When an athlete takes a hiatus from his sport, it may be unlikely that he or she will be in peak physical form for their return. However, you do have special cases out there that do defy expectations. Chery, a brand that was brought in thanks to the efforts of United Asia Automotive Group, Inc (UAAGI), is making a comeback to the Philippine market and is doing so with the Tiggo lineup of crossovers.
This particular example is the Tiggo 5x, a subcompact crossover that is looking to defy your expectations and then some. Let’s go in-depth and up close with the Tiggo 5x AT Luxury for a detailed and honest review. We’ll see if the comeback is real.
It seems like times have been good for Chery. Now under new management, the brand dons a new face in an entirely new body style, and the results are quite impressive considering how the brand’s cars used to look. Style is inoffensive if not a little plain compared to the rest of the segment, however.
The 5x has what Chery calls the “tiger crouching front-end”. We don’t know where the big cat motif is located, but it is a clean look for a crossover. You have halogen projector headlamps that do have a good through and cutoff and LED DRLs. The large grille is a nice touch with a textured pattern.
The side profile was made more appealing by the 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels. The body lines are a bit stout and conventional, but it looks clean overall. The taillights look good, as it has an LED outline that gives it a pleasant profile once the sun sets.
Even as a more affordable option in the market, the Luxury AT variant comes with a leather interior that is quite good to the touch. It’s not thin nor is it the softest of upholsteries, but it does have a good feel when you sit on it. There are also several elements that are soft to the touch, such as the dashboard shroud. Rubberized elements such as the frame that surrounds the 10-inch infotainment system are also present and are sturdy for the most part. We were also shocked to see a car of this price point with a cushioned portion for your leg. There are piano black plastics around the cabin, which isn’t the most durable-looking choice in our opinion, but gives some pop to a generally matte design.
Cabin space is adequate for most averaged size Filipinos. The front is definitely spacious, and the rear seats do have good room side to side, but the legroom for passengers is standard for the segment. It’s not too cramped, but larger individuals might have a hard time keeping comfortable on long journeys. Equipment at the back is a bit lacking, and instead of rear air vents, the back passengers get cubby holes down the center, with no arm rest.
Cargo space is adequate, and the absence of a lip allows for heavier items to be placed in the rear with ease. You can also fold the rear seats down for even more space if you’re not bringing passengers. The cargo room is on par with the rest of the segment, which means that it is perfectly serviceable for most tasks as long as you're not hauling large loads.
Built on a unibody frame with a MacPherson strut in the front, and a torsion beam at the rear means that the Tiggo 5x has an acceptable ride. Over the bumps of EDSA or C5’s truck lane, there was a noticeable thud that occurred, but this could be attributed to the 17-inch wheels of the car and the weight, which is over 1,300 kgs.
That being said, it’s a fair ride. The soft suspension tuning does well for minor road imperfections, but for bumpier portions, it’ll be a bit shaky. NVH insulation is fair, with some intrusion because of road noise and the engine noise if you decide to drive it at full tilt. If you drive it civilly, the engine barely makes a quip.
An infotainment screen with 9-inches worth of diagonal screen real estate is a sight to behold in any automobile. With Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port that allows the user to pair with Apple CarPlay, the unit is capable enough for any Apple user. There is no Android Auto on board, so that’s a feature we miss, but the sound system is quite alright, and features a good amount of low-end punch and depth. The backup camera also outputs to this huge display and also features guidelines for easier parking. The volume knob is nicely located near the gear lever, which is a fair area to place a knob.
The digital gauge cluster is a big plus, especially since cars of this price point normally have basic analog and digital instrumentation. One caveat of this system is the roughly-translated English that nets a few bits of bad grammar or awkward terminology. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, however. We do like the fact that the Tiggo 5x has cruise control and tire pressure monitoring as standard throughout all the lineup, you also have an electronic parking brake with auto brake hold, which is unheard of in this segment, though that feature is only present on the CVT variants. Another piece of tech that we do enjoy and don’t see enough of in this segment are power seats. Manual seating adjustment gets the job done, but these power seats add that extra bit of Luxury to the Chery Tiggo AT Luxury – sorry if that sounds redundant. Even when you're not sitting in it, however, the Tiggo still has a rare feature in this category. The keyfob allows for passive entry, but also allows for remote start and power window control for a hot day. So far, we've only seen cars over P1,000,000 pack this kind of tech.
Understandably, to get into the price point that the Tiggo 5x occupies safety systems cover the basics, but isn’t too lacking, as the entire lineup gets these features as standard, so that’s not bad with those items in mind. You get dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, stability and traction control, emergency brake assist, hill assist, and ISOFIX anchors.
We would have wished for more airbags on the top of the line model, but we feel that the electronic safeties are adequate, especially since the entire lineup has all these standard features, which is a plus for the lower variants.
Driving and Handling
Steering is definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum, with a good weight, and a fair amount of feel. Going through corners is not too confidence-inspiring, but this gripe can be chalked up to the tire choice that Chery went with. There was a noticeable float due to the softer suspension setup. Another metric to take into account is the weight of the crossover. At 1321 kg, it can even be in the same weight division as some compact cars, and that affected handling, power, and fuel economy – which we will touch upon later.
On the straights, the Tiggo 5x’s 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine mated to a CVT is no performance combination. With 114 hp and 141 Nm of torque, the powertrain struggles to get up to speed quickly, which can be attributed to the weight of the vehicle and the performance transmission. The CVT is not athletic in nature, instead it prefers sedate inputs and city driving. We think the urban setting is where the 5x excels at. Highway driving is still doable, but the engine does take a while to get up to speed, and overtaking is done with some difficulty.
When we drove the Chery, most of the testing was done within the city with some stints on the highway with only about 2 people in the car with some luggage. That being said, we averaged about 6 km/L in heavy traffic while highway tests netted about 12km/L. Fast-paced city drives got us about 8.5 km/L on the weekend. We think the potential gains of having a CVT were decimated by the heavy body.
The Tiggo 5x will get you from point A to point B within the city without too much drama. Engineered to be a city-slicker with build quality and enough features to rival other cars in its segment, the crossover has got enough to meet your needs and then some.
To us, the Tiggo 5x isn't just another car to add to the selection available out in the market, but it is Chery's swansong back into the psyche of the Filipino car buyer. The brand has indeed had a dark past, but the here and now that we see with the Tiggo 5x is that UAAGI is serious, and what could be more serious than a 5-year, 100,000 km warranty and a 10-year 1,000,000 km warranty for the powertrain?
Still though, P950,000 for a crossover is a price to pay. The Luxury AT variant is fair, but considering the kit it comes with, it's something to consider. If you're looking to buy a Tiggo 5X, perhaps a mid-variant could be a good value. Good job Chery, you're back, and on our radar. We're eager to see what's next.
114 hp @ 6,150 rpm
Chery Tiggo 5X AT Luxury
Number of Cylinders
Number of Valves
Max Output (HP)
114 hp @ 6,150 rpm
Max Torque (nm)
141 Nm @ 3,800 rpm
Economy & Environment
Number of Doors
Number of Seats
Safety & Security
Front Passenger's Airbag
Auto Brake System
Electronic Brake Distribution
Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
Electronic Door Locks
Speed Sensing Door Locks
Lane Departure Warning System
Blind-Spot Detection System
Front Parking Sensors
Rear Parking Sensors
Push Start Button
Wheels Metal Type
Automatic Climate Control
4 speaker 9-inch HD capacitive touch screen + Mirror Link + steering wheel controls
5-year or 150,000 km General Vehicle Warranty & 10-year or 1,000,000 km Engine Train Warranty