With the 2020 Chery Tiggo 5x LUX AT, the myth of the million-peso top-of-the-line crossover has been busted. What I mean is that with the LUX—er, looks—and features of the Chery Tiggo 5x, one would have expected this sub-compact to breach well over the P1-million price tag. Well, what a big surprise, then, that this variant retails for just P950,000, while the Tiggo 5x AT goes for just P860,000 (the MT retails for P818,000).

But wait, there’s more. Like its other Tiggo siblings, the Tiggo 5x comes with the 5-year bumper-to-bumper general vehicle warranty, and a whopping 10-year or 1-million-km engine warranty, topped off with a free preventive maintenance service package for three years.

And when I actually test drove the vehicle, I knew this was a sweet enough deal for those who needed a no-nonsense crossover that could do the job in the city, suburbs, or rural setting.

The Tiggo 5x LUX is powered by a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder, Euro 5 gasoline engine mated to a CVT transmission. On paper, the indicated maximum power output is 114hp/6150 rpm, and peak torque is 141Nm/3800rpm transmitted to the four 215/55/R17 tires. These numbers are just about enough to let a party of four or five and their cargo go about their day without feeling that the vehicle has been unduly strained.

In the looks department, the Tiggo 5x LUX is neither spectacular nor dull. Its middle-of-the-road design tells us it can be appealing to both the younger and middle-aged demographic. As for me, I like the way it tries not too hard to look radical or bold. The side profile, in my opinion, is its sexiest, most athletic angle.

The digital dashboard instrumentations, however, betray its true market. There’s the push start button (rather awkwardly positioned beside the gearshift), the cruise control, infotainment and drive info buttons (all on the steering wheel)—strong hints that the Tiggo 5x LUX wants to associate itself with a new generation of tech-savvy drivers. Some drive information (such as fuel and trip gauges) required several pushes of the buttons. It may be daunting at first, but in time a conscientious driver (meaning, those who are mindful of their fuel, trip readings, and other drive info) could perform these things with their eyes closed (but please don’t).

There are some pleasant visual tricks, too. There are buttons to set the color theme or mood of the dashboard (dynamic beige, fantasy blue, passionate red) and language settings (English or Chinese, but of course). Apart from the push start button, the only other control I found out of place was the one for the hazard light, which is positioned right of the 9-inch True Color Capacitive Touch Screen, away from the driver. I mean, who do you expect is going to press the hazard button, the nerve-wracked front passenger?

Everything important for the driver is within reach even for this petite Asian. The elbow room and butt space were adequate. Unlike other sunroof controls, the one in the Tiggo 5x allows me to decide how wide or narrow the opening should be. The digital speed readout on the 7-inch LCD instrument display is in large font, so I know in a quick glance if I’m still well within speed limits.

The workmanship feels solid. There’s the satisfying muffled thud of the doors closing. I also noticed that if the driver or passengers pulled the inside door handles twice, the doors would conveniently unlock. Looking at the spec sheets reveals more nifty tricks: Smart keyless with remote start that enables remote key to switch on the engine and air-con (press lock button for 3 seconds); the trunk door can also be unlocked and opened by the remote key; one-button window closing is available by pressing the lock button for 3 seconds.

The drive felt stable and confident, and the ground clearance was enough to not hit the underside of the car when I backed it up on our steeply inclined garage.

The Tiggo 5x LUX also offers a thorough set of safety features, including 3-point seatbelts for the three rear passengers, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability program, emergency brake assist, brake override system, brake assist system, hill descent control, hill hold control, traction control system, emergency signal system, electronic parking brake and autohold. Then there are the airbags, an intelligent tire pressure monitoring system, rear camera and front/rear sensors. For clear nighttime vision, the car is fitted with automatic xenon headlamps.

The subdued simplicity of the Tiggo 5x AT, and its contrastingly bold warranty guarantee, were what has drawn in buyers like Noema Angelias.

Angelias, a 48-year-old employee, was on the lookout for her first-ever car, and she initially considered buying either a sedan or any of the competing crossovers from two American brands and a Japanese car maker. She ultimately chose the Tiggo 5x AT mainly because of the 5-year general vehicle warranty, three years free PMS and the 10-year engine warranty. She said she also watched YouTube video reviews of the Tiggo 5x in other countries, which finally convinced her to go for it.

One month into the ownership experience, and Angelias says she’s happy with her decision. “What I like most about this car is how smooth it drives, how my passengers say they feel comfortable, as it is surprisingly spacious inside. Now, I am just waiting for more accessories so I can spruce it up some more”.

Which brings up another great point about buying a sub-million crossover SUV like the Tiggo 5x LUX AT. The money you save from the purchase you can use to make the Tiggo 5x look a million bucks’ badass worth.