If you think back to two decades ago, Korean brands like Hyundai and Kia were clawing their way into a market that didn’t believe in anything outside of German and Japanese brands. Since then, the two Korean brands have become household names in South Africa. There's currently an influx of Chinese vehicles entering the country, and with the way things are looking, history is repeating itself.


It's safe to say that Chery has found a solid footing in the South African car market, after a failed first attempt. The latest introduction from the Chinese brand is the Tiggo 8 Pro Max, a facelift version of the existing Chery Tiggo 8 Pro. Externally, there's no question that the Chinese hit their mark. A large chrome grille takes the stage at the front, with a set of Matrix LED headlamps on either side. The Chery hood emblem now has LED lighting and comes live at night. Having recently visited China, a prominent feature on nearly every Chinese vehicle in the streets of Shanghai is a rear combination tail light, also known as a light bar. As a product of the Asian country, it was only a matter of time before vehicles like the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max started rocking a light bar and it's a nice styling touch. Overall, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max exudes American SUV design and scores points in the styling department.

Interior & Tech

What makes Chinese vehicles so enticing for the South African consumer are all the standard features they're packed with for the money you're paying. Things like lane assist and adaptive cruise control come standard. You also get a panoramic glass sunroof. The Tiggo 8 Pro Max's interior looks premium, with diamond-stitched PU leather used throughout. Previously, the Tiggo 8 Pro had two display screens stacked vertically, however, Chery has done away with the lower screen and replaced it with a touch-responsive panel for aircon and temperature adjustment. The 12.3-inch media screen sits alongside an equally scaled digital instrument cluster, giving the appearance of being a single combined screen. Both front seats are electronically adjustable and heated as standard, and you're still getting a third row at the rear, bringing the total seating space to seven. An upgraded Sony 8 Speaker audio system has been fitted, and for your safety, the Tiggo 8 Pro Max comes with 9 standard airbags.

Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max engine specs

As a facelift, the Tiggo 8 Pro Max utilises the same 1.6 TGDI and 2.0 TGDI engines found in the Tiggo 8 Pro. In the 1600cc, you're getting 145 kW and 290 Nm, delivered to the front wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The same gearbox is used in the 2.0l, except the larger engine produces 187 kW and 390 Nm. On the road, the 2.0 variant is poky and always ready to go. It shows no signs of struggle even at highway speeds. Our only gripe with the Chery's road manners is its overly sensitive accelerator pedal, which lurches the car forward when moving from standstill. Although functional, the Tiggo 8 Pro Max's brake pedal has very little travel and feels like you're pressing on a brick. Aside from that, it's a pleasant vehicle on the road with great cabin insulation, isolating you from everything outside the vehicle, including wind noise on the freeway.

How much is the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max?

Despite still earning its stripes, Chery's pricing is competitive. You're getting a fully specced vehicle for R200K less than its German rivals. This USP is the reason for Chery's strong comeback in the South African market. It has an impressive starting price of R609 900. You'll pay R669 900 for the range-topping 390 Nm 2.0l variant. The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Max comes with a 7-year 90 000km service plan, a 5-year 150 000km warranty, and a 10-year 1 million km warranty on the engine.


Gugu Masuku - proudly CHANGECARS