2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban review - SUV VEHICLE

2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban review


China-based value brand Chery returned to the Australian market with the Omoda 5, and now takes the step up to a mid-size SUV with the Tiggo 7 Pro. It’s a tough sell in an absolute war zone of a segment.

2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban

Chery’s return to the Australian market started with the polarising-looking Omoda 5. The brand has successfully moved on from its original iteration here as a supplier of cruddy hatchbacks, returning with style, tech and value-laden SUVs.

The marketplace it exited over a decade ago is unrecognisable to today’s, and Chery seems to have nailed – on paper at least – where the sweet spots are, dropping two SUVs that serve as attractive propositions for the lower end of market.

Chery’s names seem a little silly, but they’re probably intended to make people ask ‘A what now?’ whenever you say the name, which then starts a conversation. The Tiggo 7 Pro is an even sillier name than the Omoda, but it’s arguably a more serious car to take on heavyweights like the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.

How much does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro cost in Australia?

At $36,990, the Tiggo 7 Pro Urban is the entry level in Chery’s second car in its three-car comeback range, with a Tiggo 8 on the way. For some reason they’re all called Pro, so it’s the Urban bit that’s most important here. This thing is absolutely stacked with stuff and kind of makes the Elite almost pointless.

You get 18-inch alloys (and that rarest of things, a full-size spare), an eight-speaker stereo, powered front seats and mirrors, powered windows, heated front seats, auto LED headlights, auto wipers, satellite navigation, heated mirrors, keyless entry and start, two huge 12.3-inch screens, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control with N95-level purification and a very solid safety specification.

Nothing comes close to this spec at this price point. You’d have to reach up into the upper forties with the Outlander, CX-5 or RAV4, and even Haval’s H6 and MG’s HS will struggle to match the Tiggo 7’s overall specification.

Key details 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban
Price $36,990
Colour of test car Star Silver
Options None
Price as tested $36,990
Drive-away price $36,990
Rivals Toyota RAV4 | Mitsubishi Outlander | Mazda CX-5

How big is a Chery Tiggo 7 Pro?

At over 4.5 metres, the Tiggo 7 is a lot of car for the money. This is a common theme with this car that I’m sure you’re seeing. The boot is a gigantic 626 litres, easily eclipsing the RAV4’s already generous 580L. Some larger SUVs a size up struggle to top the Tiggo 7. The Mazda CX-5 is a comparatively miserly 438L and 478L in the Outlander. So yeah, it’s a big boot, under which is slung a full-size spare tyre.

That sense of space carries over into the rear seat, which has tons of leg and knee room. When I sit behind where I drive – I’m 180cm tall – there’s an easy 10cm of clearance and foot room. That’s almost extravagant. The seat is a bit slippery with its vinyl covering – at this price point I’d expect a cloth interior, but fake leather is the order of the day – and not especially supportive, but for getting around town it’s pretty good. You’ll get a numb bum on longer trips, or at least adults will.

There’s a solitary USB-A port in the back, two cupholders in the fold-down armrest, bottle holders in each door (as with the front), air vents and even map pockets. A little slot under the air vents will hold a phone in place. Entry is pretty easy too as the doors are decently sized.

Up front you have more very vinyl seats, and honestly these are the worst things about the cabin itself, which is saying a lot because it’s a startlingly good cabin. The materials won’t trouble Audi, but this is a sub-$40K proposition and it feels better than some $60K cars – apart from the vinyl that heats up quite a bit in the sun and doesn’t breathe at all well. Even with the dual-zone climate control running, I got a sweaty back in Sydney’s endlessly damp February.

The front-seat occupants have two cupholders side by side, a deep and cooled console bin, a wireless charging pad under the HVAC controls and bottle holders in the doors. 

The flat-bottomed steering wheel actually makes sense, because you sit quite high under the wheel itself, so you get a bit of clearance for getting in and out. I quite like most of the design, but the piano black buttons on the console and steering just mark up super quickly. Speaking of marking up, this car’s interior seemed hardier than many of its compatriots and closer to Japanese and Korean cars.

2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban
Seats Five
Boot volume 626L seats up
1672L seats folded
Length 4513mm
Width 1862mm
Height 1696mm
Wheelbase 2670mm

Does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Chery has absolutely loaded this car up with all of the things. A Mercedes-style pair of 12.3-inch screens provide not only a pretty classy touch to the interior, but also lots of information and plenty of options.

