Bad press influences 2018 Haval H9 update

By WhichCar Staff, 17 May 2017 Car News

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Bad press influences 2018 Haval H9 update

Great Wall Motor’s luxury brand, Haval, has copped its fair share of bad press in recent months for its H9 seven-seater SUV. Will changes to the 2018 H9 turn the criticism around?

Haval has revealed its updated H9 seven-seater SUV due to arrive in Australia later this year.

After achieving a meagre four star ANCAP safety rating, the Chinese carmaker says it’s the H9 facelift based on “feedback from local customers and media”.

“Haval has always prided itself on listening to customers and I’m confident the Australian market will see they have clearly responded with the first major model update since launch,” said Haval Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer Tim Smith.

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The MY18 H9 update includes upgrades to performance, safety and aesthetics to bring it up to par with its large SUV competitors.

As expected, the new H9 will feature more safety technology, adding blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning as standard. Not that this addresses the ANCAP criticism of the vehicle’s lack of leg and chest protection.

Haval has also replaced the six-speed automatic transmission with a ZF eight-speed automatic, which is mated to the revised 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine resulting in greater power and torque outputs, rated at 180kW (from 160kW) and 350Nm (324Nm). 

According to Haval the new engine provides a 20 percent quicker 0-100km/h time (we're thinking around 10secs) and a drop in fuel economy clocking 11L/100km – although, this fuel figure is still no match for its competitors like the Toyota Prado or Hyundai Santa Fe.

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Externally, it carries a slightly new face with a reworked front grille, fog lamps and 18-inch alloy rims.

Inside, both models are fitted with a new instrument panel with digital speed and redesigned centre console, while Lux models also get a panoramic sunroof as standard.

While only 14 models of Haval’s H9 have been sold so far this year, the carmaker remains confident the new model will impress.

“The H9 has already earned its stripes with the motoring media in Australia, where it has continued to surprise them with its impressive off-road credentials. When we asked what changes they would like to see, they listed performance, better economy and new safety technology as key updates.

“We’re confident they are going to be very impressed with the updated H9 when it lands,” Smith said.