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Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate 2024 review

 
Curt Dupriez
Deputy editor

Chery’s all-important midsize SUV is a solid if unremarkable lineup aim at reestablishing the Chinese carmaker’s fortunes in Australia


Good points

  • Mildly handsome styling
  • Lots of interior window dressing
  • Features for the lineup’s outlays
  • Fulsome safety features
  • Dignified on-road manners
  • Seven-year warranty

Needs work

  • Clumsy user interfaces
  • Some powertrain grumbles
  • Overbearing safety alerts
  • Heavy-handed safety intervention
  • Ho-hum driving engagement
  • No electrified options (yet)

The Tiggo 7 Pro is the lynchpin in Chinese carmaker Chery’s efforts to reboot its fortunes in the Australian market and win over local buyers as its potential volume-seller to take on the likes of Toyota RAV4 in the super-popular midsize SUV segment.

Pronounced “tee-go”, the 7 Pro arrives with more mature and conventional spin than the funky if mixed-bag Omoda 5 small SUV that relaunched Chery locally back in March this year. The newcomer is tasked with building a foundation under the brand set to launch numerous other models in 2024, including the (confirmed) Tiggo 8 upper-midsize seven seater and (probably) the large Tiggo 9 family hauler.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 rear driving

There’s much potential in the wings. The Chery giant has hybrids (Tiggo 7 PHEV) and full electrics (upcoming Omoda EV), and a vast choice under its own brand as well as the cut-priced Jetour and premium-positioned Exeed sub brands, offering everything from sporty large coupes (Arrizo) to Land Rover-esque 4x4s (Traveller).

Within the broad portfolio, the Tiggo 7 Pro is arguably the most innocuous, safe and broadly appealing recipe, and no-brainer as second cab off the rank for Chery’s Australian reboot.

Chery has much to prove in Aus. It lobbed about a dozen years ago with a handful of gormless J-branded models that were barrel-bottom on price, questionable in quality and thoroughly mediocre on safety. And it’s the last bit that sealed Chery’s fate in 2015 when the brand exited local showrooms for an eight-year hiatus.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 side

The Tiggo 7 Pro is very different. Or, at least, it promises as much. Be it on paper or viewed from 20 paces, it’s a calculated if somewhat predictable box ticking exercise of mainstream SUV essentials, if a lineup garnished with a fulsome array of niceties and, at $39,990 driveaway for its entry Urban variant, wanting for fairly enticing if still proper money.

The front-driven base model is joined by a slightly pricier, modestly nicer mid-ranger in the Elite ($41,990 driveaway), the concise three-flavour lineup topping out with full bells-and-whistles Ultimate ($45,990 driveaway) all-wheel drive.

All and sundry are powered with the same 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol four outputting 137kW and 275Nm, a safe and staple midsize SUV choice, without any sign of a passe naturally aspirated ‘rental car’ engine or, for that matter, any electrification.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 front 3/4

Chery Australia has “expressed interest” in the Tiggo 7 Pro PHEV offered overseas, but with just six months into rekindling Australian buyer interest, why get ahead of itself…?

Backed by a wet-type seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in both front- and all-wheel-drive guises, it’s a Euro VIb-compliant turbo engine that promises competitive combined fuel consumption claims – 7.0L/100km for FWD, 7.8L for AWD – if perhaps at the mercy of outright performance.

Its swiftest claim is 9.5sec 0-100km/h for the bum-dragger. So it’s not quick… It also demands a minimum of 95-octane premium fuel.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 badge

Given patchy past history, safety is a big push. We’ll cover details below but Chery Australia claims that the Tiggo 7 Pro had 50,000kms of local on-road development, and almost all of it focussed on adapting and calibrating many of its 18 different driver assistance systems.

However, none of the localised R&D was invested in changes to better adapt the ride and handling package specifically for Australia. A more localised tune is said to be in development for the lineup.

Nevertheless, the version that debuts in Australia isn’t the first of its generation, but rather three years old and also now facelifted.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 front 3/4

In fact, Chery has sold three million examples of this generation to date globally, which ought to be ample water under the production bridge to shake out gremlins and hone the end product that finally finds itself on Aussie shores.

