Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Gearbox upgrade makes Chery Tiggo 4 Pro sweeter than ever

Dual-clutch transmission a big step-up for this SUV from the CVT setup.

What is the easiest way to make motoring reporters cringe? Tell them they’ll be driving a car with continuously variable transmission, or CVT for short.

It turns out Chery customers and the motoring media have something in common. According to feedback from the Chinese carmaker’s research team, Chery Tiggo 4 Pro CVT owners have expressed their desire for “sportier transmission and a better fuel-efficient consumption option”.

This prompted Chery to introduce a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox used to the Tiggo Pro 4 1.5T LiT and 1.5T Elite derivatives. The box is hooked up to a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that sends 108kW of power and 210Nm of torque to the front wheels.

Chery Tiggo 4 Pro offers choice of three

Chery Tiggo Pro 4 buyers will now be spoiled for choice as the 10-strong model range will still feature CVT and manual options. But after spending a week in the 1.5T Elite DCT recently, The Citizen Motoring reckons the DCT models will be sought-after.

Chery Tiggo 4 Pro rear
The Tiggo 4 Pro in Elite DCT guise. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

To be honest, the DCT is not entirely perfect, but it is nonetheless an upgrade from the CVT. Anybody and everybody in a hurry that has ever driven a CVT will attest to this. The moment you need more urge, the noisier the CVT’s gear-simulations get. Up to a point where the engine’s monotonous cacophony gets worse than reality-show created pop stars.

ALSO READ: Chery Tiggo 4 Pro price cut as new LiT models debut

Albeit somewhat clunky, the dual-clutch transmission in the Chery Tiggo Pro 4 behaves much more than a proper automatic than a CVT ever will. Gear changes are precise and downshifts under heavy acceleration is tolerable.

Let’s gets sporty

Sport mode, one of three diving modes along with Normal and Eco, also spruces things up a bit, exactly what customers craved. In allowing higher revs for every gear, it does make the drive a lot more sporty.

As far as the fuel saving benefit goes, Chery claims that the DCT has proven in local conditions that it save up to 1.6-litres per 100km. That means the 10L/100km we recorded should actually a big improvement, albeit still on the high side for a car of this size. But great fuel consumption in general is something Chinese manufacturers haven’t completely figured out yet and trying things to improve it is a step in the right direction.

Chery Tiggo 4 Pro cabin
The Elite model gets a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

ALSO READ: Chery Tiggo 4 Pro holds off Haval Jolion in Chinese SUV race

New creature comforts

While the Tiggo 4 Pro Elite DCT has not underwent any exterior changes, there are a few new goodies inside. The cabin now features a 15-watt wireless smartphone charger and 8.6-inch climate control panel across the range. Elite-specific upgrades sees the addition of a 10.25-inch infotainment system with RDS radio and wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

At R415 900 the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro DCT comes at a R25 000 premium over the equivalent CVT model. But motoring reporters – along with their newfound Chery Tiggo 4 Pro CVT confidants – will recommend that extra bit of cash with a smile.

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