Not to sound sleazy, but this compact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) exceeded my expectations and left me with a sheepish grin across my face. It was like scoring with Hong Kong celebrity Angelababy on the first date.
The Chery Tiggo 8 is the newest flagship model of the Tiggo series of Chinese car giant Chery. Built on a T1X platform and fully developed with Jaguar Land Rover, this Chinese compact SUV can hold its own against Japanese and Korean counterparts. At first glance, the Tiggo does not look Chinese at all because it exudes an air of European sophistication. The front fascia is officially referred to by Chery engineers as having a “tiger” face. The grille design is complimented by ultrabright adaptive LED headlamp clusters with automatic headlight function. Step back a bit and you’ll notice the heft and size of this SUV. It is not small, considering that overall size is 4700x1860x1746 mm with a wheelbase of 2710mm. Former NBA giant Yao Ming would fit inside the Tiggo without any ingress and egress issues.
Inside the Tiggo is a command center of soft-touch panels, highlighted by an ultrahigh definition (UHD) LED touch screen. The vehicle’s driving dynamics is monitored by a fully digital gauge panel. Audio entertainment is by way of multiple USB ports with wireless charging capabilities and supports CarPlay and CarLife functions as well.
The cabin is generously swathed in leather, and the seats provide good lumbar support. For a Chinese model, the Tiggo offers comfortable seating and it has an excellent climate control system that most Alaskans would find to their liking.
The Front-Wheel Drive Tiggo is powered by a 1500cc turbo charged inline-four gasoline engine, that sips fuel like a camel. On paper, it produces 145hp and 210Nm of torque, and power is transferred down to the wheels by an automatic six-speed dual clutch transmission.
The reason behind the Tiggo’s European demeanor is due to the fact that it was penned by an international team of car designers led by Kevin Rice, formerly of BMW and the guy behind the design of the 1 and 4 Series BMW’s. Priced at P1.3M, buyers of the Tiggo 8 will be protected by a 10-year or one million kilometers engine warranty, spread over five years or 150 kilometers. Vehicle warranty is three years with PMS. Affordability and protection, with a dash of premium feel is what you get when buying this Chinese compact SUV.