Though we drove both the mid-spec Elite front-driver and Ultimate AWD at the Australian launch, most of our assessment centres on the latter flagship version.

What are the Tiggo 7 Pro’s features and options for the price?

At $39,990 on driveaway, the Urban version offers:

  • LED exterior lighting
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Full-size spare
  • Eight airbags
  • 18 driver safety and assistance systems
  • Driver monitoring system
  • Artificial leather seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Multi-colour ambient lighting
  • Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Dual 12.3-inch Instrument and Multimedia screens
  • 8.0 speaker Sony sound system
  • GPS satellite navigation
  • Intelligent voice command (“hello Chery”)

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 interior

A nominal $2000 walk up to the mid-spec Elite ($41,990 driveaway) adds:

  • 360-degree camera
  • Auto-folding mirrors
  • Power tailgate
  • Light-up sill covers
  • Unlocks black roof two-tone option
  • Air quality management system
  • Negative ion air freshener
  • Cargo blind

The flagship Ultimate AWD ($45,990 driveaway) adds:

  • All-wheel drive
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Six drive modes (Eco/Sport/Normal/Snow/Mud/Off-road)
  • Red front brake calipers
  • Memory mirrors
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Memory driver’s seat

There are few cost options for the Tiggo 7 Pro range. Five out of the six available finishes are premium paint options adding $600, while the two-tone Lunar white/Space black or Martian Red/Space black roof combinations comes at a total extra cost of $1200, available only in Elite and Ultimate grades.

The Tiggo 7 Pro fits a full-sized 18-inch alloy space wheel including, strangely, in the 19-inch-shod Ultimate.

How does the Tiggo 7 Pro drive?

Disclosure time: your reviewer and Chery’s other local release, the smaller and funkier Omoda 5, did not get along when I drove it earlier this year.

My reservations were mostly due to the driving experience and specifically centred about vapid engagement, recalcitrant powertrain character, wayward support system calibration and a concerning lack of wet-running grip. We scored it a drivability rating of 6.0 out of 10, and 6.5 for the overall.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 front 3/4 3

However, the Tiggo 7 Pro seems more resolved and better sorted. While there certainly seems to be family traits to how Cherys drive, the midsize newcomer feels to have benefitted from more R&D and added elbow grease in its calibration polish.

So it’s better, but…

The little turbo petrol four makes the right noise which, audibly at least, is pleasantly next to nothing. It’s polite, eager enough once you’ve dug it out of eco drive mode and set it to normal mode, and 275Nm clocking on at just 2000rpm gives it a bit of spice and moderate urgency on the march. Character? Well, not so much, if not necessarily to a fault.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 rear driving 2

The wet-type dual-clutch, too, is pretty decent on the move, but like so many marriages between small-capacity boosted engines and DCT gearboxes it becomes a bit unruffled around town and in stop-start traffic.

I do sense that Chery has hooked onto a dual-clutch trend – particularly inspired by Korean marques – that many midsize SUV leading lights are now moving away from in lieu of older-school if generally smoother-shifting torque converter designs.

The powertrain is, like so much of the Tiggo 7 Pro experience, adequate if unremarkable. And this extends right through to (premium only) fuel consumption. The AWD version’s urban (10.1L/100km) and extra-urban (6.6L) claims represent a wide ballpark, and our two stints in the Ultimate returned 9.4L and 8.3L respectively. Frugality isn’t a strong suit.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 front 3/4 2

At a touch over 1.6 tonnes and sat on strut front/multilink rear suspension, the top-spec Tiggo 7 Pro feels reasonably light and responsive once its weight gets moving around in the corners.

The 19-inch rolling might add a little extra sheen to the driver connection, though frankly there’s little dynamic difference compared back to back with the 18s-shod front-drive Elite. In fact, the Elite is lighter in kerb weight and feels as much in its general dynamic manner.

On balance, the chassis does seem to favour ride comfort over dynamic ability, as should be the case for this type of mainstream volume-chasing SUV for the types of buyers it targets.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 wheel

It’s not completely infallible in damping control, though the all-round compliance and NVH suppression is at least on par for its segment. It doesn’t feel like a ‘cheap drive’.

