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The Toyota Prado is one of Australia's most popular 4WDs and surely a Chinese rival can't compete? Well, the Haval H9 surprised everyone in this test - but can it beat the reigning champ? STAY UP TO DATE & CONNECT WITH US AT: http://facebook.com/motoring.com.au http://instagram.com/motoringcomau http://twitter.com/motoringcomau http://www.youtube.com/user/motoringchannel *************** WHO ARE WE EXACTLY? Motoring.com.au is Australia’s most comprehensive coverage of what’s new in the automotive space. Leveraging the resources and editorial expertise of Australia’s #1 Automotive web business, carsales.comLtd, motoring.com.au provides news, authoritative new vehicle launch coverage, reviews and practical advice guides plus an added dose of lively, entertaining automotive content. Informative, direct, qualified and correct, balanced and entertaining – Motoring.com.au’s voice will be fresh and friendly… Just don’t expect laddish or loutish – we’ll leave that to the others… motoring.com.au new car review auto news rare and classic car car comparisons motoringchannel Australia Automotive video review 2018 toyota
The DX7 is a compact SUV built by Soueast Motor on basis of the R7 concept unveiled at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. The production model was launched at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show, where it was named “Bolang” in Chinese. With a 2700mm wheelbase, it is 4537mm long, 1900mm wide, and 1700mm tall. A turbo 1.5L or turbo 2.0L will be employed. The DX7 is designed by Pininfarina.
GWM has been surfing the SUV wave in China longer than most. Its Haval H6 for many years challenged the Wuling Hongguang for the title of best selling model and in 2017, the H6 was finally replaced. It finished the year in third place behind SAIC, GM and Wuling's MPV and SAIC Volkswagen's Lavida. Could Great Wall's SUV brand be sinking or will it bounce back? Haval The brand which supposedly lets you 'Have It All' continues to expand outside China, although its global reach remains fairly limited. That will surely change within a few years as Great Wall starts to follow Geely (Lynk), Guangzhou Auto (GAC brand) and other majors in setting up sales outposts in the USA. It already has a very limited presence in some European markets but hasn't been very successful so far. For now, GWM seems to be wanting to continue exploiting the opportunity with SUVs in China, even if Haval and its supposedly premium newer division, Wey, are unable to command anything other than low prices. In 2017, close to 860,00 Haval SUVs and crossovers were sold, making this a more successful brand than Ford or Hyundai. That also compares favourably to Jeep in its home market (828,522). The American brand trumps Haval worldwide but how long can Jeep stay ahead? The smallest Haval is the H1. A pre-production version of this small SUV had its world premiere at April 2014's Beijing motor show, with the production model following four months later at the Chengdu show. The H1 is closely related to the larger H2 crossover. The H1 offers the choice of normally aspirated and turbocharged 1.5-litre four cylinder petrol engines. It went on sale in China during November 2014 and is due for a facelift later in 2018. This is needed soon, as sales fell to fewer than 19,000 units in 2017. The second generation H1 should appear in 2021 and it will be on a more modern platform. The H2, which is a rival for the Honda Vezel/HR-V, is the leader of its segment, with more than 200,000 sold in 2017. It had its global debut at the Shanghai motor show in April 2013. A pre-production model was exhibited at the Beijing show in April 2014. It went on sale in July 2014, launched with a standard 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This model might be the first vehicle for GWM's first full production plant in Russia. The factory is under construction in Tula: ground was broken in September 2015. The first cars are due to roll off the line later in 2018. Initial volume has been set at 150,000 vehicles/annum. The H6 being GWM's most popular vehicle is like saying that the F-Series is the best selling Ford: it isn't just the one model. There are in fact now three SUVs called H6. The first is the old shape model which has stayed in production and has ultra-low pricing, which explains its success. Great Wall sells the new H6 in Red Label and Blue Label forms. The second generation model is 40mm shorter but 40mm wider than the original. The market release took place in May 2017. There will be a facelift in 2020 and a third generation H6 in 2024. This one will use a new architecture and there will certainly be an electrified variant. The third model is the H6 Coupé. Now three years old, this SUV premiered as a concept at the Shanghai motor show in April 2013. It looked similar to a Range Rover Evoque five-door. Another concept, the Haval Coupé C, premiered at April 2014's Beijing motor show. The production model, launch at April 2015's Shanghai motor show, is nearly identical to the C concept. The Coupé, which is just about identical in size to the Mazda CX-5, is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and the only gearbox is a six-speed DCT. It is priced above the H6. Sales commenced in China in May 2015. Great Wall Motor caused much confusion at the Guangzhou motor show in November 2017 when it revealed a prototype of new model called Haval H6 Coupé. The company did not explain if this means that the existing model would be axed or instead renamed. The 4,649mm long M6 is yet another crossover for the Haval brand but the only one to start with an M not an H. It went on sale in China during July 2017. It is a little longer than the H6 with which it shares both a platform and an identical interior. The only engine is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit. Sales have not been strong so far. No facelift is expected and there should be a replacement as soon as 2022.
