Chery Tiggo 9 PHEV 3-Row SUV Unveiled At Auto China 2024

This large electrified 3-row SUV is set to become the flagship within Chery’s Tiggo family. 

While everyone else at Auto China 2024 were unveiling their latest weird and wonderful concepts, Chery has instead gone down the more sensible route and showcased something altogether more mundane. Though while the Tiggo 9 PHEV is not some flashy all-electric hypercar, it nevertheless should be of interest to Malaysians, for the simple fact that this 3-row electrified SUV has been earmarked for a potential local launch!

In fact, this Tiggo 9 PHEV has been slated to arrive (alongside its pure combustion engined counterpart) sometime around 2025 or 2026. But just be noted that it might probably look somewhat different, as this 3-row Chery SUV is all but likely to sold locally under the guise of its mechanically-related Jaecoo J8 sibling instead. 

Given that this is most likely the case then, it is perhaps most pertinent to focus on what lies under the hood of this Tiggo 9 PHEV first. And the headline figures of this electrified powertrain is certainly impressive, with Chery touting a combined fuel consumption of just 5.9 l/100 km, as well as an incredulous 1,400 km of combine range for this 3-row SUV when tested under WLTP test cycle. 

Now these astounding stats come courtesy of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and 8-speed automatic transmission pairing (which incidentally is touted to have an impressive thermal efficiency of 44.5%), that is then mated to what Chery dubs ‘super hybrid DHT system’. The internal combustion side of things is stated to output 235 hp and 385 Nm of torque, while its 3-geared electric motor drive unit supplements a whopping 455 hp that ‘significantly enhance(s) the vehicle’s acceleration performance’ to a rather spritely 5.4 seconds. 

Chery has unfortunately remained coy regarding the specifics of the battery size or charging capabilities, but it has teased for a 30% to 80% charging time of 24 minutes. What is nevertheless more certain too from the Chinese automaker is to be its design inspiration behind this Tiggo 9 PHEV, which apparently draws from two key concepts: “Conquer” and “Guard.”

The “Conquer” bit of its design is mainly related to the exterior aesthetic of the Tiggo 9 PHEV, and it starts right at the front with its (blanked-off) octagonal grille featuring a pattern apparently inspired by the rings of Saturn. Chery goes onto continue quoting that this 3-row SUV exudes ‘a powerful conquest vibe and a spirit of exploration’ from its clean body line down its profile, which is then accentuated by some admittedly swanky 20-inch multi-spoke wheels and retractable door handles. 

Found towards the rear quarter of this Tiggo 9 PHEV too is a rather fanciful diamond-patterned stencil, while its rear end features a full-width LED light bar and a ‘Plug-In-Hybrid’ badge that has been slapped on almost as an afterthought. This large Chery comes in at 4,810 mm long, 1,925 mm wide and 1,741 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,900 mm. 

As for the “Guard” bit of the concept meanwhile, this is to be focused primarily within the Tiggo 9 PHEV, with Chery claiming for it to have created ‘a warm, secure, and highly tech-savvy private space’ inside this SUV. The bigger takeaway from this interior however is that it is a rather large upgrade over what was showcased in the Jaecoo J8, with the twin-conjoined screen layout in that model having been replaced with a fresh (and huge) 15.6-inch 2.5K HD central touchscreen and dedicated instrument cluster panel. 

Elsewhere within the Tiggo 9 are a flat-bottomed steering wheel and twin-wireless charging pads on its minimalist centre console, with other niceties worth highlighting here includes a full-length panoramic sunroof and manual shades for its second-row side windows. Oh, its ’crafted 3D stitched seats’ are also ventilated, heated and electronically adjustable (for position and recline) for the front AND rear row too. 

It is currently earmarked for the Tiggo 9 to land in Chinese dealerships in around the fourth quarter of this year, with it (rather confusingly) marketed as the Fulwin T9 domestically. Pre-orders for this large electrified SUV in China has in any case exceeded 25,000 units already, since bookings began on April 18th. 

Addendum: A few days after the unveiling, Chery has very kindly organised a short test session with the Tiggo 9 PHEV and the short verdict after a lap around a figure-8 course was that this large SUV had quite the light (and consequently vague) steering feel, but did nevertheless feel rather nimbler than its large-ness would lead one to initially expect. 

Praise must also be given to how seamless the hybrid transition point and how high its refinement levels are, to the point that none within actually determined exactly when the car was running on pure EV or ICE modes. And having been round the same course while in the back too returned the comment that this Tiggo 9 PHEV is to be a rather comfortable place to be in, with its plushly appointed cabin and rather composed ride keeping things civilised even when the driver up front is trying to drive the wheels off it.  

What more is that there have since been whispers on the grapevine for the Tiggo 9 to potentially be arriving as itself over here in the next couple of years, with both the PHEV and aforementioned ICE option (which features the same 2.0-litre turbo unit) set to feature in Chery Malaysia’s lineup. The question is now then how much will this 3-row flagship SUV cost, and whether it can really draw buyers of the Volvo XC60, to which this car was incidentally initially benchmarked against. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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