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The complete crossover

Turning the vehicle left or right activates the front camera giving you a clear picture of the position of the vehicle relative to the road or cars beside you.



True grit and persistence are the precursors of success in any difficult endeavor. Tainted by a couple of false starts and dampened by the current pandemic that caused the contraction of the Philippine automotive industry by more than 40 percent in 2020, there seems to be no looking back for Chery Auto Philippines.

Last 27 January 2021, Chery launched its newest entry into the compact crossover market- the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro. Chery Auto Philippines has found the sweet spot of the local automotive market — the crossover segment. With the introduction of this new model, the crossover product line of brand is complete — from its smallest, the Tiggo 2 up to the biggest, the Tiggo 8.

The moment I laid my eyes on the new Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, I knew that this model was out to disrupt the compact crossover market. The front fascia of this compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) immediately commands attention, especially its massive front grille complemented by its sleek LED headlights and its dual stage daytime driving lights. If the front fascia commands attention, the rear fascia commands high visibility that promotes safety while driving this SUV. Its end-to- end LED stop lights provide great visibility under any weather condition. It also serves as a welcome light as you approach the vehicle for as long as you have the smart key with you.

A VEHICLE that commands attention. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY

Inside is a balanced mix of luxury and sportiness. Premium front and back leather seats that are double-stitched in red and white greet you upon entering. Power seat adjustments are available in both driver and front passenger side — a convenience feature found only in most high-end cars.

But what makes the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro a cut above the rest is its intelligent vehicle technology. Its smart key technology enables you to lock or unlock your doors once you leave or approach the vehicle without pressing its smart key. Also, it has a remote sensing feature that opens the power rear lift gate if you stand directly behind the power lift gate for three seconds.

‘Follow Me Home’ lights are automatically turned on at night once you leave the vehicle to guide you to your front door. It automatically turns off after 30 seconds. Intelligent vehicle technology in this SUV extends to driving safety. With high-definition front, rear and side cameras you get a 360- degree view of your driving environment.

AUTHOR is thrilled with his test drive vehicle.

Turning the vehicle left or right activates the front camera giving you a clear picture of the position of the vehicle relative to the road or cars beside you. Parking it is easy as 1-2-3. With a 3D, 360- degree view of your vehicle relative to the parking slot, accidents during parking maneuvers are virtually eliminated. Wireless mobile phone charging is also available for certain mobile phone models. I was pleasantly surprised to find this feature in this model since only a few luxury cars have this convenience feature. The Chinese carmaker — indeed — has raised the bar in intelligent vehicle technologies in the compact crossover segment.

Test run
With these class-leading convenience and safety technologies at hand, it’s time to put this crossover to the test.

MASSIVE front grille complemented by its sleek LED headlights and its dual stage daytime driving lights.

I was choosing between two road trip routes. The first one was a route that will bring me to eastern Rizal and Laguna and the second one was a road trip to Tagaytay and back to Alabang. I have not been to Tagaytay in ages. So, I chose to drive to Tagaytay with my family, eat lunch and before heading back to Alabang, check out the new premium outlet along Aguinaldo Highway. Using Waze as my navigator, travel time from Alabang to Tagaytay was 1 hour and 45 minutes via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Southbound and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway.

With me in this road trip was my wife Marissa, my granddaughter Sophie and my daughter, Nikki. We left my house at exactly 10 a.m. on a Saturday. I was surprised that traffic along SLEX Southbound was slow to moderate. It seems that a lot of people were heading to Tagaytay. Average speed was about 50kph.

With a 1.5-L turbocharged engine mated to a nine-speed CVT churning out 145hp, the ride was smooth and comfortable.

PREMIUM front and back leather seats that are double-stitched in red and white.

Complemented by adequate noise, vibration, harshness (NVH) sound proofing, the sound quality from the 10.25-inch infotainment system was superb. These made the ride quality a lot comfortable and enjoyable. The digital instrument cluster gave out timely information, especially on fuel such as distance to empty, average fuel consumption and current fuel consumption.

I am glad to report that I averaged 10km per liter upon reaching Tagaytay. Not bad since we were five passengers during this road trip. The nine-speed CVT was a big factor in the fuel efficiency of this crossover. During the whole trip, experiencing intelligent driving technology made the drive very enjoyable. The high- definition 360-degree camera was automatically activated once you slow down and engage your turning signal switch.

SOUND quality from the 10.25-inch infotainment system was superb.

On full stop situations, the front camera turns on automatically, giving you a closer view of the cross traffic so that you can safely maneuver into your chosen lane while turning. I never realized that Tagaytay was full packed on weekends. Finding a parking slot was a challenge but parking the car was fun and easy. Thanks to its 360-degree HD camera.

With its teal color and its European SUV looks, this crossover was a scene-stealer. It stirred a lot of attention and interest among tourists in Tagaytay. Its hands-free lock and unlock feature was highly noticeable after parking the SUV. I was able to activate the remote-sensing function of the power lift gate when I bought some coconuts on the roadside. You will really appreciate this convenience feature whenever you need a hands-free opening of the power lift gate.

Before I run out of space, let me mention that this baby is equipped with six airbags that includes a side curtain airbag for total passenger protection. This is another class-leading feature of this crossover.

The road trip to Tagaytay validates all of the benefits of the intelligent driving technology of this crossover. It is actually a computer disguised as a compact crossover. At P1, 276,400 (starting 1 March) you get value-for-money than any compact crossover in its class. I give the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro five stars and a definite buy!