Futureproof: Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV – Review

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A few months ago I was able to (briefly) spend time with the newly launched Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV. I remember coming away from the drive awestruck that Chery has come a long way from its  ahem “checkered” history in the Philippines.

Since I only spent a short amount of time with the car, It would be safe to assume that I may have missed some things I would normally feel, observe and notice during a full review test.

To ensure that I wasn’t experiencing a “honeymoon” phase with the car, I borrowed it for a longer period.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Rear

Design

When the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro first made its debut during the 2022 Manila International Auto Show, it immediately made an impression (looks-wise) on me.

The front fascia is an almost identical copy of the one featured on the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, and luckily it fits right into the Tiggo 8 Pro as well. Its sleek-looking LED headlights perfectly fit next to the imposing grille. At the side, you get a few touches of chrome garnishes and 17-inch alloy wheels, and on the rear are the “smoked out” LED taillights.

Overall Chery did a good job of making the Tiggo 8 Pro look premium. Putting it right next to any of its Japanese or even European counterparts won’t make it look out of place.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Dashboard Interior (1)

Interior

If the exterior was an exercise in restrained luxury, the interior is where Chery threw out the handbook and went all out.

The first thing I noticed was the dashboard and center console area. It is dominated by a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with a crisp display resolution, Apple CarPlay, and even a voice command feature. Further “premium” is added by an 8-speaker Sony sound system that is a step up from any normal non-branded sound system.

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2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev 360 Camera

The control panel for the dual-zone automatic climate control system that sits below the infotainment screen gleams with a shiny piano black finish. I appreciate that Chery chose to separate the controls for the climate control system. It’s less distracting than having to navigate the infotainment screen while driving.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Hvac Aircon Climate

The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV also has a huge panoramic sunroof that dominates the interior space, allowing you to bathe the interior in natural light with the flip of a switch. The seats in the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV are also a revelation, as Chery adorned them in soft, plush leather and even gave them headrests that can fold, just like in an airplane to give a more comfortable feel should the passengers want to snooze.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Passenger Rear Interior

It seems Chery spared no expense when they built the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV. The fit and finish of the materials and panels were done properly, and they give you no feeling of being short-changed at all.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Engine

Engine

This is where things get interesting. The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV is (as the name states) a Plug-in Hybrid. This means that apart from having the electric motors and a battery charged by the gasoline engine, it can also be plugged into a power outlet to fill up the battery.

It has a conventional 1.5-liter gasoline engine paired with two electric motors. The power output is at a combined 320 PS and 545 Nm of torque, and its transmission is a special Hybrid-dedicated unit.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Shifter

Chery also claims that if the battery is fully charged, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV has a range of 85-90 kilometers in full-electric mode.

A bold claim, right?

See also  Chery launches "The World of Luxury" Roadshow for Tiggo 8 Pro

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Gauge Mid

Driving

As mentioned in my previous article, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV drives well. The integration of the Plug-in Hybrid technology is seamless. Not once did I ever feel a jerk or nudge from the powertrain whenever it had to shift from the electric motors to the gasoline engine.

On the highway, I was even able to reach speeds of 100 kph in full-electric mode, all while giving a serene and quiet driving experience. I have to say that the acceleration in full electric mode is a “shove you into your seat” experience. Needless to say, if you ever get a chance to try it, I suggest making sure that there are no loose items in the interior that can turn into projectiles.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Charging Indicator

Another blessing is that when fuel runs low, I can instantly switch to full electric mode and enjoy additional mileage without consuming any fuel. It was very much welcome while searching for a suitable gas station to refuel in.

It is also a very engaging car to drive despite its size; I never felt uncomfortable in any driving situation. It felt solid and sure-footed during cornering and braking.

The combined power figures Chery claims are no joke. If the situation calls, the engine can be quick and powerful, or smooth and quiet as well. The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV is a good example of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Sunroof Panoramic Interior

Points for Improvement

As good as the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV is overall I do have some things I wish were better. First is that while NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) was better, I seemed to be hearing a lot of the road noise in the cabin at highway speeds.

Also, the ride was a tad on the firm side. It was not uncomfortable but it was certainly noticeable. Just a bit more softness in the suspension would have gone a long way.

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Lastly, while the hybrid powertrain does provide additional fuel mileage, on the highway I was surprised by the Tiggo 8 Pro PHEVs thirst. I was able to (at best) average 9.5 Km/L only. That figure was also matched during (my) city driving experience. I have to say though that while driving on the highway I was able to considerably charge the battery, which I then used from time to time further extending my fuel mileage.

2022 Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev Cargo Space Interior

Price and Verdict

The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV retails for a cool PHP 2,450,000. This puts it slap bang in the price range of other SUV/PPVs like the Fortuner, Montero Sport, and the Terra. What sets it apart though is the PHEV technology. With fuel prices (especially diesel) soaring, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV has the capability to save you money between fill-ups.

The technology really works. After a full day of shooting and driving and with fuel running low, I switched to full-electric mode on the way home. It was on that drive home where the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV really made sense. With low fuel, I was able to use the electric battery to get to the nearest gas station.

There was no compromise in performance and comfort even at full EV mode. Also, I have to say that the battery capacity is no joke. Every dip in the kilometer range corresponded to the actual distance traveled; 1 KM = – 1 KM.

So in theory, with a fully charged battery, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro PHEV can comfortably power itself around the city (for 85-90 km) without using a single drop of fuel.

I rest my case.

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Pablo Salapantan

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo's first word was probably "Car", and this has developed into a personal passion that has consumed his professional life as well.

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