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Now there's a Chery you can take home for a mere song

By unknown | Jul 30, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

Much has been said and written about Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana's recent comments on our new Chinese-African brothers and sisters - perhaps they can be referred to as Chincans - and not all of it very complimentary.

It's an unusual situation but in my opinion, bring on the Chinese . (vehicles that is)!

Now, there is about as much chance of Mdladlana being spotted at the Chong Wok Restaurant in Cyrildene feasting on a plate of Peking Duck as MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai having a good night's sleep in State House, Harare - but I hope this doesn't prevent the minister from one day getting behind the wheel of the new Chinese import, the Chery.

The Chery recently made headlines by offering the South African consumer the cheapest passenger vehicle in the country - the QQ3 - for R59900.

I was looking forward to getting behind the wheel of this particular vehicle, but it turns out it was RoadRave's time to test the more upmarket Chery Tiggo 2,0 TXE.

When she handed over the keys, motoring editor Mabuyane Kekana said "it's the vehicle that looks like the Rav4".

And, yes, it does.

The Tiggo has a strong resemblance to the very successful Toyota Rav4 sports utility vehicle.

Strong body lines, roof rack, sunroof and quite a high ride all add up to a nifty, sporty look.

Sure, it doesn't have some of the specifications of its more expensive competitors, but a definite plus is that it has the powerful backing of the McCarthy group, which has been involved in motor manufacturing in South Africa for just under 100 years.

The Chery itself was only formed in 1997 but has already become the second largest motor manufacturer in China.

Under the hood of the Tiggo you will find a 2,0-litre engine pushing out 95kW and 180Nm.

The interior is fairly standard but comfortable. Cup holders both front and rear, aircon, electric windows and power steering are all standard in the Tiggo range.

Safety-wise ABS brakes, dual airbags, central locking and side impact protection bars should keep you happy if things go wrong.

Top speed is a claimed 165kmh, but in reality it cruises along just nicely at around the 120-130kmh range.

Where the Tiggo definitely has one over its rivals is in its pricing. The base model Tiggo TX goes for 159900 and the TXE for R169900.

If you are worried that a lower price means corners have been cut to save money, forget it. The Tiggo is a good, solid little vehicle to get around in.

The Tiggo range comes with a 3-year-100000km warranty.


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