Haval H1 - Is this Chinese SUV worth buying?

Haval H1 - Is this Chinese SUV worth buying?

Every now and then we come across pictures of ‘Chinese-version’ of famous cars. Chinese car manufacturers usually tend to ‘borrow’ various design clues from other cars of big brands. From Lamborghini Urus to Porsche Macan, you name it, and far across the east exists a Chinese version. However, there are many other Chinese automobile companies who do make ‘original’ products which, in fact, sell pretty good in their local market. One such popular brand is Haval. It has already launched its products in a number of countries. In Malaysia, it has got the H1 and H2. We’d be talking about the former, and discuss whether it’s worth spending your money or not.

1- Exterior

Haval H1 Exterior

Haval has done a great job when it comes to the looks of H1. It might not be the best-looking car in the segment, but its design is quite proportionate. Everything seems to be a well-thought taken step and not just an afterthought. The front end of the H1 is very clean with a simple grille and a big bumper with nice silver cladding. There are a couple of subtle lines on the bonnet, perhaps, to help reduce the drag. The headlights are nice and big and somehow gel with the overall stance of a crossover. We can’t imagine any other design of the headlights that would suit the H1 like this pair do.

Haval also got the side view of the H1 done pretty good. The design of the 16-inch alloy wheels eliminates the boredom from a side angle, and the slightly sloping roofline makes the H1 look a bit sportier. The rear end of the H1 is also in a good shape. The big and wide taillights look decent, and the bumper tries to keep things busy. The only thing that really feels odd in the overall appearance of the H1 is the ‘Haval’ logo. It just doesn’t fit in properly and seems to be done in a hurry. We’d have really liked to see something different and simpler just like the overall design of the vehicle.

2- Interior

Haval H1 INTERIOR

The Haval H1 will surprise you as soon as you’d enter its cabin. The grey and black color combination doesn’t look out of place. The fit and finish seem to have been done just right. The leather steering wheel looks chunky and has got mounted commands for audio, Bluetooth, and cruise control. 

The cabin feels quite spacious. There’s a good amount of leg and headroom for all the occupants. However, fitting three at the back could be quite a task. The seats provide decent comfort and have got stitches done in red; a nice touch. Haval has also given a touchscreen display in the centre of the dashboard. It isn’t something you’d boast about, but it gets the job done. The instrument cluster looks cool. It has a digital display too.

3- Engine and transmission

H1 Frame

Haval has provided only a single engine option with its H1. It's 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol unit will provide you with 105 PS of max power and generates a peak torque of 138 Nm. It isn’t an extraordinary engine but it’s more than sufficient for the kind of vehicle it’s fitted into. It comes mated to a 6-speed AMT unit, and there’s no option for a manual gearbox. The AMT isn’t the best of the lot. The gear shifts aren’t very smooth and seamless. The H1 isn’t meant to be driven enthusiastically. It wouldn't be able to keep up. Drive it calmly and it won’t disappoint you. Haval claims that the H1 would do a top speed of 160 kmph, and give a fuel efficiency of around 16-17 kmpl.

4- Ride and handling

Haval H1 side

Haval has made the H1 to be a family compact SUV. Comfort seems to be H1’s primary focus. Its suspension setup is towards the softer side, hence the drive is pretty comfortable but it compromises on performance, especially in the corners. It can deal with most of the unexpected potholes, and undulations of the road quite confidently and remains composed.

5- Price and availability

There are three variants of the H1 - Comfort, Premium, and Elite - which costs RM 61,950, RM 67,950 and RM 74,950 respectively. You can pick from 6 different colors - Sky Silver, Titanium White, Pearl Black, Ocean Blue, Fashionable Orange, and Jazz Red.

Verdict:

At this price point, the Haval H1 offers quite a lot on the table. It’s got features which you wouldn’t find in cars with a much higher price tag. The only aspect where H1 takes a hit is the brand. Since Haval is a Chinese brand which hasn’t been able to seep into the minds of the people via various marketing strategies like the other manufacturers. People aren’t much aware of it and are a bit sceptical when it comes to spending a good amount of money on such a car. But if you’re in the market looking to buy an affordable compact SUV for you and your family, do try the H1 while you’re on the hunt, it might just win your heart.

Explore Haval H1

Haval Car Models

  • Haval H9
    Haval H9
  • Haval H1
    Haval H1
  • Haval H2
    Haval H2
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