By Otsile Kadiege
Compact Sports Utility Vehicles are ever-growing in popularity and it seems like most manufacturers are hopping onto the bandwagon hoping to get a significant share from a highly-contested segment. One such a manufacturer is Great Wall Motors (GWM), which owns luxury automakers Haval and Wey. Haval and Wey has quite an extensive list of attractive SUVs, however we are going to focus on one which caught our attention – the Haval Chitu. The Chitu is said to be a replacement of the Haval F5 which debuted back in 2018.
The Chitu is a far better looking compact crossover SUV compared to the awkwardly shaped F5 it replaces. One can instantly recognise the Chitu as a Haval as it shares a handful of design cues with the new Jolion and H6. Up front the Chitu has a large AMG-like grille thanks to its vertical slats. It’s flanked by striking LED headlights, LED fog lights and vertical daytime running lights (DRLs).
Its lower front-end boasts a prominent front spoiler whereas the side profile isn’t as busy as the front and keeps things rather simple with a sharp crease above its door handles, contrasting wheel arches and stunning 18-inch wheels. Highlights at its rear-end includes a light strip connecting with the tail lights, Haval lettering above the trunk release, a boot spoiler and a faux rear diffuser.
According to China Mobil, the Chitu is 4470mm long, 1898mm wide, 1625mm high and has a wheelbase of 2700mm.
Interior design and technology
Inside, the Chitu is strikingly similar to Haval’s latest offerings. The cockpit looks like it has been lifted off the Jolion and that’s by no means a bad thing as it looks stunning and has an upmarket feel. However, Haval added a contrasting strip on the air vents, embossed boomerang-like patterns on the dashboard and a traditional gear knob on the centre console. It also features a floating a 10-inch touch display, a 12.5-inch digital instrument cluster, head-up display and a panoramic sunroof.
Safety and driver assistance systems
The Haval Chitu comes with ABS, EBD, ESP, TCS, 6 airbags, ISOFIX anchor points, PDC, TPMS, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Blind Spot Assist, 360-degree view camera and automatic parking system on higher grade models.
Powering the Chitu is a turbopetrol 1.5 litre4-cylinder engine making 135kW and 275Nm paired to a 7-speed DCT. Power is fed to the front wheels and 0-100 km/h is achieved in 7.7 seconds.
The Haval Chitu is quite an attractive package thanks to its sporty exterior design, premium-looking cabin and a powertrain that has more power than the Jolion. Pricing, however would give Haval SA a headache should they consider selling it locally as the Jolion is already one of the most attainable SUVs currently on sale in SA.
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