2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro review: Australian first drive

16 minutes, 25 seconds Read

The second vehicle in Chery’s relaunched assault on the Australian new car market has landed. And it slides straight into our most popular segment.

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What we love
  • Big list of standard equipment even at entry-level
  • Nicely appointed cabin
  • Affordable servicing and seven-year warranty
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What we don’t
  • Some safety systems need recalibrating
  • Second row not the last word in comfort
  • Priced a touch high for a challenger brand

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2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro

“Chery is here to stay!”

Or so say the brand’s Australian executives at the launch of its all-new medium SUV, the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, which joins the Chinese brand’s local line-up alongside the smaller Omoda 5.

Chery is in the early throes of returning to the Australian new car market after a seven-year hiatus. From 2011–2015, the Chery J1 city hatchback wowed with its $9999 price tag, even as it failed to impress Australian Design Rules and was eventually forced to abandon our market.

Now Chery is back, and the Chery of 2023 is a different breed to the brand that left Australia in 2015.

The Chery Omoda 5 got the ball rolling in March of this year, a small SUV with striking looks and competitive drive-away pricing.

Now it’s the turn of the medium SUV segment where the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro will go up against a host of rivals from all corners in what is Australia’s most popular new car segment.

Unlike the striking Omoda 5, the Tiggo 7 Pro’s styling takes a more conventional path in terms of design with styling flourishes – such as the diamond-cut grille – straight out of the medium SUV playbook.

That’s not a criticism of the new mid-sizer which, in the metal, presents a handsome profile with clean lines and accomplished design touches that won’t look out of place on our roads or our driveways.

Chery says it’s targeting its hometown rivals from China as well as the South Koreans – Kia and Hyundai – in terms of buyers, and to that end is offering nationwide drive-away pricing across the three Tiggo 7 Pro range.

But will that be enough to lure buyers from the established brands? Let’s take a look.

How much does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro cost in Australia?

Three model grades of the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro have landed in Australia, priced from $39,990 drive-away for the front-wheel-drive Urban, $41,990 drive-away for the front-drive Elite, and $45,990 drive-away for the all-wheel-drive Ultimate.

Chery is not shying away from its product, then, those drive-away prices commensurate with a host of mainstream rivals like Hyundai Tucson (from $35,150 plus on-road costs), Kia Sportage (from $32,795) and Mazda CX-5 (from $36,110 before on-roads). 

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Chery’s pricing also sees it eclipse those of some of its Chinese rivals. The front-wheel-drive MG HS starts at $32,990 drive-away, while all-wheel-drive variants get underway at $38,990.

To justify its more premium pricing, Chery has packed all three grades of the Tiggo 7 Pro with a level of standard equipment usually reserved for higher grades.

Standard across the range are LED headlights and tail-lights, 18-inch alloy wheels with a full-size spare, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, AM/FM radio, and voice control. 

There’s another 12.3-inch screen for the driver display, an eight-speaker Sony sound system, synthetic leather seats, power-adjustable up front with seat heating, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging and ambient interior lighting.

Stepping into the mid-range Elite brings a 360-degree camera, power-folding side mirrors, a power-operated tailgate, illuminated sill plates, an interior air quality management system, as well as a negative ion air freshener and a cargo blind.

The range-topping Ultimate, as well as adding all-wheel drive, brings with it three more drive modes – Snow, Mud and Off-road to sit alongside Eco Comfort and Sport standard across the range. The Ultimate also gets 19-inch alloys (and a full-size spare), ventilated (cooled) front seats, red front brake calipers, memory function for the driver’s seat and side mirrors, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

All three grades are powered by the same 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine developing 137kW and 275Nm, driving the front or all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

All three models are also fitted with Chery’s comprehensive suite of safety assist systems, which we’ll detail later in this review.

Keeping it simple, the only options available are metallic shades of paint at $600 a pop (Lunar White is the only no-cost colour) and a black roof that adds $1200 to the bottom line.

