SUVs have become a big thing lately. There have been more SUV launches in Pakistan than there have been other cars combined. And on paper, when you look at the specs, utility and features, and what they have to offer, you realise maybe SUVs do make sense despite their bigger size and the space they take on the roads. I mean getting more than five people fit inside comfortably with luggage as well speaks volumes about the practicality of these vehicles. And if you have to go and conquer rough and uncharted terrain, then SUVs should be your mode of transportation without a doubt. Although there are some SUVs that can’t do that exactly due to certain handicap but that is a debate for some other day.
One thing that made SUVs out of reach of most people in Pakistan is their price tag; these big, feature-laden cars are expensive. And that is arguably rightfully so. I mean it takes a lot of research and development as well as raw materials to make a big vehicle. And SUVs are usually big, no doubt. Compared to sedans, SUVs have always been expensive…until now!
With the advent of Chinese vehicles, and especially Chinese SUVs, people noticed that now relatively affordable these vehicles were compared to, let’s say, a Japanese SUV. Almost all China-made or cars of China origin are noticeably cheaper than the Japanese vehicles in Pakistan. And now the time has come where a top of the line variant of an otherwise ordinary sedan like Honda Civic has reached a price bracket level of a top of the line Chinese SUV like a Chery Tiggo 8 Pro.
Here are the current (May 2022) prices of both Honda Civic RS and Chery Tiggo 8 Pro:
- Honda Civic Turbo RS – 6,649,000 PKR
- Chery Tiggo Pro 8 – 6,599,000 PKR
In this blog, we will see and compare some of the pros and cons of both the Civic and the Tiggo 8 Pro. Why are we doing that, you may ask? Well here is the thing, the Civic is supposed to be the economical sedan by Honda. It is supposed to be a reliable and nice-looking comfortable car that can take you from point A to point B without a hitch. But now the time has come in Pakistan where a compact family sedan has started to cost something a luxury high-end vehicle should cost, or at least used to cost 10-15 years ago. But on the other hand when you see a vehicle that is not only bigger in size, but also offers arguably better value for money, you start to think about the alternatives instead of going for the usual suspects.
Although there are cheaper SUVs than the Civic RS as well as the Tiggo 8 Pro, like the new Changan Oshan X7 Comfort which costs PKR 6,050,000 including freight, but for the sake of having a close price comparison, we are only comparing Tiggo 8 Pro and the RS Civic.
Let’s start with the power figures of both vehicles since these numbers are bragging rights for most car owners as well as these companies themselves.
Honda Civic RS comes with a 1.5L inline-4 turbocharged engine that makes 176 bhp (131 kW) and 220 Nm of torque according to Honda itself, which is a pretty nice power to have under your discretion. The Civic comes with a CVT transmission to transfer all that power to the front wheels, efficiently. The car also offers multiple driving modes; from eco, to normal to sports.
On the other hand, Tiggo 8 Pro comes with a 1598cc direct injection turbocharged inline-4 engine. Chery claims that the Tiggo 8 Pro makes 145 kW, which is around 197 bhp and 290 Nm of torque. The power is transferred to the front wheels of the SUV with the help of a 7-speed wet dual clutch. Tiggo also comes with normal/eco/sport driving modes.
If the environment and emissions of the vehicle are something that matter to you then it must be noted that Tiggo 8 Pro is Euro 5 compliant whereas the Civic is Euro 4 compliant, making Tiggo 8 Pro the winner in this regard at least. On the other hand, the Changan Oshan X7 is a Euro 6 vehicle, making it the leader in the market.
Power to weight ratio (kW/kg)
So on paper at least, the Tiggo 8 Pro is more powerful than the Civic RS. But the Tiggo 8 Pro weighs 1565 kg whereas the Civic weighs around 1350 kg making Civic lighter of the two. If you want to calculate the power to weight ratio of both these cars, simply divide the horsepower of the engine by the weight of the car.
Here are the power to weight ratios of both Civic RS and Tiggo 8 Pro (kilowatt per kilogram)
- Honda Civic RS – 0.097
- Chery Tiggo 8 Pro – 0.0927
Bigger number means more power per kilogram of the car. So by that standard, the Civic RS is more powerful for its size compared to Tiggo 8 Pro. But power to weight ratio is not everything. The size and shape also matters when it comes to aerodynamics of the car. Since Civic is a sedan, and is sleeker than a huge box like the Tiggo 8 Pro, it is pretty obvious the Civic RS is going to be faster than a SUV.
You do not need precise measurements to realise the Tiggo 8 Pro is a bigger vehicle among the two, and that also means more passenger space as well as more cargo space. And since the price of both cars are similar, it is fair to say that Tiggo 8 offers more value to your money.
But just for the sake of being fair, here are the dimensions of both vehicles.
Honda Civic RS 2022
Chery Tiggo 8 Pro
And the fact that Tiggo 8 Pro comes with 3 rows of seats making it a seven-seater.
