Sub­tle changes pro­pel tour­ing favourite

LAUNCH NEWS/ Hyundai SA has given its H1 range a cos­metic up­date, writes Lerato Matebese

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

Since its launch lo­cally in the first quar­ter of 2009, Hyundai’s H1 range has sold 17,633 units — 14,424 of those com­pris­ing the peo­ple-mover bus. Some 2,272 units were of the panel van, while the re­main­ing 937 were of the mul­ti­cab per­mu­ta­tion.

Al­most a decade on and the H1 con­tin­ues to flour­ish as it re­mains a well spec­i­fied and priced MPV among its ri­vals, with the en­try-level 2.4l (126kW and 223Nm) petrol ver­sion be­ing a pop­u­lar of­fer­ing among shut­tle and fleet man­age­ment com­pa­nies alike.

The 2.5l tur­bod­iesel (125kW and 441Nm) ver­sion re­mains the sweeter of the two en­gines, thanks to its effortless power de­liv­ery and rel­a­tively thriftier fuel con­sump­tion of 9.8l/100km ver­sus the petrol vari­ant’s 10.2l/100km, which is more in real world con­di­tions.

For 2018, the com­pany has taken the H1 un­der the knife, with changes in­clud­ing a new chrome slat­ted grille and hor­i­zon­tal light clus­ters, while viewed side-on a new set of al­loy wheels is the fun­da­men­tal change. The rest of the de­sign re­mains largely the same.

Hop into the cabin, how­ever, and things like the new in­fo­tain­ment touch­screen (sadly nav­i­ga­tion is an op­tion) as seen in the Tuc­son and Creta and most re­cently the i20 is the main change, while the steer­ing wheel now also in­cludes reach ad­just­ment over and above the tilt func­tion. There is also a chilled glove­box.

Al­to­gether, the changes are sub­tle, but there was lit­tle wrong with the prod­uct it­self and, to be hon­est, it has aged grace­fully in the wake of much newer en­trants to the mar­ket.

That said, we man­aged to nose the up­dated H1 diesel Elite to­ward Cul­li­nan, east of Tsh­wane and the model im­pressed with its easy­go­ing, effortless and com­fort­able dis­po­si­tion, while of­fer­ing acres of space for up to nine oc­cu­pants (eight more com­fort­ably).

The en­gine is gutsy with enough torque to over­take slower mov­ing traf­fic safely and with rel­a­tive ease. The fivespeed au­to­matic gear­box might be be­hind times in the num­ber of ra­tios, but it is still a smooth op­er­a­tor and does well to keep the en­gine in the meaty band of its torque de­liv­ery.

We then switched from tar­mac and onto some gravel sec­tions where the ve­hi­cle’s sus­pen­sion was put to the test and it man­aged the ex­er­cise with ex­em­plary com­po­si­tion with lit­tle in the way of in­te­rior rat­tles and squeaks. It’s an ideal ve­hi­cle for long va­ca­tion fam­ily so­journs, thanks in part to its 842l of boot space be­hind the rear­most seats, which means that with well-judged pack­ing you can dis­pense with the need for a lug­gage trailer in tow.

With a start­ing price of R499,900 for the petrol H1 wagon, R464,900 for the diesel panel van and R629,900 for the diesel H1 wagon, the model con­tin­ues to be an ex­cel­lent propo­si­tion for both per­sonal and com­mer­cial use.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing, Stan­ley An­der­son, the mul­ti­cab ver­sion will only be of­fered on an or­der ba­sis, cit­ing a rel­a­tively low up­take of the model.

All come stan­dard with a five-year/90,000km service plan and seven-year/ 200,000km warranty.

An­der­son says the cur­rent H1 will carry on for the next two to three years be­fore an all-new model is in­tro­duced, giv­ing the model a long life cy­cle.

Mean­while, the com­pany has also an­nounced that it will in the fourth quar­ter in­tro­duce both the Kona (B-seg­ment cross­over) and the new Santa Fe. In­ter­est­ingly, the former will be play­ing in the same seg­ment as the Creta, so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see, first, how it is priced and, sec­ond, how this will af­fect Creta sales go­ing for­ward.

Price: On sale date: Max power: Max torque: Top speed: 0-100km/h: Com­bined con­sump­tion:

9.8l/100km

CO2 emis­sions: Star rat­ing:

257g/km

The front gets the most changes with that new chrome slat­ted grille. Left: Thee in­te­rior pro­vides space for nine, though eight fit more com­fort­ably.

The dash gets an in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem but nav­i­ga­tion is an op­tion.

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