Haval Helderberg ups their game

The new home of Haval in the Helderberg is at 133 Main Road, Strand on the left going from Broadway, across the way of Battery World. The showroom is quite big, befitting a top ten brand which is now selling in excess of a thousand units a month and growing.

Lindela Betya, Ian Richards (Sales Manager), Steven Brits and Maree Volschenk proudly showing off their cars in front of the branch.

Last year for example the brand enjoyed 300% growth in Australia. The workshop is also a fully fledged Bosch service centre.

Haval is part of the Great Wall Motors group (GWM) which has now been selling Steed bakkies for a decade in this country. They are starting to see bakkies being serviced with 350 000 to 400 000 km on the clock and still going strong. The Steed bakkies carry a 5-year or 100 000 warranty as do all Haval SUVs. Later this year the bigger Steed 7 model will join the Steed 6 on the sales floor. It is about the same size as a Hi Lux and is designed to take the larger double cab bakkies on, and will also have 4×4 and an auto box in the line up.
The best selling mid-sized SUV, the H2, which gets about 400 new owners each month has recently been facelifted and upgraded. It together with the smallish H1 are the best sellers in the Helderberg. The larger H6 C is suitable for families while the H9 is like a Pajero offering full 4×4 and an auto box and seems to be very off-road capable. I drove a H9 in the dunes and can confirm that a little sand does not bother it.

So confident are Haval about their SUVs, they offer a full five year warranty, a five year or 60 000 km service plan and roadside assistance for five years on all models except for a slightly reduced three year or 45 000 km service plan for the H1. The warranty of the H1 is also five years.

Speaking to Ian Richards, the Sales Manager at Haval Helderbeg you can feel the excitement he and his sales team of six have for the Haval brand and about their newly refurbished dealership.

To make it easy for you to view the Havals there will be a display in the Somerset Mall from 25 February to 2 April. So go along and get a feel for the newcomer (locally) on the block, which is already making waves and disrupting the market.

Jessie Mupazviriwo, Liezel Coleridge, Maree Voschenk, Steven Brits, Lindela Betya and Sales Manager Ian Richards with a gaggle of H1 and H2 SUVs.

Hyundai H1 Multicab 2.5 VGTi 6 Seater Diesel 5-spd automatic van review

Hyundai H1 Multicab 2.5 TDi

As Hyundai says: Big on Space. Big on comfort. Big on features.

All the H1 models drive and handle like a car. My wife raves about driving them. She says they are so very easy to drive. Not intimidating at all. The Multicab is a kind of blend of a van and a minibus. Almost a doublecab, on steroids.

There is a solid firmly mounted bulkhead with a large window between the cargo area and the passenger area. The front, or passenger area will seat 5 adults in comfort although the front row can theoretically seat a sixth passenger.

The step and grab handles make it easy to get into and to exit. It has sliding doors on both sides for the rear seats.

The cargo area of 2.5m² has a robust rubbery finish on most surfaces with burglar bars on the windows for added security. Dimensions are 1 585(l) x 1620(w) x 1350(h). Four bicycles fit in the back with ease.

The H1 has airbags upfront, ventilated disc brakes with ABS, EBD and ESC, together with the solid bulkhead ensures  safety is looked after.

I can see why the H1 is enjoying very good sales, and why the Multicab should also do so.

The good

As with all the H1’s we have tested the build quality is excellent. No rattles or squeaks and doors close with a satisfying solid sounding klunk.

The interior has a variety of cup holders, two glove boxes, electric windows, excellent air-conditioner with under seat vents, courtesy lights for the doors and at the back, a good sound system and an easy to use effective sound system which is MP3/USB/Aux/iPod compatible.

Visibility is especially good. The seats are comfortable and the drivers position is highly adjustable. Not only is their a lot of space but there is a feeling of space too. The H1 will be a very good touring vehicle.

The switchgear and controls feel solid and work well, being very intuitive.

The exterior styling is very clean and pleasing to the eye. The H1 looks solidly planted on the road.

The bad

Some interior finishes are a little hard.

The bulkhead cannot be removed quickly to accommodate longer loads so the longest effective length that can be put into the cargo area is about 1.8m.

Driving impression

The H1 drives like a big car. It is easy to park because you can see all 4 corners and the steering is light. The 2.5 diesel engine is both frugal and responsive with 125kW of power and 392Nm of torque at 2 000 giving  a top speed of 180km/h and easy cruising at the legal limit. Hyundai claims a 0 to 100 time of 14.9 seconds and 60 to 100km/h of 8.7 seconds, which is quite nippy. Fuel consumption is around 9.8litre/km in general use, but drops on the open road to 8.

Their is relatively little body roll for a car of this size and height. The brakes work well and are predictable.

Both my wife and I enjoyed driving the H1. Although it is a big vehicle, it is urban friendly.

Conclusion

The H1 Multicab is a winner, waiting to be discovered. It is one of the most practical pleasant cars I have tested. I recommend the diesel version.

The H1 comes with a 5 Year / 150 000 km Manufacturer’s Warranty, 5 year / 90 000 km service plan and 5 Year / 150 000 km roadside assistance.

Prices

The automatic diesel model as tested costs R 339 900.00. The petrol model is cheaper at R 279 900.00 and is a manual only.

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.

Conclusion

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.