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Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 review


Chery goes up against fierce competition in the seven seat SUV segment, offering impressive value-for-money and a comfortable drive experience

Good points

  • Polished, premium interior
  • Grunty 2.0-litre turbo-petrol
  • Settled, comfortable ride quality
  • High levels of specification
  • Well-tuned ADAS safety assist
  • Competitive starting price

Needs work

  • Sensitive driver monitoring system
  • Reasonably thirsty
  • No hybrid option
  • Hesitant dual-clutch transmission
  • Small speed readout
  • Cramped third row, smallish boot

If you compare the Chery brand against some of its fiercest rivals, it’s the baby of the group. Hyundai Motor Company is 56 years old, Toyota is 86. Nissan? 90 years.

Yet in just 27 years, Chery has quickly become the fifth largest automobile producer in China. In 2023 alone, the brand sold 1.8 million vehicles.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 rear far

But as we have seen with the likes of MG and BYD, Chery is taking rapid sales growth, including in Australia, very seriously and frankly has a few of the more mainstream brands a little stressed.

Chery returned to Australia in 2023 after an eight year hiatus with the Omoda 5 small SUV and has since released the Tiggo 7 five-seat SUV, but there’s more to come.

Enter the Tiggo 8, the first seven-seat offering from the brand on local shores. Competing with the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Trail and the Honda CR-V, Chery’s Tiggo 8 is competitively priced in this popular segment.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 badge

Prices start at $41,990 driveaway for the entry-level Urban, $43,990 for the mid-tier Elite and $47,990 for the top-spec, all-wheel drive Ultimate.

While there is a fair bit of competition at in the low $40K mark with the likes of the very cheap Mahindra XUV700 ($36,990 driveaway) and the LDV D90 (from $38,937 driveaway), the flagship Ultimate punches above it weight when compared to other high-spec all-wheel drive seven seaters.

You’d pay at least $60,100 for a high-spec seven-seat Outlander or $53,000 for a CR-V- so as you can see, sharp pricing is the main play. But our first drive showed that the Tiggo 8 Pro Max is more than just a discount special.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 front far

With that put into perspective, the Tiggo 8 looks, at least on paper and with its pricing, as a bit of a cracking deal.

But how does it drive? How does it feel inside?

I’ve had one of the first local drives of the Tiggo 8 Pro Max Ultimate AWD, so let me dive in to find out what this new seven-seat SUV is really like.

What are the Tiggo 8 Ultimate AWD’s features and options for the price?

The Tiggo 8 Ultimate builds on a very impressive standard specification list. Even in entry-level Urban guise ($41,990 driveaway), the Tiggo 8 gains the following features:

  • Dual 12.3-inch screens (touchscreen and instrument cluster)
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity 
  • Eight-speaker Sony sound system
  • Satellite navigation 
  • USB A and USB C ports 
  • Synthetic leather upholstery and steering wheel
  • Heating and ventilation for front seats
  • Six-way electric driver’s seat
  • Four-way front passenger seat
  • Wireless phone charger 
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • First and second row ambient lighting 
  • Second row USB C and A ports 
  • LED headlights, daytime running lights and tail lights
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • 18-inch alloy wheels

2024 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max forward facing shot interior

The mid-tier Elite ($43,990 driveaway) adds:

  • Power tailgate 
  • In-built dashcam
  • Cargo blind
  • Third-row air vent with fan speed control
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Illuminated front door sills
  • Welcome light 

The Ultimate ($47,990 driveaway) variant on test tops the range with:

  • All-wheel drive 
  • 19-inch alloy wheels 
  • Panoramic glass sunroof 
  • 10-speaker Sony sound system
  • Fragrance system
  • Privacy glass 
  • Optional brown synthetic leather upholstery

All up, Chery certainly impressed me with a stack of standard features even in the base Urban grade. The addition of both ventilation and heating for the front seats is a particularly nice value-add. 

How does the Tiggo 8 Ultimate AWD drive?

