Review Haval H2
There are useful features on the city SUV, an obvious facelift – but the drawbacks outweigh them.
It’s a good thing, Australia’s newest car brand that specializes in SUVs, because it has a mountain to climb.
Haval (pronounced “pebble”) follows half a dozen Chinese brands that have come, seen and failed to conquer the local market. Affected by poor quality, poor crash test results and at a stage of recalls involving deadly asbestos, the world’s largest car industry has found Oz to be a tough nut. broken.
The H2 is a compact city SUV that’s about the same size as the Mazda CX-3 or Honda HR-V. This is the smallest and cheapest car on the three-car launch list for Haval.
If Haval is worried about the lack of local badges, you wouldn’t know it. There are five badges on the car, including one on the grille, two on the rear windshield pillars and two on the rear of the vehicle. If that’s not enough, there’s one on the steering wheel and another on the gear lever. And to make them really stand out, silver writing is mounted on a bright red background.
The rest of the car is designed in a conservative style, with simple graphics and a dash that looks simple yet functional. Overall, it looks great together and the designers have used soft-touch materials that many competitors will use hard plastic, including the rear doors and armrests.
There are some weird things, including the wheel control on the steering wheel doesn’t do anything
The ample headroom at the front and rear is the same but the cargo space is not that large, hampered by a full-size attachment under the floor. Rear visibility is limited thanks to thick rear pillows and narrow rear windshield. There were a few quirks as well, including that the wheelchair control on the steering wheel did nothing. We also noticed a curious quibble with the cabin finish – there was a crease in the spoiler’s fabric that needed repair.
Under the introductory deal, buyers can get two exterior tones with a black or ivory roof, combined with a two-tone interior. After December 31, it will cost $ 750.
Back to town
H2 is a mixed bag in the city. The suspension normally copes well with cracks and potholes, providing a comfortable ride on most surfaces, but the turbocharged engine needs to revs on board to make meaningful progress.
This got annoying around town, especially during the guide we drove. Roll around a corner on an uphill ramp and you are almost always better off returning to first gear than waiting for the turbine to accelerate. It also sometimes produces annoying hum, as if the suspension or engine components are harmonizing.
Haval is also equipped with a bit of driver assistance lights, in addition to the reverse camera and sensors. There are no satnavs and no blind spot or off lane warnings. Automatic emergency braking is also unavailable. However, there’s an annoying “parking assistant” that adds visual parking instructions on the rear camera with a voice telling you how to park.
On the road
Try to get into a corner at speed and the H2 will lean on its tires until they quickly screech to apologize.
It may look like an off-road vehicle, but the H2 isn’t fully equipped for racetrack adventure. Ground clearance is only 133mm, compared with 155mm of Mazda3 and 220mm of Subaru XV. All-wheel drive is available but our test car drove only the front wheels.
The H2 feels sufficiently competent on the highway, where the engine, once it has found its sweet spot, is impressively refined to that occasional time-saver. The sound suppression is generally as good as many in the class, although the coarser surface does cause some tire undercarriage.
The H2’s steering is less precise, however, and it will wander the highway, requiring the driver to input frequently. Try to get into a corner at a fast pace and the H2 will lean on its tires until they quickly screech to apologize. In wet conditions, the tires slip.
The 1.5-liter engine spins slowly and has a very limited range of useful power (range from 2000 rpm to 4000 rpm). Drive in a sweet position and feel strong, drifting out of the comfort zone and slow or noisy.
The manual gearbox is relatively noisy, though the gear lever has a little more travel than expected. Official fuel consumption is poor for this vehicle at 9.0L / 100km (and only premium unleaded). However, we were close to getting there in heavy traffic.