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Chery’s Tiggo a sweeter deal

23.02.2015

I HAVE to say, the level of progress that the various Chinese automotive manufacturers have made is astonishing. In around 10 years these Chinese vehicles have closed the gap on other manufacturers at an alarming rate. The Chery Tiggo has been around for a while and after driving the new one, I again point to the level of progress being made.

→ SUV looks

We like our SUVs in SA and therefore on the face of it, the Tiggo ticks the right boxes. It looks like an urban compact SUV, has the right proportion and - dare I say it - it looks pretty good. Fans of the older model will also notice the addition of LED lights and daytime running lights up front.

→ Engine battle

Here’s where it started to go south for me… you see, that engine, a 1.6-litre 93kW/160Nm makes piloting the Tiggo frustrating at times as you feel, especially low down, it lacks the get-up-and-go required for city driving. Once you have it going it’s not exactly a firecracker but is acceptable.

→ The elephant in the room

Our previous editor summed the interior of the Tiggo up perfectly when he compared its dashboard and steering wheel to stretched elephant skin. It really doesn’t look great and couple that with an aging facia and you have a vehicle that feels old.

→ What do I get?

There’s a decent amount of kit in the car with aircon, an audio system with CD/USB/ Bluetooth, multi-function steering wheel, rear-park distance control, ESP, dual airbags and ABS with EBD.

→ What’s it like to drive?

Apart from the slightly lazy engine, the Tiggo isn’t the most unrefined product to come out of China. The ride over bumps can come off a bit too hard and the steering is seriously vague.

→ Practicality

The Tiggo really makes up in this area as there is a massive rear luggage area that is some 827 litres with the rear seats up and 1 935 litres with the seats down. There’s also a massive rear passenger compartment with ample leg and head room, while up front, there is space for drivers of varying heights.

→ Verdict

Don’t think that I don’t respect Chery for the strides it’s made with this car. I just feel that with poor resale value and seriously adept competitors, the Tiggo doesn’t stack up, yet. It retails for R229 900, which is simply too much when you consider the fact that you could buy a Renault Duster, Ford Ecosport or a used Nissan Juke for similar money.

→ Peace of mind

The Tiggo comes with a three-year/75 000km service plan and a five-year/120 000km warranty and roadside assistance.

 

Article written by Sean Nurse
23.02.2015
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