Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid: The Hidden Gem

All eyes may have been on the Chery Tiggo 5x Pro Hybrid, and rightfully so. It is the country’s most affordable hybrid SUV, after all. But sitting just above it in Chery Auto Philippines’ lineup is this: the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid. For those who can spare P 1.35-million (P 1.25-million special introductory price), this is one truly competitive compact SUV. It’s the hidden gem in its local line-up and it’s one that deserves more attention.

The model that introduced the “Pro” family to the Philippine market, the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid is a looker. It’s strongly chiseled, well-proportioned, and modern from every angle. Indeed, if it was Chery’s intention to start a conversation on how far they’ve come as a brand, then it’s job done at this point.

The same thing can be said about the interior. For the most part, it can stand toe-to-toe with more established makes in terms of fit and finish. A floating 10.25-inch touchscreen dominates the middle part of the dash, surrounded by a soft topper, and a minimalist look that’s, dare we say it, very Euro-like. Piano key-style toggle switches serve as the physical buttons to the infotainment system, while a rising touch-sensitive panel adjusts the climate. A 12.3-inch LCD instrumentation as well as an electric shift lever and parking brake give a truly futuristic feel.

For buyers who’re attracted to tech, the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid ticks all those boxes. Features include a 1.1-square meter panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless device charging, customizable ambient interior lighting, full climate control with N95-level filtration, front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, and a power tailgate. In short, it’s now one of the best equipped compact SUVs in the market.

Meanwhile, for those who’re into the mechanical, it’s time to talk about what’s underneath. Underpinning the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid is Chery Auto’s T1X platform. Not only is it made of 60 percent high-strength steel, but it incorporates both longitudinal and transverse reinforcement beams. They’re not shy in saying that they’ve benchmarked Japanese SUVs in seven critical areas, matching them in six including body control, handling, and even mid- to high-speed comfort. Even more impressive, the platform focuses on liberating interior room—something that this SUV has in spades.

Although the standard 1.5-liter turbocharged model (Tiggo 7 Pro Comfort) is still available, the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid is the one grabbing the headlines. Like the Tiggo 5x Pro Hybrid, it electrifies the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with a 48-volt Belt Starter Generator or BSG. Power is rated at 156 horsepower, while torque is at 230 Nm. This is mated to a 9-speed CVT.

The mild hybrid technology allows the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid to have various EV functions like Auto Start & Stop, which shuts off the engine when engine power is not needed such as during stoplights to save fuel, Energy Recovery, wherein the mild hybrid system regenerates energy during coasting or braking and the energy generated will then be converted and stored as electrical energy in the batteries. Other mild hybrid benefits include fuel efficiency and lower emissions. According to Chery Auto Philippines’ estimates, the hybrid system results in a 14 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and a 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

Getting comfy behind the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid is easy. The driver’s seat offers movement (powered, naturally) in six directions, and the steering column is adjustable for both reach and height. The seats themselves are generously bolstered, and promote a relaxed driving position. All the controls fall within easy reach, and the thick leather-wrapped tiller is a joy to hold.

If “Pro” means “Progressive” then, the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid lives up to its name. Moreover, the Tiggo 7 Pro Hybrid easily lives to the brand promise of “There’s More to Our Cars.” This statement is a brand commitment. It signifies Chery’s promise to deliver not just innovative and world-class vehicles but an unparalleled ownership experience. It’s amazing to see how far Chery’s gone in the past 20 years or so.

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