If you’ve not heard of the Haval H6, you’re probably not alone. In fact, if you didn’t even know that Haval was a thing, you’re still probably in the majority. The Chinese maker and its medium-sized H6 SUV are here to compete with the big players. The H6 fights in the largest segment of the SUV market, against the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Nissan X-Trail and all of those other very impressive, family friendly offerings. With two trim levels available, and aggressive pricing on both the entry-grade Premium and top-spec Lux tested here, the Haval H6 seemingly has something to make it stand out in the Australian market, offering customers who want a lot of car for their cash an alternative to the entry-level grades of the mainstream Korean and Japanese players. But in the midst of fierce competition, ever-sharpening prices and the continually expanding equipment lists of base model SUVs, is there really a place for this Chinese model? Until recently, the Haval H6 definitely offered truly good value for money. At launch it arrived with a base price of $31,990 drive-away for the entry-level Premium and $34,990 drive-away for this Lux version. But since then, there has been a lot of new model activity in the medium-SUV segment, and some hallmark players have added kit and dropped prices to boost sales and maintain relevance. The Premium comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, fog-lights, auto headlights and wipers, laser puddle lights, heated auto-folding side mirrors, tinted glass, roof-rails, cruise control, mood lighting, stainless-steel scuff plates, electric driver’s seat adjustment, fabric seat trim, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and push-button start, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and USB input. The Lux adds a panoramic sunroof, heated front and rear seats, power-adjustable passenger seat, fake leather trim, its sound system gains a sub-woofer, and it has better headlights - xenon units with auto levelling - plus 19-inch wheels. There are seven colours to choose from, six of which are metallics that attract a $495 premium. Buyers can even choose between a range of different coloured interiors; the Premium has the choice of black or grey/black, while the Lux has black, grey/black or brown/black. And there are deals to be had. The H6 Premium can now be had at $29,990 drive-away with free sat nav (usually $990 more) and a $500 gift card. You’ll get the Lux for $33,990 drive-away. The H6 doesn’t have sat nav fitted as standard in any spec, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto phone mirroring technology isn’t available at all. Safety kit is respectable, if not class-leading, with a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, six airbags, dual ISOFIX child-seat attachment points (and three top-tether hooks), and blind-spot monitoring included in both variants. It doesn’t look very much like the other models in Haval’s range, and that’s a good thing. The H2, H8 and H9 all have the rounded edges of yesteryear, where the H6 is sharper, smarter, more sophisticated. It looks more European than Chinese, to my eye. The proportions of the Haval H6 are quite fetching - the brand, cheekily, labels it the H6 Coupe in its home market. It has lines in the right places, a shapely silhouette and a pert backside, all of which combine to give it a certain presence on the road. It is more stylish than a few of its class compatriots, that’s for sure. And the Lux model rolls on 19-inch wheels, which certainly help in that regard. The interior, though, isn’t as amazing, despite looking inviting. There’s a lot of fake wood and hard plastic, and it doesn’t have the ergonomic intelligence of the better SUVs in the class. The swooping roofline makes for difficult rearward vision, too, with a letterbox rear windscreen and thick D-pillars.
Competing against Toyota’s ubiquitous LandCruiser Prado, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, the Chinese-made Haval H9 arrives refreshed for 2018 with locally-tuned steering and suspension. The MY18 revision also adds grunt increased safety technology. Retailing from $41,990 (plus on-road costs) the H9 is cheaper than its predecessor, and also better equipped. But is it enough to give the petrol-only seven-seater a leg-up on Australia’s favourite SUVs?
When we first drove the Haval H9 on Aussie soil back in 2016 it was obvious the up-and-coming marque was in need of a little polish.
On paper it ticked a lot of boxes – it was very well-equipped and it certainly had price on its side – but was in need of a little work where steering, suspension and electronic chassis controls were concerned; three key changes Haval has made to this MY18 update.
The family-sized H9 SUV continues to offer seating for seven and dual-range four-wheel drive, and in this respect it competes directly with the likes of the Ford Everest and Toyota LandCruiser Prado.
But with only a 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine under the bonnet (up 20kW/26Nm for 2018), the H9’s touring range and low-end grunt are still noticeably shy of gutsier turbo-diesel rivals.
Of course, not every H9 owner will want to tackle the Canning Stock Route, but with a 10 per cent improvement in fuel consumption – assisted by the inclusion of idle-stop technology and a new eight-speed ZF-sourced 8HP70 automatic transmission – the H9’s theoretical cruising range of just over 700km now gives it half a chance.
Add to that a now-standard All-Terrain Control System (ATCS) on both model grades and the H9’s off-road potential is greatly improved.
The six-mode system – Auto, Sand, Snow, Mud, 4L and Sport – adapts to the prevailing conditions, and combines with ground clearance of 206mm and a wading depth of 700mm for class-competitive ability. Haval lists the H9’s approach, break-over and departure angles at 28, 23 and 23 degrees respectively. Braked towing capacity is rated at 2500kg.
Haval has also addressed concerns surrounding the vehicle’s ride, handling and steering. In conjunction with Australian off-road specialists Ironman 4X4 it has developed heavier springs, upgraded shock absorber valving and minor changes to toe-in to make the H9 better suited to Australian conditions.
The H9 now also includes blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert as standard to bolster safety.
Although it still misses out on autonomous emergency braking and active cruise control – changes expected in an update later this year – the six airbags (including full-length side curtains), Bosch-sourced stability and traction control, driver fatigue monitoring, hill-descent control, hill-hold assist, tyre-pressure monitoring, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist are notable inclusions.
The H9 last received a four-star ANCAP safety rating when tested in 2015. Haval expects a five-star result when the H9 is retested later this year.
For occasional four-wheel drivers wanting the city-focussed luxuries, the H9 offers plenty.
It now features five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, Haval’s all-terrain control four-wheel drive system with electronic rear differential lock, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, and a power socket located in the centre armrest on LUX variants (from $41,990 drive-away).
The new up-spec H9 Ultra (from $45,990 drive-away) gains a panoramic roof, heated steering wheel, Comfort-Tek eco-leather upholstery (heated in the first and second row), and an Infinity premium audio system.
Haval offers the H9 with a five-year/100,000km warranty and included roadside assistance program. Service intervals are set at six months/10,000km intervals (whichever comes first) with a Service Price Menu akin to capped-price servicing available – though oddly detailed only at Haval dealerships and not on the company’s website.