The Tiggo 8 Pro, Chery’s SUV flagship to sit alongside the smaller and more youthful Omoda 5 in Malaysia’s showrooms in 2023, is available in a single Premium variant priced at RM159,800. Does the spearheading 7-seater stand a chance at disrupting the ‘bigger’ SUV market?
Chery’s re-entry into Malaysia has been a long process spanning years. Since then, previews of upcoming models and local spec versions of the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro have been popping in and out of the public eye, making this so-called Grand Launch all the sweeter.
This time around, Chery has chosen to enter the market without a local partner, demonstrating its zeal make their mark on Malaysian market on their own terms. The brand plans to have 31 dealerships ready to welcome customers by launch date, with more promised to open by the end of 2023.
One notable aspect of Chery’s strategy is that the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro are being launched in completely knocked-down (CKD) form, with local assembly at Inokom in Kulim right from the start. So, it’s no wonder its Malaysian re-entry took a little longer than was initially expected.
The Tiggo 8 Pro has undergone several updates since its earlier preview in Malaysia in latter 2022. It features an updated exterior design with a new “galaxy” grille, full-width LED bar at the rear complete with integrated T-shaped third brake lights. The wheels have also been upgraded to 19-inch units.
Inside, the Tiggo 8 Pro showcases a horizontal dash design with modern elements like conjoined screens, inline AC vents, and a high centre console to it a sense of driver-orientedness, though this doesn’t really have performance intentions. The overall interior design is refined with plush materials, impressive build quality, and details reminiscent of European cars double its price.
The Tiggo 8 Pro comes with a 2.0L TGDI four-cylinder engine generating 256 hp and 390 Nm of torque, which already puts it ahead of most rivals. Power is transmitted to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The SUV is equipped with a comprehensive set of features, including electronic parking brake with auto hold, automatic LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights, multi-colour ambient lighting, electric front seats with ventilation/heating, driver’s seat memory, dual-zone auto air conditioning with rear vents, hands-free powered tailgate, electronic panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charger, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
It also incorporates advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) such as lane departure warning/keeping, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, and front collision warning with auto braking.
In terms of safety, the Tiggo 8 Pro stands out by offering nine airbags, including a driver’s knee bag and rear side airbags, a rare addition outside the luxury segment.
Comparisons to the Proton X90 are inevitable, both being three-row SUV designed and engineered in China. True, the Tiggo 8 Pro has a higher price tag but counters that by offering more power from its 2.0T engine. That said, the X90 does have the edge on overall interior space and cargo capacity.
Chery Malaysia also unveiled its warranty package during the joint launch event, which includes a seven-year or 150,000 km vehicle warranty, five years of alternating “free service” (free labor), and an impressive 10-year or one million km engine warranty for the first 3,000 customers. After that, the engine warranty reverts to the standard seven-year/150,000 km coverage.