Herald Sun - Motoring - - FIRST DRIVE -


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.

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