Our launch drive saw us spend time exclusively behind the wheel of the range-topping Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate, so this review will focus on that model.

Key details 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate
Price $45,990 drive-away
Colour of test car Martian Red
Options Metallic paint – $600
Two-tone paint (black roof) – $1200
Price as tested $47,790 drive-away
Rivals MG HS | Mazda CX-5 | Hyundai Tucson

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How much space does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro have inside?

At first glance, there’s plenty to like about the cabin of the Tiggo 7 Pro. The twin 12.3-inch screens housed inside a single wide frame take centre stage and impress with their size.

There’s certainly an upmarket feel to the cabin belying the Chery’s market positioning. The faux-leather seats and their contrast piping look a million bucks, while plenty of soft-touch surfaces, accented by carbon-fibre-look garnishes, emphasise the Tiggo 7 Pro’s posh vibe.

The power-adjustable seats themselves are fine, if a little lacking in side support, while the leather-wrapped steering wheel that’s adjustable for tilt and reach completes the look.

It’s all standard storage fare in the cabin, with a pair of cupholders and a small but serviceable central bin. The door pockets are a touch on the narrow side, however, and will struggle to take larger bottles.

Things get a bit tight in the second row. While the Tiggo 7 Pro plays in the medium SUV sandpit, its dimensions suggest it’s on the smaller side of the segment. At 4513mm long, it is only fractionally larger than some ‘small SUVs’ such as the Toyota Corolla Cross, Nissan Qashqai and Haval Jolion. And tellingly, when compared to some of its medium SUV rivals, the Tiggo 7 Pro comes up short by as much as 15cm (Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage).

And that’s most keenly felt in the second row where space is at a premium. It’s perfectly fine behind my own 173cm driving position, if a little cramped, but sitting behind a taller driver will see comfort levels drop.

The standard-fit panoramic roof is a nice addition, certainly in terms of lifting cabin ambience, meaning second-row occupants are bathed in light. They also benefit from separate air vents, although no distinct climate-control settings, while a single USB Type-A plug is on hand to keep devices charged.

A fold-down armrest reveals a pair of cupholders, while the outboard seats are fitted with ISOFIX child seat mounts. There are also three top-tether anchors across the seatbacks.

Boot space is generous at 626 litres, although Chery does not stipulate whether that’s measured to the roof line or the top of the seatbacks. Folding the second row away in 60:40-split fashion liberates a generous 1672L of cargo capacity.

Pleasingly, and unusually in this modern automotive age, a full-size spare wheel and tyre package lives under the boot floor. Kudos to Chery for not penny-pinching in this key area.

2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate
Seats Five
Boot volume 626L seats up
1672L seats folded
Length 4513mm
Width 1862mm
Height 1696mm
Wheelbase 2670mm

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Does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

The twin 12.3-inch screens housed inside a single wide and gently curved frame impress on first inspection.

Chery says the infotainment system features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but I struggled to establish a connection. Connecting via cable proved more fruitful.

There’s inbuilt satellite navigation, as well as AM and FM radio bandwidths, but missing in action is DAB+ (digital) radio. That’s not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but it really ought to be standard, and increasingly is, in today’s new cars.

The infotainment screen houses almost all of the Tiggo 7 Pro’s vital functions including climate controls. However, a helpful touch bar located on the dash below the screen provides some shortcut buttons to more commonly used features like temperature and fan speed.

The touchscreen itself isn’t the most responsive to inputs, sometimes requiring a firmer and more intentional press before calling up the requisite screen. I found it a little frustrating at times, as well as a distraction.

The brand’s ‘Hello Chery’ voice command prompts are a bit hit-and-miss. Chery claims it can respond to over 400 commands to activate and change a variety of the Tiggo 7 Pro’s features and functions. From opening side windows to changing the temperature and playing music, Hello Chery proved a little glitchy in its execution. Chery’s system isn’t alone in this, with even high-end luxury brands struggling to make voice commands infallible.

