Chinese cars have been fighting for the Russian market for several years, but are acceptance and recognition close? I propose to understand the question with an example Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, a modern urban crossover for the whole family.
- 1.5 liter engine, 92 gasoline, 147 hp s., 210 Nm (SQRE4T15C);
- CVT9 variator (CVT25);
- front-wheel drive;
- average consumption during the test drive – 8.6 liters per 100 km in the combined cycle;
- drove 1500 km.
Let’s look outside
It is customary to look for similarities with other brands in cars from the Middle Kingdom, but I don’t like this approach. After all, automobile fashion is common for everyone, and Chery Tiggo 7 Pro meets it in full. Check it out for yourself: the massive radiator grille, plastic skirt and black roof. Moreover, despite conforming to trends, the modern Chery Tiggo line has its own face.
If we talk about the color scheme, it is extraordinary: two shades of red, two shades of blue, azure and black and white classics. Red with a black roof especially to face Chery Tiggo 7 Pro! And throw away all gender stereotypes, driving bright cars is great.
The chrome frame of the side windows seemed redundant, the gray rails are enough to support the light inserts in the front and rear. Moreover, the pillars are black for the effect of continuous glazing.
Chery Tiggo style is also read in the stern, thanks to the continuous taillight with the characteristic LED pattern and the number transferred to the bumper. The latter also affected the location of the trunk opening button, you have to reach for it.
Lighting technology is fully LED for low and high beam. The near one is automatically turned on by the light sensor. The lighting is very bright. The road to Nizhny Novgorod is practically unlit, but with such a neighbor there was no discomfort. Turning on the far one lights up another section, which shines higher.
And how is it inside?
Direct acquaintance begins with keyless entry and autostart. The alarm panel only looks ordinary, and when the door lock button is pressed, it starts the car. I used this option in the morning, while walking for 5 minutes from the entrance to the parking lot. When you approach the car, it will unlock itself. And it locks with the closing of all windows and the hatch without pressing the button on the door handle, if you exit after turning off the engine. You instantly get used to so many convenient gimmicks. An unpleasant moment – two triple horn signals if you leave with the key while the engine is running.
The first acquaintance with the salon does not disappoint. Around the driver is a scattering of buttons, not plugs. The soft panel is covered with leather in places, a developed console in the center. Eco-leather seats look beautiful. The finishing touch is the panoramic roof with a really large hatch. The tactile familiarity with the interior doesn’t disappoint either. Everything you touch is soft, like the armrests on the door cards. The four power windows are automatic and the mirrors fold down after the doors are locked.
The interior is complemented by atmospheric lighting for the front passengers, fired on the panel and door cards. The niche under the floating console is also highlighted. There is a static glow, winking to the beat of the music, volume indication and switching depending on the selected driving mode. True, on a night track, I had to turn everything off to get rid of unnecessary reflections in the windows.
One of the few serious ergonomic blunders is the fully touch-controlled climate control unit. When interacting with it, a duplicate menu appears on the multimedia system screen. It can be pulled out at any time as a curtain. To adjust the temperature, turn on the heated glass or seats, you have to distract from the road and aim at the touch buttons. Climate is a basic component that should be on physical keys or on unattainably comfortable sensors. The temperature regime is also strange: the comfortable temperature here is in the region of 26-28 degrees, while in other cars it is enough to set 22 degrees. The look of the block and the entire center console is embarrassing – the gloss under the piano lacquer wears out very quickly.
In the center is a 10-inch tablet with Chery’s own surroundings. It has everything you need inside, including Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, QDLink screen projection instead of Android Auto. The interface is Russified without blunders, the design and fonts are well chosen. Despite the presence of 6 speakers, the sound is flat without a pronounced accent on any range. Arkamys effects bring volume to the proper level.
I will dwell on QDLink in more detail. This system works via a USB cable and displays its own launcher with shortcuts of selected applications, and then duplicates the smartphone screen without the ability to extinguish it. The image ratio is 21: 9, if the device does not match, there will be black stripes on the sides. All this works quite decently: Android Auto, of course, is much more convenient, but there are no Google services in China, so the focus on its own alternative is understandable.
There is plenty of room for a smartphone: a wireless charging station in the center console and two niches under a floating panel next to two USB sockets.
Three of them will sit in the back: there is enough legroom, there is no central tunnel. However, it is much more comfortable for two, thanks to the central armrest.
Rear passengers also have access to heating, climate deflectors and one USB for charging gadgets. A panoramic roof adds visual space. Chery Tiggo 7 Pro is a car for comfortable movement of four people.
It’s time for a ride
The driver’s seat is comfortable – there is enough space, all controls are standard and are at hand. The puffy leather heated steering wheel is adjustable in two directions. In the set of buttons, I missed the fast silent mode. But I liked the cruise control adjustable up to 1 km / h, capable of accelerating the car and slowing down the engine.
The instrument panel is a 7-inch screen that does not flirt with the classic arrow. Most of the screen is occupied by a digital speedometer, distance traveled and consumption. On the second screens – pressure indicators, moreover, not indirect from ABS, but from full-fledged sensors in TMPS tires.