This is one aspect that has been really in the focus since the arrival of all these chinese vehicles lately. Chinese car companies have realised that they need to offer more to their customers than the bare minimum the current car companies have been offering in these last few decades. And this features-war is going to declare who will win the most market share between all the competition.
Let’s talk about what the Civic RS has to offer. Well, the Civic RS comes with Honda’s Sensing Suite; these are a bunch of safety and comfort features offered by Honda globally to its cars to make them safer for the customers.
What is Honda Sensing, you might ask? Well it is, as Honda itself says,
Honda Sensing® is our exclusive intelligent suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies designed to alert you to things you might miss while driving.
Honda Sensing Suite includes features such as:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System – CMBS
- Road Departure Mitigation System – RDM
- Adaptive Cruise Control – ACC
- Lane Keeping Assist System – LKAS
- Traffic Sign Recognition aka Lead Car Departure Notification System – LCDN
- Honda Watchlane
- Blindspot Information System
- Cross Traffic Monitoring
- Auto High-Beam Headlights – AHB
The local Civic does not have features like Honda Watchlane and Cross Traffic Monitoring. The Honda Sensing is one of the main selling features of this car. Of course there are other things like 4-wheel ABS, electronic parking brake, hill hold and hill start assist, traction control and stability control, 2 SRS airbags, electronic power steering, steering controls, keyless and smart entry (card key), smart multimedia with multiple connectivity options, to name a few.
On the other hand, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro comes with something similar to Honda’s Sensing called ADAS. ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. The role of ADAS is to prevent deaths and injuries by reducing the number of car accidents and the serious impact of those that cannot be avoided.
- Lane Departure Warning
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Front Collision Warning
- Rear Collision Warning
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Traffic Sign Distinguishing
- Intelligent High Beam Control
If we just have to talk about the multimedia and infotainment system, Tiggo 8 Pro has a 10.25-inch Central Control HD Display, 12.3-inch Full TFT Display for Cluster, and 8-inch LCD Air-Conditioner Panel Control. So basically screens everywhere. The clever infotainment system also has voice control and a high-end sound system. You also get a 360 HD Panoramic Camera along with reverse radar.
Tiggo 8 Pro also comes with other things like 6-airbags (4 more on Civic), keyless entry, driver’s seat with 4-way electric lumbar adjustment and memory function, and front passenger seat 4-way electric adjustment along with front passenger seat 4-way manual adjustment. Even the second row seat has 4-way manual adjustment whereas the 3rd row is reclining.
There is ABS, traction control, stability control, hill-start assist, hill-descent assist, electronic parking brake with brake hold, and power steering to name a few.
It is fair to say that these are just a few of the features the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro offers. It is better if you go see the car yourself and explore everything it has to offer. At least on paper, it seems the Tiggo offers more than what Civic RS is offering on the whole.
So it looks like maybe the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro is a far better vehicle than the Civic. All the things the Tiggo has to offer, in the similar price tags makes you think maybe Tiggo is the clear winner. But then comes something called the brand value.
No matter what you do, the name of Honda is more valuable than Chery. Most people are always going to opt for Honda instead of any other relatively unknown Chinese brand no matter how good that Chinese car is. There is trust in the name of Honda. And it didn’t come in a few years. It has been decades for Honda to earn the reputation of being one of the most reliable car makers globally. The brand loyalty is strong with Honda. From motorcycles to cars to jet skies, and even lawn mowers, Honda is a renowned brand worldwide and a market leader.
Honda has pretty hardcore fans and they are quite active when it comes to defend the brand as well as being the ambassadors of the company. Leave the cars aside for a second, and just look at the Honda CG125 motorcycle in Pakistan. Everyone knows that CG125 is the same bike that was launched back in the 70s and it is half a century old but people still buy them because they are not only reliable, they’re tough as nails, and people know that these will sell instantly when you need to. There is a reason why Honda made the marketing tagline of, “Main te Honda e le’san!”.
And car companies like Chery and Changan have a long way to go to reach the level of Honda and Toyota and other big names in the global car market. It is always tough for new companies to make people trust them with their money. Cars have become an investment in Pakistan. 2003 to 2005 Honda Civic that was for 9 to 11 lac depending on the model and variant back in the day is still being sold at the same price if not more.
On the other hand there are various horror stories of car companies coming to Pakistan, making people buy their cars and then running away after years. From Dewan Motors to Nissan and Fiat Uno. People bought those cars and their values tanked as soon the car companies wrapped up their businesses and ran away.
So yes, this is how the story so far. Yes, Chery Tiggo 8 Pro sounds like a good choice, and maybe it is the sensible choice. But then there is the fact, “honda, honda hai!!”
Let us know what you think about both these cars? Are you brave enough to trust Chery with your money? Or do you like to play safe and will go for Civic instead? Let us know in the comments below.