To be honest, the updated Chery Tiggo FL is not so new. Similar versions in the countries of South America (one of the main sales markets) appeared last year, and Vortex Tingo with the same appearance was introduced in Russia at the same time. The world premiere of the restyled model was held at the Beijing Auto Show in April 2012.
For me, this is the first meeting with Chery. For a long time there was a desire to bring Duster and Tiggo into a duel, and now I had the opportunity to evaluate the “Chinese” and compare, albeit in absentia, with the standard of an inexpensive crossover.
Chery's Chinese manufacturing scale is impressive. A little over 10 years ago it all started with a modest production of copies of famous models (Seat Toledo, Daewoo Matiz, etc.). Today, the plant produces an impressive 900 thousand cars a year, and production areas in China alone occupy 4.41 million square meters. m. In total, the company includes six automobile plants and 11 assembly plants around the world, including Italy.
Judging by the presentation, the Chinese are not shy about relying on expats and Western technological processes. World-class companies help Chery conduct market research, organize workflow and plan. At the service of production are modern equipment from around the world (USA, Japan, Europe), automatic quality control. European experts are also present in their own testing center, where crash tests are conducted, the Institute of Automotive Engineering and Development, the Central Research Institute in Wuhu, Chery's hometown. There are also institutes in Beijing and Shanghai. Moreover, the new “premium brand” Qoros was also created precisely by Chery.
So, what has been updated compared to its predecessor. First of all, appearance. Chery FL was refreshed, new headlights became with linzovannymi elements and LED daytime running lights, taillights also acquired a bunch of LEDs. The hood, false radiator grill and spare wheel cover have changed, protective moldings and new wheels have been added. A significant change was received by the interior. The new Chery interior looks much more modern than before. The center console is combined under a single visor.
The new instrument panel is unambiguously more visual, however, only completely uninformative instantaneous fuel consumption is displayed on the combination. Important data such as average consumption, mileage calculation to the end of the fuel, temperature overboard are not available. To the comment, representatives of Chery in Russia lamented, they say, we can not dictate the will of customers to the manufacturer. It is understandable. The main market for Chery, unlike many European and Japanese “colleagues, ” is not Russia, but Latin America and China. By the way, foreign buyers are offered more options for interior trim: there is a bright interior and leather chairs. True, the quality of the “leather” parts on our sample was below all criticism. Usually car manufacturers try to slip the best materials on the door armrest, as tactile contact of passengers with the upholstery here happens most often. The Tiggo FL has an unpleasant, sticky rubber on the armrest.
In addition, with elbows, you can accidentally press the power window button, which is not recessed enough. At the same time, it is encouraging that they all have the “auto” mode. Another ergonomic miscalculation is the poor location of the seat heating buttons, hidden from the driver behind the steering wheel. However, if he still uses the key with his hand, then the passenger is not only uncomfortable - he will have to stretch, but it can also interfere with taxiing.
Tiggo FL got a comfortable multifunction steering wheel in the style of a Honda CRV. True, it is regulated only by the angle of inclination. In combination with the fact that the backrest is not regulated by a roller, but by a jack, and you can put it only in fixed positions, it’s not very convenient to get behind the wheel. There are questions to the mechanism that opens the glove compartment: you need to pull the latch by applying a significant effort, the microclimate handles are regulated with the same voltage.
Not pleased and the standard audio system. Firstly, the sound - either because of the cheap speakers, or because of the “head” - of disgusting quality, and secondly, the mini-USB socket on the front panel is an unusual solution, to put it mildly. There are no such flash drives, so you can’t do without the mediation of the adapter cord (which you still need to look for). Despite the fact that the slot takes up as much space as a regular USB input.
Of the excesses, an interior cabin mirror with a useless compass, altimeter and barometer. This set, of course, is impressive, but why is it for an ordinary city driver? A frank anachronism, given that most drivers now use smartphones with built-in navigation, and the part that they don’t use is already able to find out where the north is, for example, by moss (a joke).
Passengers in the rear seats do not feel cramped, there is enough space both overhead and for legs. The salon is transformed simply. It was a little embarrassing that the trunk door opens toward the curb, not the road. And after washing they found dried mud on the fifth door, which in the winter would surely accumulate and freeze there.
Despite the presence of ABS with brake force distribution, the brakes were not very impressive. I would like more efficiency. In both normal modes and on the lane, the suspension is very comfortable, but its energy intensity is inferior to the Renault Duster. If you don’t slow down on potholes, it’s not difficult to get off the hook. By the way, the suspension itself at Tiggo is completely independent and, according to statements, was tuned by Lotus specialists. We managed to grab a little along the dirt track, and the behavior of the machine in extreme modes was predictable and understandable. Offset!
I suppose that the main budget went to him. The power unit SQRE4G16, repeating the Mitsubishi product, received a number of significant improvements. The diameter and stroke of the pistons has changed, the degree of compression has increased. The engine received a double change in valve timing and a variable intake path length. Work on it was conducted by the Austrian company AVL. Thanks to this, 126 hp were removed. A good result for a naturally aspirated engine of 1.6. True, on the move, these "horses" are not very agile. If the speedometer is more than 60 km / h, acceleration loses vigor. By the way, in the near future a CVT with virtual gears is promised. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on the test, like there were no all-wheel drive cars.
Another minus is mediocre sound insulation. Despite the fact that the hood is trimmed with noise-absorbing material from the inside, there is little sense from it. At idle, the engine rumbles like a diesel engine. In the movement, noise is added in the wheel arches, then in the racks. Plus, in our car, the speedometer drive cable creaked unpleasantly. I don’t even remember where I heard this last time. Judging by the reviews on the Internet, this predecessor also sinned. Additional sound insulation is a standard procedure for the Tiggo owner.
The most anticipated all-wheel drive version was not found on the test, and staring off-road with front-wheel drive, even despite 190 mm of ground clearance, is stupid. If we are talking about off-road, then I add that behind the large air intakes are radiators that are not covered by anything. An unsuccessfully flown off stone or branch on a country road can easily damage an expensive part.
Independent experts did not test Tiggo FL, but the predecessor was subjected to crash tests repeatedly. In Russia, the tests were carried out by the SUV magazine, and the results were disappointing. However, representatives say that they recognize only independent experts, for example, Euro NCAP and the Chinese counterpart C-NCAP. Because Chery in Europe do not sell, the first and did not test the car. C-NCAP beat Tiggo, but the results could not be obtained, but I found the results of the Australian counterpart ANCAP. We tested the car in 2011, as in our version, Chery J11 had two airbags (I note that for other markets there are versions with side curtains covering the entire perimeter of the window opening). In conclusion, experts noted that the power structure of the cabin has lost integrity. There was also excessive displacement of the pedal assembly. The risk of chest injury and driver ankle is likely. As a result, the Chinese were given only two points out of 16 (see the full report).
Given that the “donor” of Chery Tiggo is the second-generation Toyota RAV4, long discontinued, then the demand is corresponding. At our presentation, it was not announced what work was done in the field of passive safety relative to the previous version, so it remains to be hoped that they were a stronger version.
In the near future, Chery representatives promised to equip the machine with a stabilization system. The only question is whether our “budgetary” buyer will be willing to pay extra for security, and not save from poverty on himself and his passengers.