Published on June 7th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Impressions: X70 Killer Potential

The Chery Tiggo 7 Pro should have been launched by now, so we’re not holding our first impressions back.

Back in mid-April, Chery Malaysia previewed their Proton X70 rival, the Tiggo 7 Pro. The media preview garnered generally positive feedback from the public, and we were looking forward to its launch in May 2024. However, things did not go as planned. Chery Malaysia began to face one scandal after the next and before we knew it the month of May had passed and no Chery Tiggo 7 Pro launch occurred.

Thankfully, the equally anticipated Proton X70 facelift was also delayed and now potential customers are left thinking how long more do they have to wait and which of these two Chinese-engineered SUVs will be the better buy? We had a 100% imported Tiggo 7 Pro on loan to us earlier and we can give some indication of what to expect at least from the Chery side of things.

Sticking To The Formula

If there’s one thing Chery has been great at so far, it’s giving Proton a hard time. Both the Omoda 5 and the Tiggo 8 Pro have been priced within 5% of their Proton equivalents while delivering more equipment. The Tiggo 7 Pro continues this trend with a very impressive spec list. Only one trim level is planned and it comes with ‘the works’.

This includes a dual 12.3″ display set-up a-la Mercedes-Benz of the previous generation which definitely outdoes the X70’s current setup and may even exceed what’s available with the facelifted X70. Apple Auto and Android Auto continue to be missing on Proton models but is standard here.

Chery are even throwing in a panoramic sunroof in the Tiggo 7 Pro – something Proton reserves for its Flagship X model. Other items like 50W wireless charging and multi-colour ambient lighting make the Chery feel more like a premium offering compared to the X70.

Perceived cabin quality is also top notch. It almost feels as if Chery has all the same OEM contacts for premium car makers and they’ve all arranged for a special ‘friend rate’ for the same premium interior parts.

Nothing in here feels far off of a base Mercedes-Benz model’s interior and in terms of styling inspiration it’s tough to deny a similarity especially when zooming in to buttons on the door cards.

The only rather strange choice is the carbon weave on the trim pieces. It feels extremely out of place in a car with minimal sporty intentions.

Good Design But Characterless Styling

In that same vein, the red-painted brake calipers also seem a little excessive. These sporty design touches convey performance that the Tiggo 7 Pro just can’t deliver on.

It’s not that the car isn’t fast, it’s just that these are cues you normally find in sportscars and it looks very out of place here. There’s also Mercedes-Benz inspired fake tailpipes but they’re more acceptable here on a budget-oriented family SUV than on a premium vehicle.

That being said, we did like the Peugeot-inspired blue coloured accent pieces on the front bumper and rear spoiler. They add a touch of ‘avantgarde’ flavour the exterior which better communicates the nature of the Chery brand – they’re willing to try anything that might work.

Power On Paper

There’s a pretty major difference between Proton and Chery SUVs. Proton’s SUVs all come with the same 1.5L TGDI 3-cylinder while Chery has opted to fit a different engine for each model in Malaysia. Our Omoda 5 runs a 1.5L turbo 4-cylinder, the large Tiggo 8 Pro gets a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder and this upcoming Tiggo 7 Pro features a 1.6L turbo 4-cylinder. This ‘goldilocks’ displacement puts the X70 to shame in terms of power figures with 197PS and 290Nm of torque on tap but the X70 will have the upper hand in terms of fuel efficiency. Overall, the Chery’s motor is a decent enough thing, but the numbers definitely don’t translate to sports SUV performance and there is some room for improvement when it comes to refinement. That being said, the Proton engine isn’t the smoothest thing on startup either.

Engine Cover Pro Max

Overall Impressions

We didn’t spend nearly enough time with the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro to warrant a full review, but we did learn a few things from our time with the car. In general it delivers a cut-down version of the Tiggo 8 Pro experience with similar tidy and upmarket but forgettable styling. The interior is sure to wow customers as is the feature list. If you’re looking for something to complain about, you’ll have to nitpick. And at this price, for this kind of perceived quality, performance, equipment, build quality and NVH it’s really hard to complain at all.

That being said, Chery has a long wait to go before it can build (and in some cases rebuild) customer trust. The brand is definitely committed to Malaysia and has a long term vision for how they intend to become a part of the mainstream car buying conversation. The Tiggo 7 Pro looks like it could definitely give the long dominant X70 a blow even if the facelift model arrives soon.

Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Specifications

Engine: 4-cylinder 16V Turbo
Displacement: 1598cc
Transmission:  7-speed Dual Clutch Automatic
Max power: 197PS
Max torque: 290Nm
Top Speed: 205km/h 
0-100km/h: 9.5 seconds

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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