Chery’s presence in the new-car market seems to be more prevalent with each passing month. The Chinese automaker gains market share by diversifying its portfolio with products that are attractive to more new-car buyers. The company’s SA range grows this week with the addition of the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max.
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The Chery Tiggo 7 Pro has already been available in SA for some time. In Chery speak, ‘max’ refers to the larger engine offered in any range. The Tiggo 7 Pro has, until now, been offered with a 1,5-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated with a CVT.
The Tiggo 7 Pro Max derivatives boast a 1,6-litre turbopetrol motor. This larger option has 145 kW of power and 290 N.m of torque on tap. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is the sole option for this engine. The Max versions are differentiated by a few styling cues, which include specific alloy designs, an updated frontal aspect and lighting signatures.
Now With AWD
In addition, the more powerful engine is available with an all-wheel-drive system. This is the first time that the Tiggo 7 has been offered with AWD. The key visual differentiator between the 2WD and AWD version are 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels on the 2WD model while all-wheel drive variants have 19-inch rims of a different design.
Click here to read our launch report of the recently launched Tiggo 8 Pro.
There are changes inside the cabin, too. One of the key changes is the different front seats. Chery refers the items in the Pro Max as ‘sports seats’. Incidentally, both front seats are electrically adjustable.
Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max versions have dual 12,3-inch screens one ahead of the driver the other a touchscreen unit serving as the infotainment interface. A voice-activated assistant can also be used to control a vast array of functions.
The central interface handles, among other things, climate controls, entertainment options, connectivity including wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as satellite navigation. Thankfully Chery has retained a set of physical/haptic buttons for front seat occupants to change the HVAC settings.
The Open Road
We drove the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max at its national media ride-and-drive introductory event. The driving route took in a small section of urban driving, in and out of the Mother City. The bulk of the route consisted of the ‘West Coast’ road that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean.
The larger engine and snappiness of the dual-clutch transmission made light work of the two-hour outbound drive. Added punch from the 1,6-litre mill makes for quick overtaking. The all-independent suspension system must also take credit for a soft ride. We experienced the latter over a short section of gravel driving where the Tiggo 7 Pro Max hardly seemed to notice the change of surface.
As always, a key to Chery’s growing popularity is its keen pricing. The most expensive Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max is cheaper than the most affordable VW Tiguan. All derivatives of the Hyundai Tucson range (save for the entry-level version) ae more expensive than the Tiggo 7 Pro Max. Those rival models are the main competition of the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max.
Factor in the extensive standard features list, as well as a five-year/60 000 km service plan, a one-million-kilometre/10-year engine warranty and five-years of roadside assistance, and the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max will be a common sight on our roads pretty soon.
Tiggo 7 Pro Max Pricing
Distinction 2WD – R529 900
Executive 2WD – R559 900
Executive AWD – R609 900