Turning the corner
Newly launched Haval H2 makes impressive strides for Chinesebuilt vehicles
IN A local market that has seen its fair share of fly-by-night Chinese brands, Great Wall Motors is one that has stood out for achieving a measure of staying power. It has sold over 55 000 GWMs and enters its tenth year of operation in South Africa.
It is now fully controlled by the Chinese parent company and the local subsidiary has been rebranded Haval Motors South Africa. It will continue selling GWM Steed bakkies and reintroduce the GWM H5 and H6 SUVs, and also introduces the more upmarket Haval SUVs to the local scene. Haval is the premium sub-brand of GWM and the best-selling SUV brand in China, with over one million units sold there last year.
The first to come our way from the Haval stable is the H2, a well-specced compact SUV that is pitched against competitors like the Ford Ecosport, Nissan Qashqai, Suzuki Vitara and Mazda CX-3 to name a few.
Available in front wheel drive only, the H2 sells in a range of six derivatives priced between 245 grand and 310 grand, making it competitively priced against its abovementioned rivals which sell in the 268 to 330 grand range.
Unlike so many cheap and nasty Chinese vehicles I’ve experienced, the Haval H2 seems like it’s turned a corner with its much better levels of quality, refinement and safety.
ABS brakes and airbags (two in the baseline version and six in all the others) are standard across the range, and the H2 scored a five-star rating in the Chinese NCAP crash test. Continued on Page 3