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FIRST TAKE: Chery Tiggo 7 Pro

 

An advance look at Chery’s soon-to-launch SUV

CHERY PHILIPPINES will soon launch its latest product for the local market — the Tiggo 7 Pro.

Wherever you’re at with your impressions of Chery, I assure you that the Tiggo 7 Pro is bound to give you something to look forward to. It is a huge leap in sophistication from the previous-gen Tiggo 7, and is slated for an online public reveal sometime this end of January.

I had the opportunity to briefly drive the new Tiggo 7 Pro to gather some first impressions before the public launch, and to summarize my initial assessment: It was better than I expected. The exterior looks sportier and more attractive, the wheels are now a size larger, and the cabin offers a plethora of amenities that are delightfully premium in nature.

Immediately upon entering the vehicle, you will notice the full panoramic sunroof, the leather upholstery, and the soft-touch surfaces that collectively exude a more upscale vibe. It also carries a load of car technology for its price point — from an intelligent tire pressure monitoring system, to mobile phone wireless charging capabilities, to an amazing 360-degree HD panoramic camera that can be exploited not only for parking maneuvers, but even while driving.

Depending on your programmed settings, you could opt to get an impressive view of your vehicle’s surroundings on the side you are making a turn into, whenever you toggle your signal light switch. A generous 10.25-inch infotainment display is at your disposal to fully utilize the vehicle’s rear camera and all its front and rear sensors. The high-definition resolution is a plus, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come as standard.

The car’s built-in technology also offers mobile phone integration with a mirror link function that allows the driver to activate or control some features even from outside the vehicle. Oh, and I also appreciate the other bells and whistles, such as the cabin’s customizable ambient lights, which can also be programmed to change color based on the beats of the music you’re playing, if you prefer.

The Tiggo 7 Pro carries a Euro 5-compliant, 1.5-liter turbocharged engine mated with a CVT with an electronic shifter. As I test-drove it along Alabang, I was happy with the output (145hp at 5,500rpm) and did not for a second feel that the vehicle was underpowered — a common issue among other affordable vehicles in this class.

Safety-wise, the Tiggo 7 Pro carries much of the usual safety functions, including ABS, EBS, emergency brake assist, hill descent control, hill hold control, a traction control system, emergency signal system (wherein the car’s hazard lights are made to flash when the driver suddenly steps on the brakes after driving at high speed), a front and reverse radar, and a dynamic track reverse image for backing up. But I also like the fact that it informs the driver which seat belts are engaged in the rear passenger row — so that he/she can be aware when any of the passengers (especially children) refuses to wear a safety belt.

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