We got to drive Chery’s new Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid a few weeks before its July 27 launch at City of Dreams. It wasn’t the usual extensive week-long loan; just a day-long drive from Greenbelt II to Tagaytay Highlands and back (with photo ops around the picturesque club in the afternoon before the drive back to Manila).
So how did we find the new Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid?
The P1,140,000 Tiggo 5X Pro finally completes the Tiggo line’s transition to ‘Pro’ status, following the tire tracks of its siblings, the Tiggo 2 Pro, Tiggo 7 Pro, and Tiggo 8 Pro. Which means it now shares the familial exterior styling—bannered by that large and assertive front grille—that unifies the looks of all four Tiggo models.
Up front, the new Tiggo 5X Pro now strongly resembles its more upmarket siblings, Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro, with its prominent Diamond Galaxy grille, stylish swept-back LED headlights, and dual-row LED daytime running lights housed within a sporty trapezoidal black-and-chrome housing. A strongly defined semi-clamshell hood and a silver-with-red-accent under-bumper trim add more visual character to the front end.
The side—largely unchaged from the previous “pre-Pro” model—retains the chunky look that gives the Tiggo 5X a perky, youthful vibe. The side view’s principal design element is the thick D-pillar, which lends the car visual strength and character. The door panels and fenders are smooth and seamless, with no unnecesary character lines or concavities that would’ve made this subcompact SUV’s overall design look busy and cluttered. There’s some visual tautness with the way the door skins are pulled inwards as they go lower. A good visual trick is the use of black (also with red accents) for the rocker panels below the doors; leaving them body colored would’ve made the car look too chunky and fat.The five-twin-spoke machine-finished (and generously sized) 18-inch alloy wheels add a jaunty look to the vehicle.
Like the side, the rear is a carryover from the previous model—not that it needed a major refresh. If anything it looks more contemporary than some other newer crossovers, thanks to smartly styled LED taillights (elegantly banded together with a thick chrome strip), a rear spoiler with a nice, wide third brake light, a fair amount of sheet metal sculpting on the tailgate (without going overboard), prominent rear reflectors/foglamps, and chrome faux dual tailpipe openings that mirror the shapes of the foglamps (a nice visual touch), and a rear silver underbumper treatment that matches the front’s.
More upmarket aesthetic and functional touches include power-folding side mirrors with turn signals, chrome trim on the windows, and roof rails. Overall, it’s a look that should captivate its Gen Z (and younger millennial) target market.
Handsome and well-crafted interior
The new Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid’s spacious and well-crafted cabin reflects the same upscale style and premium build quality and features expressed by the exterior. There are faux leather bucket-type front seats, sporty red accents, multi-color ambient lighting, 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, intelligent remote key, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, push-button engine start, auto start/stop, multi-function steering wheel buttons, power sunroof, remote tailgate unlock, one-touch power windows with anti-pinch protection, and even an N95 cabin filter. Legroom is good, thanks to the Tiggo 5X Pro’s long-for-a-subcompact 2,630mm wheelbase.
It has a biggest-in-class 10.25-inch touchscreen 6-speaker infotainment system that boasts Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and USB connectivity. It also has a fully digital 7-inch instrument cluster, a 360-degree around-view monitor, reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, electronic cruise control with speed limiter, electronic parking brake, and wireless mobile phone charging.
On the road
The Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid is powered by an impressively smooth and silent 1.5-liter turbo Euro 6 4-cylinder gasoline engine coupled with a CVT. The engine works with a 48-volt belt-starter generator (BSG) mild-hybrid motor to develop 154 hp and 230 Newton-meters of torque.
The mild hybrid technology allows the Tiggo 5X 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 (the 48V technology boosts the engine giving the engine less hard work in acceleration). Chery claims a 14.49 km/li fuel mileage. We achieved just under this figure in our combined highway/city Makati-Tagaytay-Makati drive.
Suspension for the Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid is via McPherson struts in front and an independent multi-link setup in the rear. Chery’s use of an independent multi-link suspension in this size and price range is truly commendable. Most, if not all, of its rivals use a cheaper torsion bar rear suspension that compromises riding comfort and handling performance. Meaty 215/55R18 tires endow the Tiggo 5X Pro Hybrid with sporty good looks and responsive handling. Riding comfort is impressive as well—not necessarily best in class, but close.
All things considered, Chery has a new player that can hit one out of the park. It looks good, is well-built, has tons of features, and is a solid (and frugal) performer on the road. Most importantly, it’s priced well.