Haval H9 seven-seat SUV makes waves in NZ
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Go back a decade and most Kiwis welcomed the arrival of a new Korean car with a collective ‘meh’, assuming sub-par engineering and finish. Nowadays though, the Koreans are responsible for producing some of New Zealand’s favorite models.
A similar storyline could be unfolding right now with Chinese automakers' lead by SUV specialists Haval.
The company has launched its new full-sized seven-seat H9 packed with its latest technology and fitted with components from some of the automotive world’s most respected suppliers.
The H9 bolsters Haval’s local line-up to three models and offers Kiwi consumers the most up-to-date example what the Chinese carmaker is capable of producing.
Two models will land in New Zealand, an entry-level LUX and up-spec Ultra. With prices starting at $43,990+orc, the H9 will become one of the most affordable full-sized SUVs in the market.
“We’ve worked very hard to deliver a seven-seat SUV that delivers for families at the best possible price,” said Haval Motors New Zealand Chief Marketing Officer Tim Smith.
Standard across the range is an extensive feature set including a new digital speedo, sunroof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and lane departure warning systems.
Step up to the range-topping Ultra model and you’ll find a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, eco-leather seats with heating, ventilation and massage functions (back row gets heated seats, too)
The H9 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 160kW of power and a capable 342Nm of torque between 2000-4000rpm.
Bolted to the engine is one of the best transmissions available, a silky smooth 8-speed ZF automatic transmission which sends power to a Borg Warner dual range transfer case.
Working in conjunction with Haval’s All-Terrain Control System, the H9 has outstanding off-road performance.
Driven got a taste of the H9’s off-road capabilities during the local launch on a challenging 4x4 track in Palmerston North. In a convoy led by two 4x4 driving experts in a Land Cruiser, the H9 was comfortable and capable of going anywhere the highly regarded Toyota went, rivers included.
On tarmac, our initial impressions of the H9 were equally impressive. The ride is subtle and the engine, despite its small capacity, was responsive on the open road.
Look out for our full Haval H9 road test coming in NZ Herald and Driven.co.nz soon.