The Tiggo 4 Pro aims to cause a stir in the compact-crossover segment. It seems it might have done just that…

+modern interior and exterior styling; CVT impressed

– thirsty engine

For many reasons, the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro has arguably been one of the most surprising, entertaining sets of wheels I have sampled in issue 05. The Chinese brand has bottled everything we require in a crossover and has made it cost-effective. Straight off the bat, the new kid on the block delivered.

Tiggo 4

Following in the footsteps of fellow countryman, Haval, Chery has also taken an aggressive and assertive stance in how they approach the marketplace. Announcing the appointment of a local network spanning over 50 dealers was just the start. With that said, though, does its compact crossover compete with its competitors on all levels? Chery recently sent us the range-topping 1.5T Elite SE model. This is how it fared…

The Tiggo 4 Pro is easily one of the best-looking compact crossovers in our market. The hexagonal grille looks remarkably fancy, moving away from the usual honeycomb aesthetic fitted to some of its competitors. The overall design centres around a bulked-up body, with the test model sitting on neat 17-inch alloy wheels.

Tiggo 4

Moving inside, the Tiggo 4 Pro is transcendent. That might sound slightly over the top, but the interior is commendable. The cabin is well thought out. Now bear in mind that this is a budget-friendly car, so I based this on that fact. Yet not for one second does it feel like a budget car. There are soft leather trimmings throughout. An excellent play with black and red leather further lends it a modern, sporty feel. Brushed chrome can also be spotted throughout the cabin.

The infotainment system is neatly packaged in a 10-inch, high-definition touchscreen, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The fitment of both analogue and digital controls gives it a nice balance of old and new school. The position of the steering wheel feels driver-focused. The instrument cluster is a fully digitalised seven-inch set-up. Legroom throughout the cabin was ample.

I am a dyed-in-the-wool SUV lover. With such a strong love for SUVs comes much nitpicking. It’s our job to look at absolutely everything and break it down until we find something we don’t like. I thought the dreaded CVT gearbox would make me dislike the Tiggo 4 Pro, but to my surprise, the transmission turned out to be one of the pleasant surprises delivered by this little Chinese number. Very little lag was found in the shifts.

The 1.5-litre turbo takes you fast out of the starting block. I’m not talking Need for Speed fast, but at least fast enough to not make you think about the CVT gearbox. Handling on the open road and in town was pretty effortless. However, the ride was slightly stiffer than I would have liked.

One pitfall was the amount of exterior noise that filtered through the cabin. The roof rails also made a terrible whistle once the South Easter picked up.

Tiggo 4

As much as CVT gearboxes get picked by manufacturers for their ability to assist with fuel consumption, I don’t think this helped Chery. The Tiggo 4 Pro was thirsty. This is a pity, especially looking at the current petrol prices. With some light city driving and about 40 km of uninterrupted highway cruising, the best I could get was about 9.5 L/100 km (Chery claims 6.8 L/100 km). This got noticeably worse in the city.

To get back to business, the Tiggo 4 Pro, Chery’s golden lure within the competitive B-segment SUV pool, launched towards the end of 2021. As the old fishing saying goes, “Good things come to those who bait”. That’s precisely what Chery did. Crowds thronged to Chery after the firm announced its 10-year/1 000 000 km engine warranty.

As with most things, this seemed too good to be true. We fished and didn’t need to cast our lines too deep to find the catch. This enticing warranty is broken down into two parts. The first is a standard five-year/150 000 km warranty. The second — and I think this one was put in place to hook new, loyal-for-life customers — is a free extension for five more years and a whopping 850 000 km. It’s worth noting that this extended warranty is only in place if the original owner is still behind the wheel.

The verdict

4/5

I was left impressed. Sure, a few improvements could be looked at, especially fuel consumption. But there is very little to complain about when you consider how much car you are buying for this price.

Deep Data

Chery Tiggo 4 Pro 1.5T Elite SE

 

Price: R381 900
Engine: 1.5 L, 4-cyl, turbopetrol 
Transmission: CVT
Driven wheels: F
Power: 108 kW @ 5 500 r/min
Torque: 210 Nm @ 1 750-4 000 r/min
0-100 km/h: n/a
Top Speed: 180 km/h
Fuel Consumption: 6.8 L/100 km
CO2: 200 g/km
Length: 4 318 mm
Height: 1 662 mm
Width: 1 831 mm
Wheelbase: 2 610 mm
Weight: 1 684 kg
Luggage capacity: 340-1 100 L
Fuel tank: 51 L
Warranty: 5 years/150 000km (extended to 10 years/1 000 000 km for the first owner)
Service plan: 5 years/60 000 km