Haval boosts SUV en­try with flag­ship cut-price 4x4 model

MO­TOR SHOWS

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Ler­ato Matebese

Haval’s SUV on­slaught will be fur­ther bol­stered by the in­tro­duc­tion of its flag­ship model, the H9, the com­pany’s first four-wheel drive model since its in­tro­duc­tion in SA in 2017.

Due to ar­rive here at the end of Septem­ber after its of­fi­cial un­veil­ing at the Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor­ing at Kyalami last week­end, the seven-seater SUV is ex­pected to have much stan­dard kit and un­der­cut most ri­vals on price which, at R599,000, presents a size­able value-for­money propo­si­tion.

The H9 is the fifth lux­ury SUV model in the Haval range to be launched in SA in less than 18 months and joins a com­pre­hen­sive lineup that in­cludes the H1 (not to be con­fused with Hyundai’s), the H2 and H6 model ranges.

“Haval ar­rived in SA in May 2017 and we started 12 months ago with just three Haval deal­ers,” says Charles Zhao, MD of Haval Mo­tors SA. “By the end of June 2018 we had no less than 29 Haval deal­ers coun­try­wide thanks to full fac­tory backup from our par­ent com­pany in China,” Zhao says.

Size-wise, the H9 is sim­i­lar to the likes of the Toyota Prado and fea­tures a body-on-frame un­der­pin­ning, while the cabin ap­point­ments take a slightly more pre­mium feel, fit and fin­ish with fairly plusher ma­te­ri­als than any pre­ced­ing Haval.

Tak­ing cen­tre stage is an eight-inch touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment screen com­plete with nav­i­ga­tion, while the front leather seats are elec­tri­cally ad­justable and have a mas­sag­ing func­tion to boot.

The H9 will be pow­ered by a 2.0l turbo petrol en­gine with 180kW and 350Nm cou­pled to a ZF-sourced eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The trans­fer case for the 4x4 sys­tem is sourced from Borg Warner, while the ABS sys­tem is from Bosch. Play­ing in a seg­ment where most of­fer­ings are diesel pow­ered, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how the H9 fares with its sole petrol en­gine de­riv­a­tive.

For off-road en­thu­si­asts the H9 comes with a low-range mode, while there are also vary­ing ter­rain modes in­clud­ing mud, sand and snow. It also has auto and sport mode.

Ac­tive safety fea­tures in­clude a host of airbags, seat belt pre­ten­sion­ers, Isofix child seat an­chors, a tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem and driver sta­tus de­tec­tion sys­tem.

Elec­tronic driver aids in­clude brake as­sist, hill-start as­sist control, roll move­ment in­ter­ven­tion and lane-change alert. Blind spot de­tec­tion and cross-traf­fic mit­i­ga­tion sys­tems are in place, items usu­ally on the op­tions list for most ri­vals.

The model will have a fiveyear/60,000km ser­vice plan and five-year/100,000km fac­tory war­ranty.

The H9 has a mod­ern and as­sertive SUV de­sign up front.

The rear with its ver­ti­cal light clus­ters is sim­i­lar to the Toyota Prado.

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