in, space is rather excellent. Rear passengers, despite the lack of any toys will find the seats comfortable. A smaller floor center tunnel makes having a middle passenger a bit easier.
A power sunroof is also standard on the Lux variant making the interior feel brighter and more spacious. We did however notice that the lack of rear quarter windows made the rear seats a bit darker than it should be.
Cargo space in the Tiggo 5X is pretty good. Space is rated at around 340 liters and we had no problem fitting our camera equipment inside. This won’t have any problem carrying stuff for everyday use such as groceries or maybe some bags, and probably some luggage for a short weekend getaway. Of course, folding the 2nd row of seats down increases space but they do not fold flat unfortunately.
Technology and Safety
Another “for its price” statement is coming. For its price, the Tiggo 5X is equipped with a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It’s large for a vehicle this size as it visibly eats up a lot of space in the center stack but I’m not complaining. Response is pretty good and it comes with Apple CarPlay. Android users will have to make do with Baidu Car Life which is like a Chinese Android Auto. I used Apple CarPlay during every drive but I did get to try Car Life and it’s pretty much limited to Chinese applications. The infotainment system can also be controlled via a knob and some buttons in the center console. Only used the volume knob though.
Thankfully the Tiggo 5X gets traditional and easy to use climate controls. They’re manual but very easy to read and control. Just like its larger siblings, you can also control the climate through the infotainment system but it was more of a redundancy in the 5X as all controls were exactly the same.
Additional tech that is usually unheard off at its price point is the 7-inch digital instrument cluster which looks great. There’s also cruise control and a tire pressure monitoring system. All four windows are automatic down but they do not have the same function for rolling them back up. Other equipment include smart entry with push button start and an electronic parking brake with auto-brake hold function which is also usually unheard of at its price point.
Safety features on the Chery Tiggo 5X include dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, stability control, traction control, emergency brake assist, hill-start assist, hill-descent control, and ISOFIX childseat anchor points.
Just like its larger siblings, the Chery Tiggo 5X is powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine. What makes it different is that it’s not turbocharged. As such, it only produces 114 horsepower and 141 Nm of torque. Transmission is a CVT so some people might cringe upon hearing or seeing these numbers. Let’s take it for a drive and see how it actually performs.
Driving and Comfort
So I really understand that you probably expect the Chery Tiggo 5X would be slow and sluggish and whatever synonyms you can think of. To be honest you’re right, but not all the time. Driving around the city is actually a very pleasant experience in the Tiggo 5X. The moment it was delivered to me I did feel enough power for normal city driving. After a few meters of straight I immediately drove up a parking building which it did with ease. Acceleration is actually decent provided you do not abuse the throttle. Lag is minimal and given the CVT, it’s smooth.
Where it does need to improve is harder acceleration. The engine just screams for more power and you won’t even feel much of the torque actually coming in. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take it to the highway but driving inside the city really did show where it is best used. On the other hand, steering feel is actually surprisingly good as well. It’s nicely weighted and is neither too light and disconnected nor heavy. Ride quality is good even on EDSA‘s bumpiest portions. NVH insulation is good, the cabin remains fairly quiet inside the city. At speeds of 50 to 60 kph, road noise does start creeping in but that’s most likely because the tire brand sounds like a certain Chinese fried rice dish interchanged.
After reading different reviews on the Tiggo 5X since it was first launched, I wasn’t expecting good numbers when I got the chance to review it. Well I was again surprised as with light traffic and several stops at intersections, the Tiggo 5X still managed to get 12 km/l. With slower traffic it did go down to 8 km/l but that isn’t too bad. For highway economy, I’ll just base on what I saw in other reviews. The highest I saw was 12 km/l which is exactly the highest we got in the city. Hmmm…
Overall, the Chery Tiggo 5X is a great crossover for the daily city commute. It focuses on comfort rather than performance. I can probably forgive the lack of power as it obviously wasn’t built for that and it feels really good in other aspects anyway.
To conclude this review, the Chery Tiggo 5X is by no means a fast car. It may not be the perfect car for your overtaking wants or whatever high-speed things you’d want to improperly do in a crossover but it’s an excellent point A to B city cruiser that will help you feel comfortable after a hard day’s work.
Chery also offers what they call the 10/5/3 Warran3s. This means that buyers of any Chery vehicles will be able to take advantage of a 10-year or 1-million kilometer powertrain warranty, a 5-year or 150,000 km vehicle warranty, and 3-years of free preventive maintenance servicing. Now that’s one thing the Tiggo 5X has that other rivals don’t.
For its price of Php 950,000, you don’t only get the good looks and features, you also get the comfort and quality that you expect from higher priced models from other car brands. Chery Tiggo 2, you’re next!