The 12.3-inch digital driver display is standard fare with digital dials flanking a smaller section displaying a variety of driving data such as fuel consumption, safety assist systems and the like.

It’s not as configurable as some systems we’ve encountered, but the displayed information is clear and easy to read.

Chery hasn’t moved into the world of connected apps, so there is no ability at the moment to access the Tiggo 7 Pro’s vital functions from your smartphone.

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Is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro a safe car?

The Tiggo 7 Pro remains unrated by Australia’s safety body, ANCAP, at the time of writing. However, the company’s Australian executives believed a result was imminent and remained confident its medium SUV would score five stars.

However, we will have to wait until ANCAP releases its findings before speculating further.

2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate
ANCAP rating Unrated

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What safety technology does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro have?

Chery hasn’t skimped on safety equipment, the entire Tiggo 7 Pro range wearing the brand’s full suite of advanced driver assist systems.

That means autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, traffic jam assist, and front and rear parking sensors are all standard across the range.

There’s also a driver attention monitor and door exit warning, which alerts the driver when a vehicle or cyclist is approaching from behind as they are about to open the door.

There are eight airbags, including a front-centre airbag between the driver and front-seat passenger that mitigates head clashes between occupants in the event of an accident.

Thankfully, our launch drive didn’t invoke too many of the Chery’s safety systems, so we can’t report back on things like AEB and rear cross-traffic alert. However, a sting on the motorway using the adaptive cruise control proved an exercise in frustration, the system constantly tugging at the steering wheel even when the Tiggo 7 Pro remained easily positioned between lane markings. It proved so annoying, I stopped using cruise control. It might need some recalibration in future releases.

And the driver attention monitor was a little overzealous, flashing yellow and binging at me when I did something as distracting as looking in my rear-view mirror a moment too long. Again, a minor recalibration would fix this and make for a far more pleasurable time behind the wheel.

How much does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro cost to maintain?

Underscoring Chery’s commitment to the Australian market, the brand backs its range with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. Chery also offers capped-price servicing for the Tiggo 7 Pro, with the first five years or 75,000km costing just $280 per visit to the workshop, a total of $1400 for the first five years of ownership, which is excellent. Visits six and seven are priced at $516.60 and $287.84 respectively. Chery’s dealership network continues to grow and now numbers 60 dealers nationwide.

Comprehensive insurance runs to $1450 annually based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate
Warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $840 (3 years)
$1400 (5 years)

Is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro fuel-efficient?

Chery says the Tiggo 7 Pro in all-wheel-drive trim, like the one I drove at launch, will use 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres of 95-octane premium unleaded on the combined cycle.

After around 125km, covering a variety of driving conditions including some peak-hour traffic, a stint through the outer suburbs of Sydney before reaching the cleaner pastures of rural back roads, the mid-size SUV returned an indicated 9.1L/100km.

That’s a touch high against Chery’s claim, but we’d wager more freeway running would get closer to that 7.8L/100km figure.

Front-wheel-drive models are more frugal on fuel, with Chery claiming 7.0L/100km. I only spent time in the all-wheel-drive Ultimate grade, so I can’t report back on that claim’s veracity until we cycle the range through the Drive garage.

The fuel tank measures in at 57L.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 7.8L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 9.1L/100km
Fuel type 95-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 57L

What is the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro like to drive?

All three grades of the Chery Tiggo 7 line-up are powered by the same turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. It’s good for 137kW and 275Nm, not breathtaking numbers by any stretch but commensurate with this end of the medium SUV segment.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) sends drive to either the front wheels (Urban and Elite) or all four wheels (Ultimate).

Our launch drive took place exclusively behind the wheel of the range-topping AWD Ultimate grade, and straight off the bat it’s clear the engine and DTC combination is fine without being exceptional.

