Priced from $29,990 drive-away for the Premium and $33,990 for the Lux, it sits in between more expensive versions of the smaller H2 and the bottom of the larger H8 range.
The big news is the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the company’s first, promising faster gear changes and better fuel economy. Lux model adds a kerbside camera to make parking easier.
Haval claims the 2.0-litre turbo with 145kW of power puts the “sport” back in sport utility vehicle, with 25 per cent more power and 50 per cent more torque than most rivals in the segment. It’s thirsty, though.
The feel is sporty, with punchy performance and plenty of grip. Standard, sport and eco drive modes modulate throttle response but in reality make only a minor difference.
The Euro-inspired styling marks the start of a new direction in design for the company, with strong lines and a new hexagonal grille. It’s matched by a stylish interior but the branding is a little over the top, particularly the high mount stop light that incorporates the brand name.