First, the not so good. The Hello Chery voice-control system is terrible when you’re trying to set up a route in the sat nav. While it accurately transcribed what I was saying, it would then say, “Nope, can’t find a way there”. I was 5km and three actual turns from my home. Not a toughie. A second attempt to navigate from my home to Sydney Airport – 7km – baffled it, and a third to get from said airport to Annandale also mirthfully failed.

Another attempt – not voice controlled – to get from Annandale to a coffee shop in Marrickville resulted in a completely bonkers diversion of several kilometres when it was clear from the map – and, admittedly, my own local knowledge – that I just needed to go left, right, then left again. Hilariously, when you manually start the sat nav, a splash screen reading ‘TurboDog’ comes up. 

Now, you can just plug in your phone and that of course means dealing with Siri or Google Assistant, neither of which has a particularly stellar reputations, but they are better than Chery’s. I have an iPhone and the full-screen display on the second screen is excellent. The touchscreen performance is slightly slow, but not laggy enough to genuinely complain.

Like many Chinese media systems, the targets are too small to easily hit on the move. So the previously mentioned Chery voice system does work better when you want to set a climate-control temperature or something similar.

The stereo has eight Sony-branded speakers, which is quite generous, AM/FM radio but no DAB+. I don’t think the lack of digital radio is something to get too upset about, as you can use your phone via Android Auto or CarPlay to get the same experience without the tunnel failures in Sydney and Melbourne.

A configurable 12.3-inch dash display reinforces the tech-heavy nature of the car, and it works really well, though it took me a while to find certain information. There are three or four themes available. 

There’s no smartphone app, so you can’t remotely control any of the car’s functions.

Oh, and when you get in there’s a long welcome musical intro and screen animation. It’s amusing at first but quickly tires.

Is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro a safe car?

ANCAP’s 2023 test of the Tiggo 7 Pro resulted in the maximum available five stars, no doubt helped along by the long list of standard safety tech, with the entry-level Urban missing out only on the 360-degree camera.

The car scored in the eighties across the board, with adult occupant protection (88 per cent), child occupant protection (87 per cent), vulnerable road user protection (80 per cent) and safety assist (86 per cent). 

Segment darling, the Toyota RAV4, scores better in all but safety assist, but we’re only talking a few percentage points either way. The Haval H6 – probably the closest price competitor – also scores well, but falls out of the eighties with vulnerable road user protection. Mazda’s perennial CX-5 fell out of its rating window in January so it doesn’t even have an ANCAP score anymore.

The Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan X-Trail and the Mitsubishi Outlander all have five-star ratings and similar scores across the board. This is a huge improvement for a brand that left Australia owing to a lack of basic, mandated safety gear.

2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban
ANCAP rating Five stars (tested 2023)
Safety report Link to ANCAP report

What safety technology does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro have?

On paper, the Tiggo 7 Pro’s safety package is excellent. And sadly that’s where the excellence ends. The things we come to expect as fundamental to modern vehicles – like autonomous emergency braking – they work okay. The real issue is the sensors that support the long list of functionality.

The lane-support systems are spotty and poorly- calibrated, leading to regular WWE-style wrestling with the steering wheel, the system convinced that one of those seams down the middle of a lane on a suburban road is actually a white line. To the cyclist that the system tried to run down, I extend my sincerest apologies. Make that cyclists, plural. Several attempts to gracefully offer a cyclist plenty of space ended up in a battle with the steering wheel.

Conversely, deliberate drifts towards the white line on the M4 elicited a fairly weak response or, in most cases, none at all until the rumble-strip-like contact with the tyre told me I’d reached the track limits.

Chery’s speed sign recognition is like a 1990s property auctioneer, taking bids out of nowhere. The car toots at you every time the speed limit changes – the sound itself is very Thomas the Tank Engine – but it ends up tooting incessantly and incorrectly. It makes Kia’s new system on the upper-end Seltos look uninterested and that system is wildly irritating. A trip along a local road here suggested seven different speed limits when in fact there are two.

That translates to a truly terrifying motorway experience if you switch on the integrated cruise control. This setting pays attention to the wildly inaccurate speed readings, meaning sudden deceleration in a 110km/h zone. Thankfully, the standard setting of the cruise control listens to what you tell it. More on that later, he writes with a foreshadowing tone.

The driver-attention detection system is also offensively bad. It tells you you’re not paying attention when you’re checking your speed. It flashes up a big warning on the dashboard and beeps at you. On a four-hour return trip along motorways and A-roads, I wanted to drag the responsible hardware and software out of the car and give it a thorough private-school-bully beating.