It’s no rocket ship moving away from standstill (0–100km/h in 9.9sec according to Chery), but neither is it a laggard. Instead, the Tiggo 7 Pro moves along in the same easy manner as a host of other mid-size SUVs at this end of the market.

We did note some ever so slight hesitation from the dual-clutch transmission on occasion, particularly when trying to park on an incline, or when demanding a big burst of acceleration when merging onto a motorway. But for the most part, and in general driving conditions, the DCT was fine.

Unlike its Korean counterparts, Chery hasn’t gone down the path of local suspension tuning just yet, although that remains a prospect in the future, according to the brand’s local executives.

For now, the standard tune is perfectly fine, with a ride that is neither too soft nor too firm. There is some wallowing when negotiating larger obstacles, but it’s not out of step with what could be expected of the segment in general.

Out on the highway, the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro moves along in a brisk and largely comfortable manner. Road noise is evident, of course, but not uncomfortably so. You can still hold a level conversation with your fellow passenger.

My biggest frustration with the driving experience remains the starting assist when using the adaptive cruise control, which feels like it’s constantly fighting you with some firm nudges on the wheel, and not ideal at 110km/h.

It mars what is otherwise a good package on the road, with purposeful poke from the 1.6-litre four and a (mostly) nicely calibrated dual-clutch auto.

Key details 2024 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate
Engine 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 137kW @ 5500rpm
Torque 275Nm @ 2000–4000rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 85.6kW/t
Weight 1601kg (tare mass)
Spare tyre type Full-size

Should I buy a Chery Tiggo 7 Pro?

Chery is taking positive steps as it looks to re-establish itself in the Australian new car market. As a challenger brand looking to take on the mainstream brands, buyers need to feel confident before handing over the hard-earned cash.

Chery has answered some of those questions with its seven-year warranty offering and an expanding network of dealerships. Street frontage breeds confidence as does long-term surety of product.

The Tiggo 7 Pro might only be the second vehicle (behind the Omoda 5) in Chery’s local line-up, but it is also its most accomplished so far.

It’s not a standout in any one key area, but neither is it let down by a litany of flaws. Yes, there are a couple of notable gripes, and at first glance the Tiggo 7 Pro’s pricing is a touch on the high side when compared with its established rivals.

But where the Chery packs its biggest punch is in equipment levels, with many of its standard inclusions usually only reserved for models much higher in the food chain at any number of rivals.

The medium SUV segment is a hotbed of competition, though, and buyers with $40,000 to $45,000 to spend have a lot of choice. Certainly those who fall into that bracket could do worse than adding the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro to their consideration set.

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How do I buy a Chery Tiggo 7 Pro – next steps?

While we haven’t specifically driven the entry-level Tiggo 7 Pro Urban, at $39,990 drive-away we’d argue it’s the sweet spot in the range. 

With the same engine as the rest of the range, and with a level of standard equipment that would make some entry-level rivals green with envy, the Urban grade has plenty of everything you need, such as a full suite of safety systems, and a lot of the things you might want, like smartphone mirroring, sat-nav and a panoramic roof. Unless you really need a powered tailgate and 360-degree camera or the added surety of all-wheel drive, the Urban has you covered.

We strongly recommend taking a test drive at a dealership before committing because personal needs and tastes can differ. Find your nearest Chery dealer via this link. We’d also recommend test-driving the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and MG HS because these vehicles will provide a good benchmark against which to compare the Chery.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Ultimate AWD Wagon

7.0/ 10

Performance

Safety Technology

Ride Quality

Infotainment & Connectivity

Handling & Dynamics

Energy Efficiency

Driver Technology

Value for Money

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Fit for Purpose

Rob Margeit has been an automotive journalist for over 20 years, covering both motorsport and the car industry. Rob joined CarAdvice in 2016 after a long career at Australian Consolidated Press. Rob covers automotive news and car reviews while also writing in-depth feature articles on historically significant cars and auto manufacturers. He also loves discovering obscure models and researching their genesis and history.

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