Johannesburg – Great Wall Motors has become the first of the Chinese players on the South African automotive landscape to move upmarket, with the introduction of its larney sub-brand Haval, starting with the launch this week of the H2 compact crossover.
GWM South Africa, now controlled by its Chinese parent company and renamed Haval Motors Africa, is putting a lot of emphasis on safety and build quality, stressing features such as the H2’s five-star rating in Chinese NCAP testing, thanks in part to front, side and curtain airbags, which are standard across the range.
Motorvation is provided by a 1.5-litre turbopetrol four, rated for 105kW and 202Nm, driving the front wheels via your choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The H2 will be available in South Africa in a range of three trim levels – City, Premium and Luxury – the latter boasting such features as six-way electrically adjustable driver's seat to automatic headlamps and wipers, a high-resolution touch-screen infotainment system and ‘durable, man-made leather upholstery’.
We’re not quite sure what that last one means, especially those of us old enough to remember the vinyl upholstery of the 1970s, but we’ll reserve judgement until we get the opportunity to drive one, as we will on the build quality and road manners of this new kid on the South African block.PRICES
|1.5T City||105kW/202Nm||R249 900|
|1.5T City Automatic||105kW/202Nm||R279 900|
|1.5T Premium||105kW/202Nm||R254 900|
|1.5T Premium Automatic||105kW/202Nm||R289 900|
|1.5T Luxury||105kW/202Nm||R274 900|
|1.5T Luxury Automatic||105kW/202Nm||R309 900|
These include a five-year or 100 000km warranty, a five-year or 60 000km service plan and five years' roadside assistance.