Saddling up in the Tiggo 8 for the very first time, first impressions getting out of the hustle and bustle of the inner Sydney suburbs were positive.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine pushes the Tiggo 8 along nicely thanks to decent outputs of 180kW/375Nm.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 driving front 2

That’s the same power and similar torque to the sporty Skoda Kodiaq RS ($76,890 driveaway), so this Tiggo 8 is certainly not hanging around when you give it a decent stab of throttle from rest.

The Chery’s 2.0-litre turbo is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which works okay at higher speeds and certainly shifts pretty swiftly, but it doesn’t particularly like low-speed manoeuvring, and can be a little too hesitant at times to get going from a set of traffic lights, for example.

But the transmission happily finds its higher gear up at freeway speeds and feels remarkably similar in nature – yep, I’ll say it – to that of a Volkswagen Group setup. That’s certainly no bad thing.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 driving rear

You may have seen in the media photos that this new Tiggo 8 features quad exhaust outlets, reminding me quite a lot of the Audi SQ5, or a Mercedes-AMG C63’s pipes. This car is a family runabout through and through, but the Tiggo 8 feels and sounds that little bit sporty, even if it’s unintentional.

To Chery’s credit, there are worse-sounding petrol engines out there.

We drove the Tiggo 8 on a mixture of road surfaces and speeds, and I ultimately (pun not intended) came away feeling that the Tiggo 8’s suspension and ride quality was much more sophisticated and polished than I was initially expecting.

The suspension seemed to soak up decent hits from bumps and lumps in the road with ease. It’s definitely a softer setup, but it does wonders for ride comfort.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 driving front

The only real downside is that with this softer tune, you do get noticeable body roll and handling naturally suffers. Still, the Tiggo 8 Pro Max hits the mark for day-to-day duties, providing plenty of comfort for driver and passengers.

There is much about how this Tiggo 8 drives that reminds me of more expensive European rivals. Far gone are the days of cheap, cheerful but pretty poorly-developed Chinese cars. They’re getting better at a rapid clip that should alarm rival product planners.

The driving experience – and running costs – could certainly be improved with amore efficient hybrid variant, but that seems likely to be introduced here with time.

What is the Tiggo 8 Ultimate AWD’s interior and tech like?

Inside the new Tiggo 8 Pro Max, you could cover up the Chery badge on the steering wheel and instantly feel as if you’re behind the wheel of a Korean or Japanese-built SUV.

While the Ultimate is the obvious flagship choice, buyers of the lower grades aren’t getting the raw end of the stick: all Tiggo 8s are pretty high spec from the get-go.

Most importantly, the feel material choices and seat upholstery all feel remarkably premium. The steering wheel feels good and uses quality materials, the front and second row seats are nicely upholstered (no leather here, though – it’s vinyl, as in some rivals) and there is a satisfyingly tactile way to the buttons.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 interior side

Owners will notice a wood-grain like material which looks pleasant, rather than cheap and nasty. To me, it seems like Mercedes-Benz was the clear inspiration behind some of the detailing, down to the details of the Sony sound system in the door inserts.

Front and centre are dual 12.3-inch screens – one for the touchscreen and one for the driver’s instrument cluster – which, to me, are reminiscent of Kia’s current displays in cars such as the Sportage SUV.

These seem to be high-quality screens with decent response time and pretty good pairing functionality for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 front gauges 2
Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 shifter

There are plenty of sub-menus to play around with, including full control of the vehicle’s ADAS safety systems. Most things are easy to find, but it might take you a day or two to get comfortable with it all.

Just below the screen is a climate touch panel which, when pressed, opens up a climate menu on the touchscreen. I’m much more a fan of physical climate that doesn’t pop up over Apple CarPlay or my Google Maps, but unfortunately this is just the way things are going for 2024 and beyond.

The instrument cluster also displays a fair amount of information. My only gripe was that the digital speedometer was on the small side. You can bring maps into the cluster, but aside from that, there isn’t a tonne of functionality to play with on the driver’s instrument cluster.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 front seat

In terms of driver comforts, I found the driver’s seat to be comfortable and well upholstered and I liked the electric adjustment. However, the front passenger seat feels a little bit clustered and cramped due to the sheer size of the centre console.

