Top reasons to buy Haval H1

Top reasons to buy Haval H1

KUALA LUMPUR: The Made in China tag still comes with a bit of skepticism all over the World. But just like their smartphone brands, slowly and surely their products are also becoming more popular. Chinese cars are not exactly new here in Malaysia anyway. Now, they are becoming more popular here. It is probably because they have improved their manufacturing practices and started making original cars instead of cheap knockoffs.    

The Haval M4 Elite was rebranded as the H1 back in 2017 after the company itself was rebranded from Great Wall. Keeping with the tradition of unintentionally funny names, Haval is meant to stand for “Have All’. If the “Made in China” badge, low visibility on roads and low resale value and nonexistent brand loyalty don’t deter you, then here are a few reasons why you might want to give the H1 a shot.  

1) Surprising interior quality and equipment levels

Haval H1 Cabin

Since the Haval stands for “Have All”, the interior needs to deliver on many aspects. And for the most part, it surprisingly does. Its stocky boxlike construction is best suited to seat 4 although meant for 5. Headroom is great but the legroom is a bit tight. The rear seats don’t lean back and feel too upright. It still does fair well on the comfort front, making it best for short drives in the city. Cabin is quieter and more comfortable than many more expensive cars in the segment. There are leather seats on all except the base model. A 2-din speaker system also comes as standard. The steering wheel is festooned with controls for audio and cruise control functions. The DVD infotainment system uses a touchscreen interface that also has navigation on the higher variants. The most expensive Elite variant also comes with a reversing camera while the rest have to do with a rearview mirror with smart tagging.    

2) Smart exteriors

Haval H1 Front

This mini SUV is no copycat. It has great overall proportions for city driving. The rebranding replaced the honeycomb grille with a more conventional horizontal chrome affair. The slim grille goes very well with the Poly-Eclipse Projector headlamps and the DRLs. The overall look is very mature with no unnecessary curves or lines. The rear by comparison is fairly unremarkable. Except for the fact that there are rear fog lights. The build quality is good and solid. Wheels sit in deep wells and there is a good amount of ground clearance to get over potholes.   

3) Safety and build quality

Haval H1 Safety

Chinese vehicles were not really famous for having the best safety record. However, they were quick to realize that they needed to make their cars safer if they wanted to have any footprint outside China. The H1 is a great step in this direction. It is the bestselling SUV brand in China and its current level of standard safety equipment should explain why. All variants come standard with ABS with EBD, Hill start assist and TCS draft control along with seatbelts and airbags all around.   

4) Affordable ownership

Chinese in the car world seems almost synonymous with cheap. The Haval H1 is no exception. The base Comfort variant of the H1 sells for just below RM 62000. The top-spec Elite variant RM 75300. These prices are half what you would expect to spend on comparable SUVs from other manufacturers. Add to this the 7 year warranty with unlimited mileage and the H1 might start to look like a very nice proposition indeed. What’s even better, the company recently ran a scheme to show off its confidence in the car. This was a buyback guarantee that promised owners 50% of the car’s resale value if it was resold to the company within five years.

The Chinese are here and they badly want us to buy their cars. If you are still cynical then remember the Japanese in their early years. They were getting the same criticisms as the Chinese are facing now. And look where they are now.

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