MOTORING NEWS - Haval, the professional SUV division of GWM, is breaking new ground with the introduction of its first four-wheel drive model in South Africa. Joining the South African range of its two-wheel drive small SUV derivatives, the 1,5-litre H1, H2 and H6, the large 7-seater H9 is powered by the 180kW, 2,0-litre petrol turbo also found in the H6C.
Haval is making huge strides in the South African family SUV market after the brand's local introduction just over a year ago.
"Haval arrived in South Africa in May 2017. We started a year ago with just three Haval dealers," says Charles Zhao, managing director of Haval Motors South Africa. "By the end of June 2018 we had 29 Haval dealers countrywide thanks to full factory back-up from our parent company in China."
The H9 is the fifth luxury SUV model in the Haval range to be launched in South Africa in less than 18 months. The brand is represented in George by GWM George.
The big new seven-seater H9 has outperformed much more expensive rivals in other right-hand drive markets, and drew high praise from judges in Australia's 4x4 awards in 2017, where it was noted as "a machine rugged enough to survive the Australian outback".
The H9 is powered by the 180kW version of the brand's own award-winning 2,0-litre petrol engine with double-channel turbo charging. The engine delivers its maximum power output at 5 500rpm, with maximum torque of 350Nm from 1 800rpm all the way up to 4 500rpm, which allows superior pull-away and acceleration.
Although the engine is an in-house development, Haval uses the German engineered ZF 8-speed, 4WD transmission.
The transmission boasts Paddle Shift for precision off-road driving, allowing the H9 to tackle the toughest terrain with comfort and elegance.
The driver can select the most appropriate real-time road mode from six options (AUTO, 4L, Sport, Sand, Snow, and Mud) via the multi-functional display knob on the secondary instrument panel. This allows the system to automatically control the driving and braking force to achieve the best performance.
The Haval H9 has a body-on-frame design with a high-strength frame for outstanding rigidity in strenuous conditions. Under the skin, side-impact collision bars, front and back crumple zones and an energy-absorbing steering column protect the occupants in the event of a collision.
Active safety features include all-round airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners, Isofix child seat anchors, a tyre pressure monitoring system and driver status detection system, all guaranteeing the safety of occupants.
Electronic driver aids include ABS, brake assist and electronic stability programme (ESP), hill-start assist control (HAC), roll movement intervention), as well as cross-traffic alert and lane-change alert.
The vehicle has leather seats in three rows, including an eight way electrically adjustable driver seat with lumbar support and memory function. The front passenger gets a four way electrically adjustable seat with ventilation and massage. The second row is manually adjustable and there are electrically foldable twin seats in the third row. Other features include three-zone climate control air conditioning, an advanced multi-media system with an 8" touchscreen and integrated satellite navigation.
The considerable storage space design meets the everyday needs of the business executive as well as the playful adventurer.
Three ambient light variations, located at the bottom of the instrument panel as well as the door trim panels, create a relaxed colour-enhanced atmosphere.
The 7" touchscreen integrates perfectly with the analogue instruments. The background on the display has three colour-changing modes that tie in with the drive terrain modes.
Considerable storage space is found throughout the cabin. Door pocket covers, cup holders front and back, central container and glasses box, a lockable glove box and rear armrest container, as well as front row seatback storage bags and third row cup holders, offer a host of nooks and crannies for storage of small items.
The second row of seats have a 60/40 split, while the twin seats in the third row can be divided 50/50 and folded into the floor to increase luggage space. With the rear seats folded down, the H7 boasts a luggage volume of 747 litres.
Automatic headlights with a built-in cleaning system, day-time running lights, fog lights front and rear and side step illumination mean the new H9 won't keep anyone in the dark. The H9 has an adaptive front-lighting system which meets all illumination needs, including focusing the headlights around bends to improve safety.
Other exterior features include a panoramic sunroof, shark-fin antenna, roof rails, side steps and stylish 18" aluminium alloy wheels.
The new model is available as the H9 2,0 Petrol 4WD Luxury and is priced at R599 900. The H9 has a five year or 100 000km warranty, a five year or 60 000km service plan and five year unlimited km roadside assistance.
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