The various systems produced plenty of false positives. When I first had the car, I wondered what all the fuss was about because it was just the speed recognition that was annoying. A quick run down the menus and all was revealed – many of the systems had been switched off at some point. Turning them back on resulted in all of the above. So there’s some work to do – and a lot of it – to sort out this mess. 

It’s a genuine shame because having all this stuff is great. Not calibrating it properly is possibly worse than not having it at all, but I’m soothed by the idea that a software update will improve things. Right?

It’s also annoying that the ANCAP result is based on the presence of these technologies and only some of them are tested. It seems nobody from ANCAP takes it for a spin on roads like the M4 where rules only apply to some people, exposing the lack of detail work done by Chery’s engineers.

The Tiggo 7 Pro’s airbag count is an impressive eight, including a driver’s knee bag and a front centre airbag to help prevent head clashes in side impacts.

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Yes Includes cyclist, junction, night-time awareness
Adaptive Cruise Control Yes Includes traffic jam assist
Blind Spot Alert Yes Alert only
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Yes Alert and assist functions
Lane Assistance Yes Lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, lane-centring assist
Road Sign Recognition Yes Includes speed limit assist
Driver Attention Warning Yes Includes fatigue monitor
Cameras & Sensors Yes Front and rear sensors, 360-degree camera

How much does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro cost to maintain?

The average service cost is $294 per year over seven years. The first five services are $280 a pop, with a jump to $368 for the sixth the only party-ruining moment.

That’s not bad going in this segment, which has wildly different prices and lengths of capped-price service agreements, with only Toyota and Honda getting anywhere near Chery’s pricing while still being a solid $60 or $70 cheaper per service over the first five visits. Both the Toyota and Honda would be significantly more expensive to come close to matching the specification.

Comprehensive insurance came out at $1475 per year based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances. That seems pretty competitive and suggests reasonable repair prices while also reflecting the purchase price.

At a glance 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban
Warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $840 (3 years)
$1400 (5 years)
$2056 (7 years)

Is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro fuel-efficient?

Chery says the Tiggo 7 will burn fuel at the rate of 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle. My week with the car was a pretty even split of urban use and long highway runs, delivering a fairly solid miss of 9.5L/100km.

That’s a bit thirsty for a modern 1.6-litre turbo petrol, and when you can find a couple of hybrids in the segment using half the fuel, it looks a little worse. That 9.5L/100km breaches my personal view that 30 per cent off the official figure makes it a thirsty car. I’ll suggest that the main offender here was the city driving.

Fuel efficiency 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban
Fuel cons. (claimed) 7.0L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 9.5L/100km
Fuel type 95-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 51L

What is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro like to drive?

Even before you get going – actually, in order to get going is a more accurate thing to say – there’s a deeply annoying design decision that makes life difficult. Most automatic shifters require you to push a button of some description, a sort of dead-man’s handle, for the shifter to obey your wishes. In the Chery, it’s the manual button with no dead-man effect. I spent the entire week swearing mightily at it while blocking the street outside our home, because it kept dropping into manual mode when I was convinced I was selecting drive.

Getting out of manual mode seems to require several prods of the shifter to behave itself. It’s a perplexing design decision that I’m not calling a flaw as such, but it’s really unhelpful. And that’s before getting into the idea that you’ll switch gears with an out-of-eyeline rocker switch. I think Ford used to have that style of shifter on the Focus or Fiesta and it always seemed like a bad idea.

Three-point turns for most of the week were infuriating until I discovered the problem. Call my professionalism into question if you will, but you have to admit, it’s a weird choice.

Once underway, the engine is quite agreeable, with 137kW/275Nm to haul a tonne-and-a-half of SUV. The transmission is usefully cooperative, meaning it doesn’t make itself known with a fluffed shift, or holding on to gears for too long or too short a time. I’d even go so far as to say it’s pretty good against European twin-clutch transmissions, though it does roll back on an incline if you have the untrustworthy auto-hold switched off.

There’s enough power to luridly spin the front wheels if you’re making a quick getaway, even in the dry. I thought that this was mildly promising, because the calibration of the traction control actually seemed to understand that just smash-cutting the power isn’t the best way to go. It may also have something to do with the terrible Atlas tyres on this and the Elite model. Hopefully, you’ll rip through these quickly and get yourself on to some better rubber.

