Text and photos by Eric Tipan
While it’s great for the market that there are a lot of sub P1 million crossovers out there, it’s getting harder and harder for buyers to choose between these models. One of these relatively new nameplates is the Tiggo 5x Luxury subcompact crossover from Chery that was launched late 2019.
It’s offered in six colors but it looks great in this white hue. The color accentuates the few sharp lines it has: a couple on the hood, the beltline, the rocker panel, and on the rear quarter panels.
Proportions and shape are excellent from nose to tail, including the hood, the short front and rear overhangs, the sloping roof (it even comes with rails), and even the rake of the tailgate glass.
It sits just a little taller than it actually looks, although I personally would have preferred the stance to be just a tad lower. But a higher ground clearance is always the better option in a country where flash floods can occur when it rains hard.
The nose is its best feature with the nice-looking grille mesh, slim LED daytime running lamps, and a modern headlamp design Chery calls Sharp Tiger Eye Lens.
Around back is a rear spoiler with integrated stop lamp, and a chrome garnish on the shapely tailgate just above the logo.
Additional exterior highlights include front and underbody silver garnishes and a silver accent on the rocker panel.
It already comes with a smart key that I didn’t have to click. Only the driver’s door has the button to unlock the vehicle. So if you just need to drop some stuff in the vehicle, you’ll have to go to there if you’ve got your hands full and can’t pull the key out from your bag or pocket.
The cabin has a high ceiling which immediately makes it feel spacious for a subcompact crossover. Seats are of a good leather quality, taut and is bolstered enough for comfort and to give a snug fit. The driver’s seat is six-way power adjustable while the passenger seat only has manual adjustments.
The layout of the dashboard is simple but elegant despite using hard plastic on top and a faux carbon-fiber type panel in front. It has just one large chrome trim on the front passenger side and a few on the three-spoke leather steering wheel with buttons for audio, MID (multi-information display), and Cruise Control.
A couple of things were unusual. First were the middle aircon vents. There’s only one on the right side of the nine-inch touchscreen while the other is on top of the monitor. Both aren’t of the same shape. Also, the Push-Start button isn’t behind the steering wheel but on the center console (just in front of the shift knob). No biggies; just a bit odd but easy to get used to.
It comes with automatic climate control, two USB ports, a set of infotainment controls (in case you don’t want to use the touchscreen) behind the gear selector, and a rather small sunroof that can be electronically controlled to open and close.
Speaking of infotainment, the operating system feels old and looks very plain. Nonetheless, it does the job quickly and without any fuss.
The 1.5-liter engine has variable valve timing and makes 114 PS and 141 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via CVT (continuously variable transmission). Fuel economy is average at 7.46 km/l.
It’s still rough around the edges and doesn’t move as smoothly as its competitors but I like how it is quick and agile in city driving despite weighing 1.3 tons. Once you hit the highway, the revs became more audible in the cabin, especially during overtaking maneuvers. It can maintain 100 km/h but the RPM was at 2,000 already.
Despite a fair amount of ground clearance and the high ceiling, its balance is good and the vehicle felt stable around turns even at relatively high speed.
Some noise and harshness creeps into the cabin — maybe due in part to the 17-inch alloy wheels — and while it may not adversely affect comfort, that will still need improvement.
Five people fit comfortably, with a little extra wiggle room to spare, but the cargo area could be good for maybe large overnight bags only at full capacity.
This Chery Tiggo 5x Luxury trim retails for P950,000 and comes with all of the above, plus Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control, a handbrake autohold feature, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a reverse camera and front/rear sensors.
It’s packed for its price and should be able to hold its own against other brands in its segment.