A month ago, I had a strange dream. I dreamt that a tiger was crouching in our garage, waiting to pounce upon unsuspecting passers-by. I woke up in a huff and hurried downstairs to our garage to make sure the gates were locked so the tiger won’t be able to get out and harm anyone. Then, I realized that there was indeed a crouching tiger in our garage, but it wasn’t a big, furry cat. It was a 2021 Chery Tiggo 5x Lux. This was our second opportunity to test drive this subcompact crossover vehicle, courtesy of our good friends at Chery Auto Philippines.
In our July 2020 review of the Tiggo 5x Lux, we referred to works of the ancient Chinese poet Yu Xin that says, “behind the rock in the dark probably hides a tiger, and the coiling giant root resembles a crouching dragon” since Chery Auto promotes the vehicle’s façade as the “tiger crouching front-end”. We liberally referred to the hit movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in our review of the 2020 Chery crossover, thus making this – our second Tiggo 5x Lux test drive – a sort of “sequel”.
If It Ain’t Broke…
Playing “Spot the Difference” between photos of our previous white 2020 Tiggo 5X Lux test drive unit and this gray 2021 Tiggo 5X Lux test drive unit yielded just a few subtle differences. The 2020 model was equipped with two-tone 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels shod in 215/55R17 Chao Yang tires while our 2021 media unit came with monotone silver 17-inch 15-spoke alloy wheels shod in 215/60R17 Giti Comfort 520 tires. The taller profile tires made the ride a bit more comfortable with no discernable change in handling characteristics.
Under the hood, there’s the same Euro 5-compliant 114-horsepower 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder variable valve timing engine mated to a continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission. The engine makes 141 Newton-meters of torque to move our 1,321-kilogram Tiggo 5X Lux and its quarantine-fattened occupants briskly enough to keep up with modern traffic but at the expense of fuel economy. With the 2020 model, we averaged around 8.3 km/liter in combined city and highway driving and we did slightly better with the 2021 model, averaging 8.7 km/liter despite driving in heavy, un-pandemic-like traffic.
… Don’t Change It
Some of the things that endeared us to the Tiggo 5X Lux were its features that allowed us to do things like remotely start the car and turn on the air-conditioner by simply using its Smart Keyless remote fob. Just press a button on the fob, let the A/C do its cooling work for a few minutes, and then get into the vehicle’s cool, comfortable interior. Its exterior does not scream for attention and it simply looks like any other 5-door crossover SUV but it does its job of ferrying it five occupants from destination to destination in quiet and comfort, aided by a rigid unibody frame, front McPherson strut suspension, rear torsion beam, and plush noise vibration and harshness (NVH) insulation.
Inside, the same luxurious and cozy leather interior with plastic accent pieces still provide a feeling of spaciousness. The ergonomic cockpit has all the controls within easy reach, the front seats are generously padded, while while the backseat is accommodating except perhaps for passengers with extremely long limbs or wide berth. There’s adequate luggage space behind the rear seat even when the 60/40 folding backrest is up, and more so when the backrest is folded. With its utilitarian cargo capacity, this Chery lives up to its niche as a crossover sport utility vehicle.
Still a Techie’s Favorite
Like with the 2020 model, technology is one of the greatest strengths of the 2021 Tiggo 5X Lux. It comes standard with a 9-inch true-color capacitive touch screen with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, Mirror Link function, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and doubles as the monitor for the rear camera and navigation. The 7-inch LCD instrument display shows not only the speed, engine revs, fuel and coolant temperature levels but also shows the distance to empty (D.T.E.), average fuel economy (A.F.E.), instant fuel consumption (I.F.C.) and the trip meter. You can even change the background color of the instrument panel to suit your driving mood.
Additionally, standard driver safety features include cruise control, intelligent tire pressure monitoring system, Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with auto brake hold, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Brake Override System (BOS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Hill Decent Control (HDC), Hill Hold Control (HHC), Traction Control System (TCS), and Emergency Signal System (ESS). Other safety and monitoring features include dual front airbags, ISOFIX anchors, Intelligent Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and rear camera with front and rear sensors.
The suggested retail price of our 2021 Tiggo 5X Lux is now pegged at P970,000.00, up by twenty grand from last year. However, it’s still an attractive and viable proposition considering that each Chery model comes with a General Vehicle Warranty of 5 years or 150,000-kilometers (whichever comes first) and an Engine Warranty of 10 years and 1,000,000 kilometers warranty plus FREE Preventive Maintenance Package for 3 years and FREE Roadside Assistance for 3 years. Try to find a brand new vehicle with all those freebies for under a million…
Like we wrote in our review last year, the Chery Tiggo 5X Lux is a crouching tiger that’s waiting to pounce with a hidden dragon (UAAGI, Chery Auto Philippines’ mother company) behind it. If we only could, we’d like to keep one in our garage for a longer period of time, instead of just a weeklong dream that we have a crouching tiger in our garage, waiting to pounce upon unsuspecting motorists along our nation’s roads and highways.
Classification: 5-door subcompact crossover vehicle
Engine type: Liquid-cooled inline-4 DOHC 16V
Capacity: 1500 cc
Maximum power: 114 hp @ 6150 rpm
Maximum torque: 141 Nm @ 3800 rpm
Length: 4358 mm
Width: 1830 mm
Height: 1670 mm
Wheelbase: 2630 mm
Ground clearance: 190 mm
Turning radius: 10.8 m
Fuel tank capacity: 51 liters
Maximum load space volume behind 1st row – 1665 liters
Maximum load space volume behind 2nd row – 431 liters
Chery Auto Philippines
United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI)
728 A. Bonifacio Avenue, Balintawak, Quezon City
Tel. Nos.: (+632) 8442 4076 to78