Which leads me to the handling. It’s a pretty soft old thing, rolling through corners and delivering what you might call a solid but uninspiring driving experience. The damping clobbers big speed bumps but is otherwise quite comfortable.

What is not comfortable is the brake pedal. It feels like that old Citroen with the rubber spherical brake pedal in place of a traditional one. While the Tiggo 7 has a proper brake pedal, it feels like it’s connected to a water balloon rather than a pressurised hydraulic system. It’s quite unnerving and reminded me of decade-old CX-9 I drove with shot pads and worn discs.

The braking performance itself is fine – and would be better if the tyres weren’t so ordinary – but I never got used to the brakes. This is not a car that rewards the enthusiastic driver, but I’m willing to bet my house that an enthusiastic driver is not going to be considering a Chery of any description.

Its highway manners are very good, but the active (as opposed to integrated) cruise control is not great. It stabs at the throttle like a cranky cabbie regaling you with Uber horror stories, and made my wife and I queasy on the long M4 run we took. It also rolls off the throttle quite suddenly, which as I’ve outlined isn’t great if it’s adhering to the phantom speed limits.

Overall, though, it’s a pretty decent mid-size SUV in which to carry or be carried.

Key details 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban
Engine 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 137kW @ 5500rpm
Torque 275Nm @2000–4000rpm
Drive type Front-wheel drive
Transmission 7-speed twin-clutch automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 90.6kW/t
Weight 1512kg
Spare tyre type Full-size
Payload 383kg
Tow rating None

Can a Chery Tiggo 7 Pro tow?

I’ll settle this both quickly and in a little more detail.

No. If you want to tow anything, this is not the car for you. 

Why you ask? Well, for starters, you can’t even get a tow bar and Chery does not provide a towing rating for braked or unbraked towing. So you’re out of luck here. One of the clues that this car isn’t built for towing is that the payload is a mere 383kg. Now, I’m about 80kg, which is pretty standard for a middle-aged bloke who won’t let go of his skinny jeans collection, so five of me breaches the payload limit.

Even four of me with 10kg each of luggage is sailing close to the wind at 360kg. And if each of us has had a solid feed, and carrying a bottle water in our bladders, we’re in a spot of trouble, technically speaking. If it’s you and the kids on the school run, though, you’ll be fine.

Should I buy a Chery Tiggo 7 Pro?

There’s a lot that I don’t like about this car, and more than enough for me to say I wouldn’t buy it. However, I’m not you, so let’s talk about what’s good about it. 

It’s very roomy, reasonably refined, and does all the things the other cars in this segment do except tow. The interior is packed with stuff, and as time goes by, I imagine it will get better, particularly the voice control. The ergonomic quirks of the various systems are just that and entirely liveable once you’ve had the car for a few weeks.

Most of my complaints will be dismissed as nitpicking by a good chunk of this car’s intended audience. That may be so, but with 20-odd competitors, it’s our job to ensure you’re across what isn’t good about this car.

I think many of the safety systems’ shortcomings will be updated over the next 12 months or so. Or at least I hope so. But it is a solid entrant to the segment, and offers more features than even the top-spec Japanese or Euro competitors don’t. You can’t argue with the Urban’s value proposition, and I found it a better car than either of its home town rivals from Haval or MG, although it is more expensive than both.

But the main point is this: the Urban is well priced and cheaper than many compact SUVs, with a lot more gear than you might expect taking those two things into consideration. It’s cheap to service, the warranty is long, and Chery seems a lot more serious about building decent cars this time around.

How do I buy a Chery Tiggo 7 Pro? The next steps.

Having read my Drive colleagues’ reviews, I’d agree that the Urban is the variant to have. Sharply priced, loaded with the right gear (and some fun fripperies), there’s little point stepping up unless you’re chasing all-wheel drive.

The next step on the purchase journey is to check in with a Chery dealer for stock of your preferred Tiggo 7 Pro variant. You can also find Cherys for sale at Drive.com.au/cars-for-sale.

We strongly recommend taking a test drive at a dealership before committing because personal needs and tastes can differ. Find your nearest Chery dealer via this link.

We’d also recommend test-driving one or two rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 or Mazda CX-5 because they’re both popular with consumers and are good benchmarks. If you’re sticking with value brands, then the MG HS and Haval H6 are where you want to look, but neither is particularly impressive apart from the hybrids.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

The post 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Urban review appeared first on Drive.


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