2020 Chery Tiggo 8 Lux EX – CAR REVIEW by AutoPH

Classic and convenient, the two main things that describe the Chery Tiggo 8 Lux EX. To add more to the list of adjectives, read this.

Remember the Chery QQ? Well forget about it because we’re reviewing the company’s flagship. The brand was reintroduced in the Philippines last year under the distributorship of United Asia Automotive Group Inc. (UAAGI). The company’s strategy is a complete lineup of crossovers dubbed the Tiggo series.

For now, we’ll be checking out the flagship, the Chery Tiggo 8. It is a 7-seater crossover that can probably compete with the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Does it have what it takes to join and fight in the very competitive growing 7-seater crossover segment?

Exterior

Exterior design always determines a person’s first impression of a car and the Chery Tiggo 8 passes this test with flying colors. While it looks nowhere as striking as many new cars today, the Tiggo 8 gives off a very premium and classy vibe. Something you’ll see from luxury brands. 

The front fascia is dominated by a large grille which has a very nice pattern that Chery calls the “Starry Sky.” The overall front fascia design is also called the “crouching-tiger” face and it does really look good. Premium is what this face screams especially with the two thick chrome bars, one connecting the full LED headlights and another connecting the LED daytime running lights on the bumper.

On the side, the Tiggo 8 is clean looking which also helps it look more premium. Lines are very simple and there are chrome accents on the lower part of the doors and around the windows. An interesting design element is the chrome piece that separates the roof, quite different as most cars with this cut have a piano-black finish. 18-inch dark alloy wheels are also standard. The rear end is also quite good looking, really good actually. The LED taillights create a very modern lighting signature. This should make it recognizable once it gains popularity just like the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, but in this case in a good way.

While we were doing our shoot for this car, a couple of joggers and other people walking around stopped and asked “What car is this?” All were surprised to know that it’s a Chery and all were quite wowed by the exterior looks which isn’t surprising.

Interior

While the exterior is great, the interior is the really the best thing about this crossover. The dashboard is very european in design and materials are of very high quality. The lower part of the dash is covered in faux leather with contrast stitching while the whole upper portion is made of soft-touch plastics which also feel really good. Everything also feels very solid. The seats on the other hand are extremely comfortable and nicely bolstered thus hugging you in place very well. They are also wrapped in very premium feeling faux leather, much like those used in luxury cars. One thing we’re not really a fan of is the touchscreen climate controls. They can be quite a scratch or dirt magnet. On the bright side, they’re surprisingly very easy to use unlike on some other cars.

Let’s not forget the interior mood lighting that’s standard on the Tiggo 8. It looks really good especially at night. The colors can be changed with choiced from the 7 colors of the rainbow. We just wish that rear passengers would also have this but it helps make the interior less boring at night nonetheless.

Being a 7-seater about the size of a Hyundai Santa Fe, space and comfort shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, it should fare well or even better than its competition. It is easy to find a proper driving position thanks to the tilt and telescoping steering wheel and 6-way power adjustable driver’s seats. Legroom in the second row is also excellent. I’m not the tallest at a height of 5’7” but I still get plenty of room to stretch. 

The third row is adequate and surprisingly okay, still best reserved for children but sliding the second row forward for more space to accommodate smaller adults won’t sacrifice 2nd row legroom at all. 2nd row passengers also get climate vents and a USB port with a little storage area below it. Two cupholders can also be found on the center armrest. There is also a panoramic sunroof which lets light in and makes the cabin feel even more spacious than it already is.

Storage

Cargo space is another strong point of the Chery Tiggo 8. Understandably, with the third-row seats in place, space will be a bit limited. Fold them down and you get space that can compete with other vehicles in the segment. The floor is also really flat and there is no load lip, making loading heavier items easy. Expect cargo space to be anywhere between 892 to 1930 liters depending on your set up.

