It’s a gloomy Monday in Gauteng our test @havalsouthafrica H2 City Manual is keeping us smiling. Priced from R249,900; you’ll struggle to find similarly priced quality and value elsewhere. There of course areas of improvement. More on the practical side though. Large door bins that don’t hold bottles upright, and cup holders that make drinks get in the way of the gear lever. Those are issues we think we can live with at the price of the car. Just in case you don’t know who Haval is, they are a division of Chinese manufacturer, Great Wall Motors (or just GWM), and they sell most SUVs in China. To address any fears of reliability, the price is inclusive of a 5 year or 60,000km service plan, a 5 year or 100, 000km warranty plus 5 years or unlimited km roadside assist. Written and a video review coming soon. @klyvque #havalh2 #h2 #haval #chinese #suv #china #monday #mcm #mondaymotivation #savings #budget 📸 @astropappi_ @theenomgqibelo @hlomlahlangani
By Funizwe klyvQue
“Made in China” is a phrase synonymous with mediocrity. Despite a lot of products being made in China, majority of them are not natively designed – barring knock offs and the like. I must admit, I had similar negative preconceptions about the Haval H2 1.5T when it was assigned to me for review. These were made worse by the fact that Haval is not only made in China, it is also designed in China.
So, who is Haval and were my negative preconceptions shifted? Haval is the premium arm of Great Wall Motors (or just GWM). The company specializes in Crossovers and SUVs. In 2016, GWM sold more than a million units and this makes it the best-selling SUV brand in China. These numbers are intriguing and definitely raise an eyebrow. I was really keen to see what a million buyers were after.
The H2 for review came in a 1.5 Turbo manual transmission that produces 105kW and 202Nm, in the City trim level. Starting price is R249,900. This trim is available in automatic as well, and that option will cost you an extra R35,000, which gives you. the Electronical Stability Program (ESP) and Electronic Parking Brake (EPB).
My first impression of the car’s exterior was that it looks good, especially in the Sleek Silver metallic paint option on the review car. It has a huge grill dominating the front, LED daylight driving lights (which come as standard) and fog lights covered in silver accents that match the grill. The indicators are located on the side mirrors and are colour coated like the door handles. I really liked this look, as I am not a fan of shiny plastic used to mimic an aluminum trim. Wrapping up the back are LED rear lights and a roof spoiler. Overall, I was genuinely impressed with how the car looked.
The theme continued inside the car with the interior. The choice of good quality materials were used where it matters. Hard plastics were found around the door pockets and glove box. This is, however, the case with many cars in this segment and above. While materials were good, there were some minor issues with fit and finish in some areas but nothing of concern especially if you consider the price point of the vehicle, and the features that come as standard with this trim level. Also standard is a reach and rake adjustable steering wheel, multi-function steering wheel, electronic mirrors, Bluetooth, cruise control, gearshift indicator, trip computer, tire pressure monitor with temperature, keyless entry, and rear parking sensors. Parents will also be happy to see the ISOfix points for child seats.
All this added up to a car that drove well, has some of the most comfortable seats and was decently insulated from road noises. The draw backs that will affect the day to day living with this car are the side mirrors. They are a little on the big side – which obscures visibility, particularly on right turns. The side pockets are decently sized but were not molded to fit juice bottles. This being an SUV, you’re limited to two front cup holders which are located very close to the gear lever which is ergonomically a negative point. The boot is also small for a car this size geared for a family. The test unit also suffered from gears which were not smooth in the mornings. This cleared after about twenty minutes of driving. Other than that – this was overall a car that shifted my preconceptions for the better. A genuinely good car.
The H2 also comes in Luxury trim and gets more features than that in the City trim at a price of R309,900 for the automatic trim level. All H2s are offered with a 5 year 100,000km warranty, road side assistance and a 60,000km service plan.
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