However, the Tiggo 7 Pro ability to present a natural and relaxing communing or touring experience is blighted on a few too many fronts.

From the moment you’re on the move, the Chery starts to bing and bong audible warnings at you. And like many new vehicles these days, it won’t indicate – inside the driver’s screen or otherwise – what exactly it’s binging and bonging about…

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 rear 3/4 4

So you can try to start distractedly digging into the submenu system while you’re driving, systematically turning off all of the various (up to 18) different driver assist systems. But when you do so, the driver attention system then triggers prompting you to stop and keep your eyes on the road.

And so the noises continue with ever-rising irritation…

There’s more. The HVAC climate control adjustment is annoying, buried in the media system (which we’ll get to below) and the driver attention system trigger threshold is so short that it alarms quicker than it takes to adjust the temperature settings and fan speed. It’s a real double-whammy of poor, ill-conceived system calibration.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 driving front

One final gripe is the lane following. At highway speed, activating adaptive cruise control also applies lane following smarts that the SUV applies a huge amount of self-counter-steering torque through the wheel.

And yet, unlike systems used in Korean rivals, the cruise and lane following can’t be individually deactivated. Or, at least, not switched off easily or in any logical manner.

Given the brand’s patchy safety history from its latest stint in Oz, Chery is understandably laying on safety features and assists thick. But, unfortunately, the calibration of the systems are, in some areas, far too heavy handed and overbearing in real-world driving.

What is the Tiggo 7 Pro’s interior and tech like?

Much like the exterior design, the Tiggo 7 Pro’s interior is thoroughly contemporary, neat and logical. However, it is very safe, right down to the drab grey ambience, and its look and stylisms do rob from a slew of established Asian and European rival brands.

Still, there’s high-level presentation for the price point and clearly Chery is aiming to lay on a long list of nice window dressing and features many of today’s buyers are drawn to. Nothing wrong with that.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 interior

Before we get to window dressing, the material choice is nice, there’s not too much in the way of too-cheap plastics and there’s a conspicuous effort to integrate flash and soft touch points across most of the cabin surfaces, even if the expanse of fake carbonfibre trim work across the dash fascia is a bit naff.

Another worthy shout out is that the build feels, for the most part, rock solid. Even the switchgear is up to par with that offered with Korean and Japanese machinery.

So you get a huge, oh-so-2023 curved dual-12.3-inch digital screen display, crisp and sharp in resolution and with an appearance that could well have been lifted from a far pricier SUV.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 screen

The faux leather is supple, it fits dual climate control and inductive phone charging, there’s a huge panoramic glass roof and even the natural voice control system can pull neat tricks like open and close the windows on verbal command…

The problem for the Ultimate is that, well, all of this nice stuff is offered even on the much-cheaper base Urban.

You do get the very fancy multi-angle, full-screen 360-degree camera system that, novelly, presents a remote view of the Tiggo 7 Pro as it drives along the road. And from a number of different perspectives. But it is, frankly, a pointless and distracting party trick the car will no doubt punish you for attempting to so much as glance at it.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 interior dial

Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto are good inclusions and even the base version gets a decent Sony-branded eight-speaker audio system – needless to say, there’s plenty of features that anchor a feel-good value-for-money vibe.

But while the seats themselves are reasonably comfy and form fitting and the wheel and controls are all logical and easy to navigate, the core ergonomics are a bit out of whack.

The front seats are set too high, the dash feels to land in your lay, and the wheel is positioned somewhat awkwardly despite offering decent four-way adjustment.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 back seats

The clumsy ergonomics were of notable presence in the Omoda 5 and they return here in the Tiggo 7 Pro. It might be a ‘Chery’ thing…

Row two is an improvement, if mostly because its general design and packaging is more natural and conventional.

It’s surprisingly roomy in back, the rear seat is plush and comfy, and the quality material application up front extends through the rear door cards and even through to the fully trimmed front seat backs. There’s nothing cut-priced nor cheap about the combined effect.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 boot

Air vents, a USB-A port, a nice flat floor with decent carpet and a fold-down armrest with cupholders are all accounted for. In fact, it feels more plush and upmarket here than most mainstream midsize SUVs out there.

