REVIEW: Chery Tiggo 7 Pro is well priced and feature packed, but thirsty

Published Aug 8, 2022


Review: Chery Tiggo 7 Pro

Johannesburg - With times being as tough as they are, it’s no surprise that Chinese cars are making some serious inroads into the South African market with their well-priced products.

Earlier this month Chery released its sales figures to Naamsa for the first time, showing that the importer sold 1 262 cars in July, with a model range limited to just three products. That places it 13th overall, just behind Haval and ahead of some big names like Stellantis, Mazda and Honda.

The subject of this test is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, which accounted for 372 of those sales by the way, with the smaller Tiggo 4 Pro leading the way with a volume of 689.

In terms of size and positioning, the Tiggo 7 Pro slots between the aforementioned and the larger Tiggo 8 Pro and with an overall length of 4.5 metres, riding on a 2670mm wheelbase, it is roughly the size of a Volkswagen Tiguan or Kia Sportage. Not only is it rather nice to look at, if a little generic in places, but this Chinese contender is quite a bit cheaper than these rivals, with the already-well-specced base model coming in at R419 900 and the flagship derivative setting you back by R454 900.

Performance and economy

The Chery Tiggo 7 Pro is powered by a 1.5-litre turbopetrol motor that produces 108kW and 210Nm, with the latter coming in between 1 750rpm and 4 500rpm. Power goes to the front wheels only, as is the norm in this segment, via a CVT gearbox with pre-programmed steps that simulate gear changes.

Engine performance is decent and the average buyer is unlikely to want more than what’s on offer here. The CVT gearbox, given its ‘steps’ and the engine’s abundant low-down torque, is not as annoying as you might expect from a continuously variable transmission, and in most circumstances feels like a conventional autobox.

There is one downside to this powertrain, however, and in this day and age of brutal fuel prices, it could be a deal breaker for potential buyers. The fuel consumption on our test car was higher than expected, with the on-board readout showing 11.2 litres per 100km after a few days of driving around town. Reset for a short highway stint, it displayed an average of 9.4 l/100km, which is still higher than we’d expect for freeway driving. Good luck matching Chery’s claimed combined figure of 6.8 l/100km.

Overall the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro delivers a comfortable and relatively refined driving experience. The suspension does feel a little firm over harsher surfaces, but it’s not necessarily uncomfortable. On the upside, the road holding feels surprisingly stable with little body roll by SUV standards.

Interior and gadgets: What’s it like inside?

This is one area where the latest Chery models impress the most and the Tiggo 7 Pro is no exception. The materials feel more premium than you’d expect at the price, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces, convincing artificial leather and even some brushed aluminium surfaces.

The cockpit design is sharp and modern, in an almost Lexus-mimicking way, and there are three screens, coming in the form of a digital instrument cluster, generously sized (10.25”) LCD infotainment system and a separate screen for the ventilation system below that.

What I appreciated about the latter was that it has integrated physical switches for basic functions like temperature and fan speed.

This car’s electronics can take a bit of getting used to, however. It took us a while to figure out how to reset the trip meter, for instance, which was eventually executed after considerable menu digging in the instrument readout. It’s a bit like swopping your Android deceive for an iPhone - frustrating at first but you soon get the hang of it.

As you’d expect, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are integrated, and you’ll find two USB ports in the front, but only one for the back seat.

What features do you get for your money?

The nice thing about this line-up is that even the cheapest model, which they call the ‘Distinction’, is generously stocked. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, electric seat adjustment for the driver, electrically operated tailgate and a slew of active safety features such as Blind Spot Detection, Rear Traffic Alert and Hill Descent Control.

Unfortunately you only get four airbags in the base model, so you have to buy the Executive variant to get curtain bags. In addition to that, the flagship gains a large panoramic sunroof as well as additional driver assistance gizmos such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Auto Emergency Braking and 360-degree around view monitor.

Speaking of cameras, there’s also a display that shows you the kerb side when you’re changing direction, just in case you’re about to clip it.

Is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro practical?

Seated behind myself there was more than adequate legroom on offer and there’s no reason why this vehicle won’t prove comfortable over a long journey, although occupants might fight over the sole USB port.

The boot, with its capacity of 475 litres, is not necessarily the biggest in its class but it will swallow a good few suitcases and should meet the needs of most owners.


There’s a lot to like about the new Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, and it goes without saying that this Chinese brand is producing significantly better products than those flimsy early models that entered our market all those years back.

There’s also that 10-year, million kilometre warranty on offer, although it only applies to the first owner. If you sell it though, the usual five-year/150 000km coverage applies.

All considered, this Chinese SUV offers a lot of car for the money, with features and gadgets galore and a reasonably refined driving experience, but fuel consumption is steeper than we expected and that could be a deal breaker for some potential customers in these tough times. Then again, if you were planning to spend 600-grand-plus on a new Tiguan or Rav4, then you’re going to score a lot of extra petrol money by opting for this Chinese option instead.

FACTS: Chery Tiggo 7 Pro 1.5T Executive

Price: R454 900

Engine: 1.5-litre, 4-cyl, turbopetrol

Gearbox: Continuously variable (CVT)

Power: 108kW at 5 500rpm

Torque: 210Nm from 1 750 to 4 500rpm

Fuel use, urban: 11.2 l/100km (tested)

Fuel use, highway: 9.4 l/100km (tested)

Kerb weight: 1421kg

Boot volume: 475 litres

Warranty: 5-year/150 000km

Service plan: 5-year/60 000km

IOL Motoring

Related Topics:

ChinaAffordable cars