Retro ergonomics: pros and cons
It would be sad and even funny, but look: the glazing area is “aquarium”, access to the salon is convenient, the opening height is significant, the front doors are wide, and only the lower parts are narrow at the rear doors. But at the same time landing back does not cause difficulties. The sofa is wide, flat, the height of the pillow is at the optimal level, the transmission tunnel does not stick out so much from the floor.
The situation is even better up front. Here the interior is wider, and there is more “air” overhead. Between the seats fit the box armrest with a surprise: it contains … keys for turning on the heating of the front seats. Not the most convenient place, but the actual heating, and even two-stage heating, is a plus.
It will be especially useful to those who purchase a complete set with seats trimmed with a combination of artificial leather and braided fabric. I think it’s a great option. Surprisingly, already in several Chinese cars of various brands, I like the seat upholstery, even from leatherette. And among them is Chery’s offer. Tiggo 3 is by far the best. Although such a coating is perceived as chilly in frosty weather.
The salon has been updated more noticeably than the body. Here, compared to the FL torpedo version, a different instrument cluster is new. The on-board computer has become richer and more logical, it no longer resembles the floor indicator in the elevator of the Karacharovsky Mechanical Plant. But with the “illumination” of the main instruments, the Chinese were too clever. Now the figures are simply lost among the excessively long and overly bright lines-rays. It all looks not so much sunny as clumsy.
But in the center of the dashboard there is a large color display of the multimedia system with the same rich functionality as in Tiggo 5. However, with the same drawback: in bright sunlight, as well as when viewed from the side, the colors on the screen fade to nothing. Fortunately, the test took place on relatively cloudy days, in addition, from the driver’s point of view, the screen is optimally positioned, all the symbolism is perfectly visible. And the sensor works with fast and reliable response.
However, I did not manage to fully use the functionality of the system. Having made myself a New Year’s gift – a new advanced smartphone – I was convinced that with the seventh “Android” multimedia Chery does not work. I had to be content with listening to music from flash drives. The sound, by the way, in the third Tiggo is not bad, although the logo of the car manufacturer, not the audio system, flaunts on the speakers in the doors.
There are no problems with connecting flash drives, a standard USB connector (now not mini-USB, as it used to be) is located at the bottom of the center console. But where to put the smartphone, connecting it for charging or for communicating with multimedia, is unclear. Fellow journalists drew attention to this, and I confirm that there is a problem. At the top of the dashboard there is a kind of shelf, but its edges are sloping, here the device will not hold. You will need a non-slip mat or an additional container glued on double-sided tape.
Compared to the FL variant, introduced in China back in 2015, the Tiggo 3 has grown by 3 cm in length, has become 5 cm lower and three dozen kilograms lighter. The fuel tank “lost” two liters of volume. Otherwise, the parameters of the car remained the same. But the all-wheel drive version with a two-liter 136-horsepower engine, as well as a 1.8-liter 132-horsepower engine, disappeared from the range. Now the only power unit is offered – a 1.6-liter 126-horsepower, ACTECO series, relatively economical, even paired with a CVT. Manual transmission – as before, five-speed.
Landing behind the wheel neither in the FL version, nor in the “three-ruble note” personally does not cause any inconvenience for me. Seat adjustments are mechanical, there is a handwheel for raising and lowering the chair. However, its lower position is not optimal. Here it is better to sit higher in order to see further, when the chair is raised, the ceiling will not soon put pressure on the top of the head, even for a tall passenger. The steering wheel is adjustable only in height, this is a minus, but not so big. Worse, the rim is thin and cold. The pluses include intelligible buttons on the steering wheel spokes, illuminated in the dark. The test version showed cruise control, which is also good.
Let’s swear back. The sofa does not please with space, there are no additional climate adjustments, and there was no change in the inclination of the parts of the back either. The space for the knees is limited – a little more than 20 cm. With a competitor – Dongfeng AX7 – this parameter cannot be compared. The main trouble is that the folding mechanism of the rear sofa has remained the same, ridiculous to the extreme. Parts of the back rest on the pillow, and that’s it, while the base of the pillow is at the level of the trunk floor, that is, you get just the same huge uncomfortable step. Here it is just right to give another Chinese example: a car Lifan X60. Tailored according to the patterns of the same “second” RAV4, it has an excellent rear sofa folding algorithm (albeit desperately tight). For fun, I tried to sit there in order to sleep, and I almost succeeded, my height of 182 cm allowed me to lie down diagonally. In Tiggo 3, even such an option would be unthinkable.
The rear wicket door in Chery still opens towards the sidewalk, that is, in Japanese. But it seemed to me that her shock absorber became stiffer, now she is not so persistently trying to slam spontaneously, even when the car is on a slight slope. In the floor of the trunk there is a recess for the driver’s tool, a bag with an emergency kit does not fit here. By the way, during the test, it turned out this: you cannot hook a standard cable hook on the front towing eye of the crossover – it is not included in it! Of course, thinking logically, here you can securely fix the cable with a hook, but it is better to use a product with an eye. At the same time, it will also be more reliable: cables usually have lugs that can withstand a load of 7 tons and more. Personal experience shows that cables with a load of less than 5 tons tend to break even in simple situations of towing and pulling stuck cars.