Technology and Safety

Technology isn’t absent in the Tiggo 8. Front and center on the dashboard is a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display. The system of course gets bluetooth and USB functionalities, and a radio. There is also QDLink which is like Android Auto. Sadly there’s no Apple CarPlay as I am an Apple user and I couldn’t find out how to mirror my phone screen. Nevertheless, the system is excellent as it is very responsive and not confusing. While it lacks a volume knob, there are large physical buttons just below the center climate vents which are not difficult to use.

The 7-inch digital instrument cluster is a good touch. It was a bit confusing at first especially when I was trying to reset the trip computer but we eventually got it. It’s also very easy to read as important information are all properly laid out. Just thought that the tachometer looks a bit weird but I never really looked at or noticed it while driving anyway.

Cruise control is standard which is good plus. There is also a tire pressure monitoring system which can be seen through that digital instrument cluster. You also get an electronic parking brake with auto brake hold which is not usually seen at its price point and very convenient when driving in traffic. Smart entry with push button start are also standard, as well as a power tailgate with kick-to-open function. Lastly, there is a 360-degree around-view monitor. The graphics look a bit crunchy and can be improved but it gets its job done really well. 

The biggest tech feature here though is well, small. It’s the Chery Smartwatch. This feature allows you to have all the functions of the vehicle’s smart key around your wrists. Through the smartwatch you can lock and unlock the car, start the engine from outside, open and close all the windows and sunroof, and open and close the power tailgate.

Safety features of the Chery Tiggo 8 include 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, stability control, traction control, emergency brake assist, brake override system, brake assist, hill descent control, hill-hold feature, and a 360-degree around-view monitor. Some of these features are usually found in more expensive cars and it’s great to see this well equipped in terms of safety.

Engine

Under the hood, the Tiggo 8 is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. It produces 145 horsepower and 210 Newton meters of torque, paired to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. The numbers may seem small but you’ll need to take it for a drive and get a feel of it in order to make a proper judgment.

Driving, and Comfort

While the engine’s numbers may seem small, driving the Tiggo 8 is actually pretty good. Let’s not forget that the powertrain is turbocharged and shifts through a dual-clutch transmission. It’s not the fastest but it goes. The engine responds to throttle inputs quickly with only a slight amount of lag when in eco mode. Putting the car in sport mode eliminates any lag. Getting up to speed is not hard and it can easily keep up with other vehicles on the road. You can also feel the torque as early as 1,700 RPM thanks to the turbo. Steering feel is also really good, light but not too light. Taking some light corners was also good with very minimal body roll.

The suspension takes bumps very well. It’s a smooth and quiet ride overall. Road noise does start to creep in when we went a little over 100 kph on the expressway but it’s not disturbing. You can also hardly hear the engine while cruising as the engine maintained revs at less 2,000 RPM at a speed of 80-90 kph.

We unfortunately only had a short time with the Tiggo 8 plus the general community quarantine limited our movement to private roads. With 2 people on board plus very little camera equipment and personal items, fuel economy averaged at 8-10 km/l in the city, and 15 km/l on the highway at an average speed of 90 kph with cruise control enabled. Despite the lower performance numbers and the 1,500 kg weight, we were happy to see the good fuel economy numbers which is a deal breaker for many car buyers today.

Conclusion

The Tiggo 8 is something definitely built with the user in mind. The overall build quality inside it excellent and exterior looks can rival the best designed vehicles in the segment. The Chery Tiggo 8 proves that luxury and features can be had for a lower price tag, one thing that its competition cannot do. At Php 1,340,000, this Lux EX variant definitely has a lot of bang for the buck. 

Have doubts? Well UAAGI is putting so much trust in this brand by giving the entire lineup a 5-year 100,000 km bumper-to-bumper warranty if you purchase any Chery product offered in the country. Not only that, you will also get a 10-year 1,000,000 km, yes, 7 digits, powertrain warranty. Beat that! And with how well this crossover is, we wonder what the rest of the lineup is like, probably just as good. 

Source: 2020, July 10. 2020 Chery Tiggo 8 Lux EX – CAR REVIEW. Retrieved from TheAuto.PH. Authored by Julian Pan.

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