This review arrives with much excitement and enthusiasm from Branch Manager Patty Taljaard at Haval the Glen, who has been waiting for an opportunity to present the Haval H1 to the world – both personally, and professionally. Being the proud owner of an H1 named Blossom, Patty is delightfully fired up to talk about this compact crossover that has taken the motoring world by storm.

Being one of the most popular Haval vehicles currently on the market, the H1 presents itself as a mini-Suv: with raised ground clearance to give off-road terrain a good go, as well as a host of on-board features to pacify the urban traffic, the H1 seems to be the ideal compact crossover. Not only does it look sexy (with standard 16-inch alloys that turn heads) but it is jam-packed with attitude, personality and brilliant features.

At first glance, the H1 is eye-catching and modern, with the proud and assertive stance of an SUV, sprinkled generously with smooth and luxurious lines all around the body. The interior is superbly styled and modern, with a sporty instrument panel and an ergonomically designed control interface for audio and ventilation systems. Precise black cloth upholstery is highlighted by silver accents on the facias and the doors, which lend to a more sophisticated look.

In terms of space, the H1 is proudly a compact crossover, meaning it is designed to be a cozy and petite vehicle; whilst the slight-sized interior does ascribe to these aspects, the H1 is surprisingly practical with good head and leg room for it’s class. The boot holds 310 litres which can be increased by folding the rear seats down, and is more than ample for a small family.

Because of the great ride-height, the driver sits elevated with great visibility – adjustable seats and steering wheel mean the driver’s comfort is prioritised, whilst the host of features including air-con, electric windows and mirrors, USB/Aux-enabled audio and Bluetooth capabilities mean the driver can enjoy the ride. Rear-park assist is an additional bonus in this dynamic vehicle!

Equipped with a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated VVT-I engine, the H1 churns out 71/3 kW and 138 Nm of torque at 60000 rpm, whilst still being extremely fuel efficient thanks to variable valve timing in the engine. I find the responses of this vehicle to be pleasant and effective, making the drive smooth and comfortable, whilst keeping my wallet happy too.

The H1 also features great globally-approved safety standards which includes dual front airbags and ABS/EBD, as well as Isofix child mountings in the rear (mom’s always checking). I can’t help but feel this vehicle is ideal for the young mom or dad, or even the hip and busy youngster needing to navigate through the city. The vehicle lends itself to practicality, affordability and comfort, and looks pretty darn good doing it too.

Back at the Dealer in the Glen, Patty is eager to share her memories and pictures of her beloved Blossom; her passion and genuine fondness for the vehicle is possibly the greatest review available for the H1, highlighting it as an amazing and affordable vehicle; given my recent interactions with this dynamite mini-SUV – I am inclined to agree!


By Desh Pillay Bechan