Boot wise, Chery quotes a whopping 626L as a five seater. We’re not sure about Chery’s measuring methods, because in terms of real-world usable space – particularly on width – it’s a bit on the smaller side of median for segment. Stowing the 60:40 split-fold rear seats liberates a (claimed) 1672L.

Is the Tiggo 7 Pro a safe car?

According to Chery Australia, it is “80 percent of the way there” along the assessment path to its goal of achieving a five-star ANCAP rating. And it’s confident of nailing it.

The range fits eight airbags, including a driver’s knee and front-centre unit.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 rear 3/4 2

Crash worthiness apart, it certainly piles on the assistance systems such as:

  • Brake assist
  • Multi-collision brake
  • Driver monitor system
  • Forward autonomous emergency braking
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping
  • Emergency lane keeping
  • Lane change assist
  • Blind spot detection
  • Door opening warning
  • Rear collision warning
  • Rear cross traffic alert with braking
  • Traffic sign recognition 
  • Tyre pressure monitor system

All variants fit front and rear parking sensors and either reversing or 360-degree camera systems.

The range fits eight airbags, including a driver’s knee and front-centre unit, as well as rear outboard Isofix anchor points, child safety locks and child presence detection.

What are the Tiggo 7 Pro’s ownership costs?

As mentioned, the Tiggo range returns mid-eight to mid-nine-litre consumption as tested on a combined cycle again 7.0L/100km (FWD) and 7.8L (AWD) claims. Again, it requires 95-octane premium fuel.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 badge

Chery offers its triple-seven bundle of seven years of unlimited kilometre warranty, seven years of roadside assist and seven years of capped price servicing.

Servicing cost $280 per year for the first five years for a total outlay of $1400, with intervals of 12 months and 15,000km between visits.

The honest verdict on the Tiggo 7 Pro

In a good many ways the Tiggo 7 Pro is precisely what Chery Australia needs it to be: a solid, risk-free figurehead that brings the right stuff in the right places to lay the foundation for the brand to move forward in the local market.

It is most certainly Chery’s best offering to date, more middle of the road and mature than other models thus far, and good enough to go toe to toe on merit with the midsize SUV mainstream while offering better-than-average levels of kit for a lower-than-average price.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024-28

It’s also not so cut-priced as to be consider cheap: Chery wants to be taken as a serious player and pricing reflects this.

Overall, the Tiggo 7 Pro is good if not remarkable. And that goes for the powertrain, the drive, the cabin execution, the packaging and most other facets. Meanwhile, the turbo-petrol-only formula demonstrates a strong pitch for high-volume mainstream appeal. Electrified choices are coming, in 2024, but this midsize SUV is gunning for safe and conventional kick-off into the market.

Of course, there’s room for improvement in some areas, the most of which is tempering some of the strong-armed tendencies of the driver assists and safety systems that largely underpin its credentials as a serious family hauler. Again, the verdict is that it does nothing necessarily wrong, though there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 2024 rear

However, not to be dismissed is that there’s some real quality on show in the Tiggo 7 Pro in some areas.

There’s enough of it to demonstrate that Chery is becoming a bona-fide contender and a properly viable choice against the big guns in serious mainstream segments, and an antidote to any old stigma that Chery’s offerings are low common denominators.

Overall rating
Overall rating
7.0
Drivability
7.0
Interior
7.5
Running costs
Good
Overall rating
7.0
Drivability
7.0
Interior
7.5
Running costs
Good
$42,854
Details
Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges
$45,184

Key specs (as tested)

Engine
Capacity
1598 cc
Cylinders
4
Induction
Turbo
Power
137kW at 5500rpm
Torque
275Nm at 2000rpm
Power to weight ratio
86kW/tonne
Fuel
Fuel type
Petrol
Fuel capacity
57 litres
Consumption
7.8L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
730km (claimed)
Drivetrain
Transmission
Automatic
Drivetrain
All Wheel Drive
Gears
7
Dimensions
Length
4513 mm
Width
1862 mm
Height
1696 mm
Unoccupied weight
1601 kg

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