Haval’s smart cabin is a real game changer
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Spec levels are generous, with higher models getting electrically adjustable driver’s seat, auto headlamps and wipers, and stability control. Even the bottom-of-the range Haval H2 comes standard with a trip computer, cruise control, audio system with Bluetooth, electric windows, reverse radar, and aircon. But it’s the cabin quality that is a game changer compared to what we’ve experienced in Chinese vehicles before. In 2013 Great Wall Motors hired former BMW M-division design chief Pierre Leclercq as its vice president of design, and his work shows in the H2’s modern exterior styling and smart interior finishes, which includes a rich-feeling soft-touch dashboard that is more commonly found in more expensive vehicle segments.
It’s a roomy cabin that will comfortably seat two rows of adults and the boot - which contains a full-size spare wheel - is a decent size even without the rear seats flipped down.
A brief test drive around the Kyalami circuit, where last week’s media launch was held, also confirmed that the H2 has good mechanical refinement and clean cornering manners. Powering all versions is a four-cylinder 1.5 petrol turbo with outputs of 110kW and 210Nm, which comfortably outpowers most of its class rivals. It makes decent oomph and stays fairly silent, while wind noise is also well surpressed.
The two transmissions on offer - a six speed manual and six speed auto - both operated smoothly and fitted in with the rest of a seemingly well-sorted drivetrain.
The Haval H2 is being pitched into a highly competitive market segment to traditionally Chinese-wary consumers, but on first impressions this vehicle presents a value-for-money package without any noticeable build-quality shortcuts.
After-sales peace of mind includes a 5 year/100 000km warranty, 5 year/60 000km service plan, and 5 year/unlimited mileage road side assistance.
HAVAL PRICING H2 1.5T City manual - R244 900 H2 1.5T City auto - R279 900 H2 1.5T Premium manual - R254900 H2 1.5TH Premium auto - R289 900 H2 1.5T Luxury manual - R274 900 H2 1.5T Luxury auto - R309 900
HAVAL H2 VS RIVALS Haval H2 110kW/210 Nm (priced R244 900 to R309 900) Ford Ecosport 1.0T Titanium 92kW/170Nm - R307 900 Ford Ecosport 1.5 Titanim auto 82kW/138Nm - R321 900 Hyundai Creta 1.6 Executive 90kW/150Nm - R319 900 (R339 900 auto) Mazda CX-3 2.0 Active 115kW/ 204Nm - R284 800 (R302 100 auto) Mazda CX-3 2.0 Dymanic - R310 700 (R322 700 auto) Mazda CX-3 2.0 Individual auto - R365 400 Nissan Qashqai 1.2T 85kW/190Nm - R330 900 Opel Mokka x 1.4 Turbo Enjoy Visia 103kW/200Nm - R317 500 Renault Captur 1.2T Dynamique auto 88kW/190Nm - R304 900 Toyota C-HR 1.2T 85kW/185Nm - R318 500 Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL 86kW/151Nm - R267 900 Suzuki Vitara 1.6GL+ - R303 900 (R321 900 auto)
Neat interior execution, including a soft-touch dashboard.