Haval, who call themselves the No. 1 SUV brand in China, has launched in Australia, bringing with them a range of AWD and 4WD vehicles. The Haval H2 and H8 are specifically soft-roaders, using turbocharged petrol engines (1.5 and 2 litres, respectively) and offering AWD capabilities without a transfer-case. The H2 is on the small end of the scall, and will compete with the likes of Nissan’s Qashqai and Toyta Rav4. The H8 is a bit bigger, and will go up against cars like the Toyota Kluger and Holden Captiva.
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One that we (naturally) found interesting was the range-topping H9 from the land of the red dragon. It’s got a wheelbase of 2,800 mm, and is powered by the same 2 litre engine that is in the H8 (160kW @ 5,500rpm, 324Nm @ 2,000-4,000 rpm). From that, you’re expected to get around 12.1L/100 km on a combined cycle. To put things in comparison, it has just about the same wheelbase as the popular Toyota LandCruiser Prado. The length, width and height are all pretty similar as well, although the Haval is slightly shorter, longer and wider.
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Here is a promotional video of the H9, which aside from showing it bashing through the countryside, shows it to be a full-time 4X4, with some off-road driving modes (mud, sand and snow), along with a sport mode.
The lack of a diesel engine in the line-up (the turbocharged petrol seems to be the only option) will limit the Haval’s buying base quite significantly, and it is going into very competive market that sports the likes of Toyota’s new Prado and Fortuner, along with Ford’s Everest and the other litany of 4X4-ute-based wagons (MU-X, Colorado 7, Challenger). Pricing for the H9 starts from $46,490, and then goes up to $50,990 for the ‘LUX’ version with goodies like 18-inch alloys, traction control and powered and ventilated front memory seats. These prices don’t include on-road costs.