PHEV SUV with unmatched 7-year warranty

THE internal combustion engine and an electric motor in a PHEV work in tandem to bring the optimum running conditions. The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine paired with two electric motors, churning a total output of 320 horsepower and 510N-m of torque. | PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF REX SANCHEZ FOR DAILY TRIBUNE

September 12, 2022

Yes, you read the title right. There is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle SUV introduced by Chery Auto Philippines called the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV. It boasts the brand’s aftersales program “Premium Preserv,” which includes a seven-year general vehicle and engine warranty, or 200,000 kilometers (whichever comes first).

To put that in perspective, the average car warranty ranges from three to five years, making Chery’s Premium Preserv seem like a once-in-a-blue-moon offering. Not only that, the said aftersales program consists of a three-year free preventive maintenance service and three-year roadside assistance.

As a vehicle that uses a lithium-ion battery to complete the hybrid setup, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV is also offered with an exclusive eight-year or 150,000-km battery warranty. Those do sound interesting enough to kick-start your new car ownership experience with the SUV. But is the model worth it for its price of P2,450,000?

The whopping sticker price can make it a hard sell, especially after looking at the established models the Tiggo 8 Pro is competing with, including the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Montero Sport. But in the competition, only the Chery sport utility vehicle is fitted with a PHEV variant setup that improves its efficiency and performance.

To keep it simple, the internal combustion engine and an electric motor in a PHEV work in tandem to bring the optimum running conditions. The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine paired with two electric motors, churning a total output of 320 horsepower and 510N-m of torque. A Dedicated Hybrid Transmission is installed which is said to maximize its driving characteristics.

You can set the Chery SUV in either PHEV mode or EV mode. With the PHEV mode, the vehicle freely chooses whether to use the electric motors only or run those along with the engine. On the other hand, EV mode completely moves the vehicle using solely the e-motors, giving you a fully electric driving experience. The powertrain can be plugged in to charge the battery for an extra 80 to 95 km of EV driving range for P173 only, based on the car company’s estimates.

During my test run on the North Luzon Expressway in PHEV mode, the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV registered 4 L/100 km (or 25 km/l). In comparison to its mainstream rival, Toyota Fortuner, deemed as the best in its class, I was only able to get 17 km/l on a highway run. The said highway fuel efficiency of the Chery SUV makes it impressive for a relatively heavy seven-seater.

As for city driving, the PHEV SUV returned 7.9 L/100 km (or 12.7 km/l). For the most part during this test, the vehicle uses its electric motors only even when I was in PHEV mode. In other words, I wasn’t consuming any fuel as the ICE was turned off. The engine automatically starts once you decide to demand more power by stepping on the pedal harder.

The performance is equally impressive. Chery Auto Philippines claims that the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV can go from zero to 100 km/h in around seven seconds. Although I wasn’t able to test it for myself for safety reasons and lack of a dedicated track, the acceleration does feel very potent even from a standstill.

Ride quality is another strong point of the model as I felt comfortable driving it in both city and highway runs. Body rolls are managed brilliantly even when approaching a corner at a fast speed. On rough surfaces, you should feel the stiffness of the suspension but not to the point that you can say it is disturbing.

In addition, the features available in the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV are written on a long list. Among the noteworthy features, include black leather seats, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, an eight-speaker Sony sound system, a wireless charger, and a panoramic sunroof.

If you ask me whether the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV is a good buy or not, my answer to that is yes. The vehicle ticks all the boxes for its price, including a unique PHEV setup that brings nothing but efficiency and power. Sure, buying a newcomer such as the Tiggo 8 Pro can feel uncertain. But with the unmatched aftersales program, you should feel like the automaker has your back.


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