At first glance, the seats have a fairly developed shape, but in reality the back is amorphous. I didn’t have a feeling of complete unity with these seats, from time to time I had to slightly adjust the fit. Fortunately, the adjustment is electric without memory, and the driver’s seat is supplemented with a lumbar support and a microlift. Eco-leather upholstery is not afraid of pollution. But the convenience in everyday life is questionable: it is cold in winter, hot in summer, slippery in corners. Fabric seats are much more comfortable in this sense.
The driver is assisted by rear parking sensors and an all-round visibility system. The latter is based on four cameras around the perimeter of the car and is activated when the turn signals or reverse gear are turned on, the conditions are adjusted. The front-rear cameras are useful, the 3D image looks more like a toy, and it is difficult to navigate through it. The circular view menu was left without Russification.
A small turbocharged four with a volume of 1.5 liters produces 147 liters. with. and 210 Nm. The engine is economical in measured mode and is able to submerge if desired. One should not expect excessive excitement, although the car gains the first hundred in a decent 9.8 seconds. The pair is made up of a chain variator with the usual stepless specificity and a characteristic sound that is clearly distinguishable in the cabin. The transmission smoothly changes the gear ratio, so it has the ability to optimally select the rpm in any situation. For example, 1500 for measured city driving, 3000 for smooth acceleration and 5500 – throttle to the floor in Sport mode. A clear fixation makes the sound of the engine monotonous and kills all emotions. The simulation of shifting is added after activating the manual mode; it is not necessary to switch gears manually.
Joystick control is an extremely nice option for a car under 2 million. Electric handbrake with Auto Hold. If you try to drive off with the door open, the parking will automatically turn on, and after the engine is turned off, the brake will be applied automatically.
The car is adapted to AI-92 gasoline. At the beginning of the test, I was convinced of this, and after that I began to fill in the AI-95. In a city with active rearrangements and periodic accelerations, it turned out 9 liters per hundred, on the highway with an average speed of about 100-110 km / h – 8 liters.
The steering is light and uninformative, everything is done to facilitate the driver’s work in the parking lot and during city traffic. Fortunately, the sport mode, among other things, affects the settings of the electric booster and pours the steering wheel with a pleasant effort. This does not add information content in the near-zero zone and reactive effort. However, I liked the setting, so I turned to the head unit and activated the sports steering wheel forcibly. In terms of road habits, this is a family front-wheel-drive crossover: stable and predictable, but without any driving habits.
Before us is a city dweller with a high ground clearance of 190 millimeters, so as not to be afraid of high curbs and easily drive to the dacha on dirt roads. You should not count on a confident ride on snow-covered country roads. The suspension pleased me with its energy intensity: bumps, speed bumps and tram tracks are not obstacles.
Briefly about the trunk
There is room in the trunk for the whole family – 475 liters of volume and a large flat area contribute to this. The middle and top trims boast an electric tailgate. It is triggered by a button or automatically – just go to the door with the key in your pocket and take a step back after the turn signals wink.
You can also open and close the trunk from the driver’s seat by holding the button.
Thoughts on the positions of the Chinese car industry
There are two models for the development of the national auto industry in the world – European and Asian. The first is to win the hearts of buyers with expensive premium cars and then penetrate more affordable segments with the same wrapper, but somewhat simplified content. This is a long conservative path that many European manufacturers have traveled, for example, the entire German troika. The Asian way of becoming is the opposite, companies go from the bottom up. In the beginning, they feed buyers with cars cheaper than competitors, gradually gain experience and rise to more and more expensive segments. It’s hard to imagine today, but Japanese Toyota, Nissan, Honda and other brands were not considered prestigious in 1970s America, and the premium sub-brands Lexus, Infiniti and Acura did not exist at all. But the relative inexpensiveness and economy prevailed – the minds of buyers were transformed. Korean brands went the same way in the nineties and zero years, including in Russia.
20 years after the Koreans, Chinese cars have already become balanced in their characteristics, but they continue to provide more competitors to win a buyer. I was convinced from my own experience that the same Chery Tiggo 7 Pro is not terrible: technically everything is at the level, the ergonomics have been tightened up, the workmanship does not bother. But there are a lot of options, and the basic things are implemented much more neatly when compared with competitors for comparable money. There remains the question of recognizing the brand in society, the company will have to make a lot of efforts to destroy the stereotypes from the past. I think 2-3 car generations will pass, and this is 8-12 years, and no one will remember this, and Chery will be on a par with other brands. If you don’t care about the prestige of the brand, the Tiggo 7 Pro is worthy of attention right now, the machine does not disappoint at all.
- fashionable appearance and bright color palette;
- full LED light;
- a huge number of options for its price;
- panoramic roof with sunroof;
- convenient keyless access;
- a combination of a turbo four and a variator;
- energy-intensive suspension.
- touch climate control;
- unusual temperature conditions;
- own QDLink instead of Android Auto.
May not like:
- general distrust of Chinese cars;
- two triple beeps when leaving the car with the key.