Hyundai H1 review

Hyundai H1 CRDi bus

Both the Hyundai H1 bus and van take Hyundai to the front in the standard or medium size van and kombi segment. The Koreans have got it just right. A willing engine, good road holding, space and excellent build quality. It is also good looking and a pleasure to drive. I was impressed.

With the recent addition of the 2.5 TDi diesel engine to the package which has a cavernous interior, excellent cabin, superb equipment levels and good road manners I predict the H1 will dominate the medium van and bus segment. There is not a better buy.

The H1 bus comes with aircon which has temperature and speed control for the back vents, sound system with aux input, alloy wheels, leather upholstery and ABS.

What’s good  

The H1 has sliding doors on both sides making for very easy access. Seats are comfortable, especially the front seats.

The driving position is excellent with all round visibility and all controls in easy reach. The cabin is well designed with a myriad storage spaces and a good feel to it. The quality of interior finishes and materials is excellent as is the switchgear. It is a pleasant place to be.

The H1 is easy to manoeuvre and to drive. Steering requires only a light touch and the breaks are excellent. The automatic gearbox has been very well matched to the CRDi engine which gives good consumption figures of around 10 litres/100km. The H1 has plenty of usable power and torque and never strains to carry its load. Acceleration (especially when overtaking) and top speed are both good for this type of vehicle. It almost feels nippy.

It’s like driving a large powerful car, even around corners.

The park distance control system makes parking a breeze, as it is quite a wide vehicle and 5m long.

What’s bad

The petrol engines do this vehicle a disservice. They are underpowered and feel anaemic. The bus does not have a lot of space in the back if you need luggage space for all 7 or especially 9 passengers. The volume control for the radio is a little far away from the steering wheel. To some the looks are a little too conservative and commercial.

It could be argued that it is a little small compared to the Toyota Quantum or Mercedes Vito but to many that may be a plus.


I recommend you get the diesels. Forget about the petrol models. Drive the Hyundai and you will probably choose it above the competition, especially when you factor in the price and service plan.

The Hyundai CRDi panel van costs R264 900 and the bus R373 900. Competitors include the VW T5 Kombi at R449 000 ( thats R90k more!), Mercedes Vito  R392 616, FIAT Scudo R396 900, Nissan Primastar/ Opel Vivaro R329 000 (a bit smaller).

Included in the price are the very good 5 year / 150 000 km warranty, 5 year / 100 000 service plan and roadside assistance.

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