Not warmed up? Freeze
On a cold evening, I warm up the engine and interior and hit the road. Warming up does not happen quickly, I have time to freeze slightly, however, when the “stove” finally heats up, it becomes hot at the set temperature of +24. The climate control in the third Tiggo is single-zone, its settings are displayed on the central multimedia display, and even when the “music” is turned off. But the settings screen emerges from the darkness extremely slowly and glows for only a couple of seconds, then goes out. Do you need a different setting? Wait for the image to load again. To be honest, it’s inconvenient.
Not everyone (including me) likes the fact that when you turn off and then turn on the engine, the music device starts playing the songs on the flash drive from the beginning. Otherwise, you get used to the car quickly and you can’t find other “jambs”. Even in the hotly heated interior, there is almost no “phenolic” smell, the build quality has improved, I don’t catch extraneous squeaks and taps, as in the FL version, in the third Tiggo.
The 1.6-liter 126-horsepower gasoline engine is ready to carry the crossover forward with considerable excitement, but its “ardor” is leveled by the CVT. The CVT “variant” does not break right off the bat, but as soon as the engine spins up a little, the dynamics returns to normal.
While driving, street / road noise actively penetrates into the cabin. No wonder: the reason for this is the large glass area. And the soundproofing leaves much to be desired. Plus, the engine makes a lot of noise when accelerating. It is clearly audible already from 3000 rpm. But that would be okay, it’s worse that during a sharp acceleration the car scours. It seems that the right front wheel is lagging behind the left at this moment. Once upon a time, the owners of the first domestic cars argued whether the difference in the length of the axle shafts affects the straightness of acceleration. It looks like you can say about Tiggo 3: it has an effect. But not critical. Unless, of course, there is a coating under the wheels that provides at least some tire grip.
In the city, you will enjoy an excellent overview “in a circle”, provided, among other things, by large exterior mirrors. The completely unnecessary indication of atmospheric pressure, altitude and compass disappeared from the internal mirror. Fortunately, before these devices could be turned off, and without them it was much better. And now you can turn off the sound signal that notifies you when a certain speed threshold is exceeded. What? You can set it yourself using the on-board computer (in increments of 10 km / h), or you can select the “unlimited” mode.
The 1.6-liter 126-horsepower engine belongs to the ACTECO proprietary family. It was developed by Chery together with Austrian and German engineers, but in general this unit has Japanese “roots”, and specifically, it is based on an engine Mitsubishi. This is rather a plus. The asset of the motor is a system of double variable valve timing (DVVT) and a change in the length of the intake pipeline (VIS). These devices usually serve to stretch the “shelf” of optimal speed, and this is exactly the case on the Tiggo 3 motor. With uniform and rectilinear movement, the engine operates at speeds even lower than 2000 rpm, while accelerating, noticeable pickup is felt from about 3000 rpm and continues to almost 5000 rpm. Noise? Yes, it’s too big, but in general, the development engineers have achieved a good performance. According to the passport, the maximum torque for this engine is 160 Nm at 3900 rpm.
“Urban” acceleration from 60 to 80 km / h exceeds 4 s. “Thank you” variator. There are no other complaints about the device, it works softly, smoothly and almost silently. Virtual transfers – as many as seven! When switching to manual shift mode (it also exists), one gear is reset. With a kickdown, even three stages can be reset. On the seventh, of course, there is no acceleration, but on the sixth it begins to be felt. But it’s better to accelerate in 4th gear: from 80 to 120 km / h you can accelerate in about 8 seconds, in the same amount in D mode.
Parktronic on Tiggo 3 has only two sensors located in the rear bumper. During operation, the device “takes into account” the spare wheel casing protruding beyond the edge of the bumper, mounted on the tailgate. In other words, the constantly sounding signal of the device does not mean that you drove the spare wheel into an obstacle. I checked: the gap remains. But on the FL version there was a visual indication of the operation of the parking sensors, albeit a primitive one. The Tiggo 3 only has an audible alarm.
Suspension? More comfortable than rigid, rolls are observed in corners. Some owners have complained on the Internet that on rough roads the third Tiggo’s suspension can easily be brought to breakdown. I can’t say that I persistently strove for this, apparently, that’s why I didn’t achieve breakdowns during my test. Although I also ran through the primers, and through the broken asphalt. Tiggo has always pleased with the presence of an independent rear suspension with the ability to adjust the toe angles. An important observation: when driving at high speed on bumps and potholes of asphalt, the rear suspension does not stray off course, does not “jump” to the side.
But the steering wheel is “no”. Very light in all modes and extremely uninformative. From lock to lock – three turns, by modern standards a bit too much. It would make sense to conjure over the settings of the mechanism if Tiggo 3 did not play the endgame.
Now let’s analyze the fuel appetite. For the urban cycle, we take the consumption on the section of the Moscow Ring Road from Varshavskoye to Dmitrovskoye highway. One and a half hours of practically continuous traffic jams, the maximum speed is 60 km / h, the average is twenty-odd. Outcome? 10 liters per hundred. Not bad. Things are even better on a free track, at night. I set the “cruise” to 100 km / h and get the result: in D mode on the on-board computer – 6.8 liters per 100 km (on a straight and relatively flat section of at least 10 km long). What if we “combine” cruise control and manual gear selection? I fix the fifth stage and again measure the flow. It increases per liter, up to 7.8 liters per hundred. I switch to automatic mode and increase the “cruise” value to 110 km / h. Consumption naturally rises – up to 8.3 liters per hundred.