In the three years since the Haval brand, a subsidiary of GWM, entered the South African market we have seen the Chinese automaker go from strength-to-strength.
The compact H2 model has been updated after the 7 235 units of outgoing version were sold across South Arica. We travelled to the Western Cape to sample the newcomer and ascertain whether or not it has what it takes in this highly competitive segment.
The H2 has always been a rather good looking small SUV, no doubt one of the reasons why it has been so popular with local consumers. Those familiar with the previous H2 will notice the new front grille, reshaped bumper, new LED headlights, redesigned alloy wheels, updated taillamps, a chrome strip in the centre of the boot as well as larger dual exhaust outlets.
The interior of the H2 is competitive for this segment. Additions to the facelift model include updated seats which offer improved support, an updated infotainment system which offers Apple CarPlay functionality but not Android Auto. Other features include cruise control and Bluetooth functionality on the steering wheel, an electronic parking brake and a reverse camera to name a few.
Under the bonnet
One of the elements that remains unchanged with the H2 is its engine and gearbox. The 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit produces 105 kW and 202 N.m but returns poor fuel consumption. The cars at the launch were equipped with a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox while a six-speed manual is also an option. Besides the lacklustre engine, the H2 displays a respectable level of compliance and comfort on the move.
Safety and specification
The H2 achieved a 5 Star ANCAP crash test safety rating that was carried out back in 2017. The new model now comes with six airbags as standard across the range. Other safety features include ABS, keyless entry, a tyre pressure monitoring system and well as an ESP, rounding off a solid safety package.
Standard specification on the H2 is impressive, with the Luxury models featuring LED headlamps, artificial leather seats, electric rear-view mirrors, electric windows all-round, climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof. The lower-spec City models get fabric seats, manual airconditioning, halogen headlamps and a polyurethane steering wheel to name a few.
The H2’s success within the local market is well-warranted, it offers a great value proposition, is practical and well specified. An improved engine will make the H2 a package that is impossible to ignore, but for now, it’s simply worth a test drive when shopping in this segment.
Warranty and service
All Haval H2 models come with a five-year/100 000km warranty as well as a five-year/ 60 000km service plan.
H2 City 6MT R269 900
H2 Luxury 6MT R294 900
H2 City 6MT R304 900
H2 Luxury 6AT R329 900