First introduced to Mzansi in mid 2022, the Chery Tiggo 7 has been one of the models instrumental in Chery’s success since the brand returned to South Africa at the end of 2021. The popular small SUV has just received its most significant update so far with the addition of the Pro Max model.
Chery Tiggo Pro Max Executive AWD Fast Facts
- Price: from R529 900
- Engine: 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, turbopetrol
- Transmission: seven-speed, dual clutch
- Power: 145 kW @ 5 500 r/min
- Torque: 290 N.m @ 1 750 r/min
- Driven wheels: all-wheel drive
- Fuel consumption: 9.4 L/100 km
- CO2 emissions: 186 g/km
- Rivals: Haval H6, Suzuki Vitara
What are we driving?
The new Tiggo 7 Pro Max isn’t a replacement for the current Pro models, but will rather sit atop the range with three further levels of specification over and above the Pro. It also makes use of the 1.6-litre turbopetrol motor and dual-clutch transmission from its big brother, the Tiggo 8 Pro.
More importantly, the Tiggo 7 Pro Max is also the first model in the Chery South Africa lineup with an all-wheel drive system. This caters to small families and budding adventurers who want to access routes and areas that are a little too rugged for the majority of front-wheel drive SUVs on our market.
Why is the Tiggo 7 Pro Max significant?
The three specification levels offered on the Tiggo 7 Pro Max handle the crucial task of filling the gap between the Tiggo 7 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro models – all of R132 000. In a highly competitive SUV segment, Chery is making sure that there’s a variant available to suit all budgets.
What’s new on the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max?
The Tiggo 7 Pro Max introduces more sought-after tech features. Items like a more powerful wireless charging pad, 8-speaker Sony sound system, panoramic sunroof, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with a larger dual screen set-up (two 12.3-inch screens instead of 10,25-inch units) make for a comfortable package. There are also three derivatives on offer; Distinction, Executive and Executive AWD.
The Executive AWD model I drove on the local launch also gets 19-inch alloys (there are 18-inch items on the Distinction and front wheel drive Executive), driver seat ventilation, lane change assist, and a PM 2.5 air purifier in the climate control.
What does the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max cost?
- Tiggo 7 Pro Max Distinction – R529 900
- Tiggo 7 Pro Max Executive – R559 900
- Tiggo 7 Pro Max Exectuive AWD – R609 900
What is the Chery 7 Pro Max like to drive?
The launch route for the Tiggo 7 Pro Max included sauntering out of the busy southern suburbs of Cape Town onto the M3 toward the CBD and then out onto the West Coast via the N2, M5, N1, N7, and R27. At this time of the day there was nothing else to do but sit back and enjoy some of the creature comforts in the 7 Pro Max. Front passengers might find that the seat cushion is a little too high, as the driver’s seat drops reasonably. Also immediately apparent is that the dual-clutch transmission is far more intuitive than the CVT offered in the Tiggo 7 Pro.
Driving into a strong north-westerly headwind toward Paternoster, the Tiggo 7 Pro Max displayed impressive levels of NVH suppression, and the chunky 55 profile on the rubber helped to absorb imperfections in the asphalt en route. Straining against the wind with the added mass of the AWD system alarmingly yielded an initial fuel consumption figure north of 12 L/100 km at the national limit, but with that gust at our backs on the return journey, the number dropped to a more reasonable 10.5 L/100 km.
With more power and torque at the driver’s disposal, and a smarter transmission, the Tiggo 7 Pro Max requires less effort to keep up with traffic than its lesser brethren. A small section of straight gravel road did little to unsettle the Tiggo 7 Pro Max’s dynamics, though we’re keen to put this to the test in an upcoming test.
The jury’s still out on the driver monitoring system, which lets you know when the car ahead of you has driven off (should your attention be elsewhere) or when it thinks that you’re distracted while driving. Which is quite often according to Chery’s software.
With many South Africans considering models from China due to their apparent value for money, it should come as no surprise that Chery was keen to plug any potential holes in their lineup to suit all budgets and tastes. Using the engine and transmission from a larger model, along with added spec to make it the 7 more appealing is a welcome addition to the compact SUV playing field.