Sure, it makes the cabin feel a little more premium, but the front passenger seat is ultimately left with less room to move around and get comfy.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 second row
Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 third row

As for functionality and features, all Tiggo 8s have heating and cooling for the front seats, a wireless phone charger, USB A and USB C ports, two central cupholders, generous door bins and plenty of storage nooks.

This Ultimate variant gains a few extra bits and pieces, including a panoramic sunroof, privacy glass for the rear and a larger 10-speaker Sony sound system, but if you can’t stretch to the $47,990 price tag, you won’t necessarily miss out if you pick the entry or mid grade Tiggo 8.

In the second row, things are fairly spacious, with decent amounts of knee, toe and head room. The second row gains air vents, USB-A and USB-C ports and magazine holders. The seats themselves are pretty comfortable, with nicely sculpted headrests.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 boot second row up
Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 boot third row up

In the third row, things are tight, but would be perfectly acceptable for younger kids or even teenagers. In the Ultimate only, there are also air vents with a fan control switch for the back row.

As for boot capacity, with all three rows up, boot capacity is a paltry 117 litres, but this extends to 479 litres with the third row folded down – which is acceptable, though nothing special for the class.

Is the Tiggo 8 Ultimate AWD a safe car?

Chery has loaded the Tiggo 8 to the hilt with safety equipment, as it searches for a future five-star ANCAP safety rating.

As standard, all Tiggo 8 variants receive:

  • Ten airbags 
  • Forward collision warning 
  • AEB
  • Emergency lane keeping 
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane departure prevention 
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Integrated cruise assist
  • Blind spot detection
  • Lane change assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert 
  • Rear cross traffic braking 
  • Door opening warning
  • Speed limit information function
  • Speed control assist
  • Traffic sign recognition 
  • Driver monitoring system 

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 driving rear 4

In terms of how this bunch of safety features actually work on Aussie roads, for the most part, the systems worked quite well. But a major annoyance was the driver monitoring system which was over-sensitive and not particularly accurate, telling you you’ve been not paying attention for some time, even if you were. 

The lane-keep assist was pretty well tuned for the roads we drove on throughout the launch, and only kicked in when you, well, actually did happen to momentarily veer or creep towards the edge of the marked white lines. 

What are the Tiggo 8 Ultimate AWD’s ownership costs?

Chery offers a seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty with the Tiggo 8 Pro Max.

For servicing, the Chery Tiggo 8 will cost $1400 over a five year period, with service intervals occurring every 12 months, or 15,000km, whichever occurs first.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 engine

In regards to fuel economy, the Tiggo 8 Pro Max Ultimate with its all-wheel drive setup claims to use 8.7L/100km on the combined cycle.

During our drive, we saw between 9.0L and 9.3L/100km over a two and a half hour drive up to the NSW central coast. Not too bad, but I think this model would greatly benefit from a more efficient, smaller-displacement hybrid system.

The honest verdict on the Tiggo 8 Ultimate AWD

On our first drive of the Tiggo 8 Pro Max, Chery initially concealed the price from us – which meant we were quietly guessing where it would land.

Based on the salubrious interior and decent dynamics I thought the top spec Ultimate might just come in somewhere around $55,000 driveaway.

But when the time eventually came and the pricing was revealed, I was so surprised to learn that this feature-packed model would hit the market for under $50K – flagship model included. At $47,990 driveaway it is a good deal compared to rivals.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max 2024 driving front 2

Chery has brought an SUV that punches above its weight into our local market.

From the well-presented interior to the comfy suspension setup, the Tiggo 8 Pro Max offers a compelling and competitive SUV package. It’s no luxury car, but it gets the job done convincingly well at a sharp price.

But it’s not perfect, largely due to its hesitant dual-clutch transmission and overbearing driver monitoring system. These need reconsideration by Chery, which should also look at bringing a hybrid version to Australia.

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