In early July, Malaysians finally witnessed the market debut of two very anticipated entrants into the SUV space, the Chery Omoda 5 and the Tiggo 8 Pro, which were already earmarked for arrival as far back as late 2021 when the brand held a widely publicised preview campaign.
Though the gulf between said sneak peek and showroom presence is quite a lengthy one, Chery had been busy laying the groundwork to ensure their eventual return to the Malaysian market was supported by some very core pillars of the new car buying and ownership experience to keep precious customers happy over the long run.
In the lead up to this July grand premiere, Chery had also had a large presence at the Malaysian Auto Show two months prior where thousands were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with the two models that would be spearheading the blitz.
Needless to say, people came away impressed. Really, all that was missing were an exact price and a detailed specification sheet, items promised to arrive in the coming months.
A Strong Local Foundation
Rather than expedite the market entry and launch the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro as CBU units with local assembly slated for some time in the future, Chery opted to take the longer route, partnering with Inokom.
This means that every Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro offered to buyers here from the outset will roll out of an assembly facility in Kulim with plans to establish an R&D centre for their right-hand drive (RHD) cars as part of their long term investment with hybrids and fully electric cars as a key part of their roadmap.
This embedded integration, localisation and alignment effort with Malaysia’s broader automotive ambitions has culminated in the segment shattering prices that both the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro made their debut with – the range starting at RM108,800 for the former and RM159,800 for the latter.
Chery also made certain that deliveries could commence as soon as the July launch event concluded with CKD operations beginning August, backed up by the announcement that 31 dealerships (and counting) in both Peninsula and East Malaysia would be up and running by then as well.
If that wasn’t quite enough, both the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro were first to feature Chery’s impressive 7-year or 150,000km warranty, which would be extended to 10 years and a shocking 1 million kilometre engine warranty for the first 3,000 customers. Those wanting that same coverage but find themselves further down the order list can do so by topping up an additional RM2,000 – well worth it, if you ask us!
Chery Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro – A Dynamic Duo
As good as they appear on paper, the in-person impression that Chery’s SUV duo impart is one of quality well above their asking price in both design and execution. Time will tell how well these cars hold up in daily use and abuse, but from our vantage point, we’re not especially concerned.
With the Omoda 5, the entry point into the brand at this point, things are off to a great start with its sleekly designed exterior and funky elements. Step inside and the wow factor is uninterrupted with a cabin blurs the line between mass market and cars on the higher end spectrum.
Spec-for-spec, it ticks all the boxes and then some, but its perceived value goes beyond what we expect for this price. Entering the highly competitive upper B-segment is no mean feat, but this car should give category heavyweights some definite pause.
Then you’ve got the Tiggo 8 Pro, a 3-row seat SUV that, in terms of design, is more sedate and ‘European’ than its smaller stablemate, choosing an elegant aesthetic over the Omoda 5’s youthful exuberance.
Still, you would be hard-pressed to not be struck by the quality and execution of the Tiggo 8 Pro’s cabin, which rivals vehicles with a badge from German or Swedish marques. Things are very plush but matched to great ergonomics and tech for both convenience and safety.
Both models are powered by turbocharged direct-injection petrol engines which offer very competitive outputs for their class – this is especially true for the Tiggo 8 Pro’s 256hp and 390Nm from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit.
So far, Chery’s big game plan has only just begun playing out, but it’s not hard to see them faring pretty well in the coming months and years given how strong this opening act is. We can’t wait to see their Malaysian model line-up continue to expand.
The After Sales Focus
Understanding the importance of customer satisfaction, Chery has invested tremendous effort in making sure their cars and their owners alike are well taken care of throughout that journey.
With that in mind, and to keep their growing nationwide 3S centres fully supported, Chery have set up a comprehensive logistics and parts warehousing solution with Tiong Nam to eliminate shortages and other supply issues.
They have also detailed a comprehensive service and maintenance schedule for the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro at competitive rates so that customers are well informed on the parts, consumables, costs and intervals associated with ownership, ensuring transparency while keeping the vehicle in tip top shape.
Customers can also call upon a dedicated Chery care hotline (03 2771 7070) where operators ready to assist in all matters from ownership to servicing to other after sales matters so that help and pertinent information are never far away.