The Haval H2 is Your Family’s Ideal Used SUV
Looking for an unexpectedly good family SUV? The Haval H2 is where you should be looking.
Over the last several years, GWM’s Haval brand has been able to hold its own in the ultra-competitive family/compact SUV segment where it was left fighting on two fronts, it was a Chinese brand and it was up against far more established players from the likes of Hyundai and Toyota.
Despite the odds stacked against it, Haval found its feet rather quickly, an achievement in which their H2 model played a rather large role. In 2021, the H2 was replaced with the Jolion (which you can read about here) but this means that you can now get your hands on a used H2 and enjoy all the features which made the model so popular when it hit the South African market in 2019.
There’s no denying that the H2 entered the South African market a little late in the model’s international lifecycle but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t bang up to date with the times. Starting under the bonnet, the H2 steered clear of a larger naturally aspirated engine adhering to today’s trend of sticking with a small engine and then adding a turbocharger. In the case of the H2, that engine came in the form of a turbocharged 1.5 litre 4-cylinder, producing 110kW and 210Nm of torque. Those figures aren’t amazing, but they suit the family nature of the Haval H2, it's more school run than quarter mile run at the end of the day.
Still sticking with trends, the H2 doesn’t feature all-wheel drive, opting for front-wheel drive via a 6-speed manual or an automatic. Personally, I would go for the automatic because it just makes driving easier when you consider that this is an urban car.
Despite the lack of all-wheel drive, the H2 does still offer more than adequate ground clearance which does give you a better view whilst driving and you can navigate the usual speed bumps, steep driveways and dirt road or two with relative ease. Apart from that, the road manners of the H2 are good and most importantly comfortable, it's not a sports car but there are certainly worse handling cars out there, and the H2 is far from it.
on the inside, the interior is modern and well designed, and it certainly doesn’t have the fit and finish issues which you tend to find on other Chinese cars. Instead, Haval opted for good-quality plastics, a chic piano black finish and just an overall niceness when it comes to the dash and touch areas. The seats are also right up there with class leaders, they are comfortable, spacious and kind of faultless in my book.
Adding to the interior’s appeal are all the accessories Haval included. Depending on your budget, you could find a model with your normal CD-equipped radio or you could fork out a little more for a model with an infotainment system. Regardless of which equipment level you find yourself buying, you can rest assured knowing that your Haval H2 will have everything else you will need, from electric windows to climate control and my personal favourite, the puddle lights underneath the doors which project the Haval logo onto the ground.
Now we come to my least favourite part of the Havel H2, the looks. Well, to be more specific the front end. The first H2 models looked perfectly fine from the back and sides, attractive actually but the front-end just looks awkward. The headlights themselves look like they are aftermarket variants destined for a different car altogether and that sets the tone for the grille. The facelift model however looks far better, and the lights adopt a far more aggressive demeanour, a massive improvement in my opinion.
What I love about the Haval H2’s styling though is the two-tone option some buyers went for and I am particularly fond of the red body with black roof option or the blue with the white roof which reminds me of the old FJ Land Cruiser.
My opinion on the styling aside, a used H2 offers a very convincing package but ultimately, the price is the deciding factor. So, how much will you be paying for your H2? Prices for early (pre-facelift), manual models start at R190,000 with the popular automatic variants starting at R194,000. Newer facelift models are naturally more expensive starting from R240,000 for a manual while the prices for automatics start at R260,000.
Finally, a big plus point for me when it comes to buying a used Haval H2 is that their dealer network is established in SA. This means that, unlike some other less mainstream brands, spares and servicing are not the headaches you would expect and that is a massive value-add for anyone when buying a family car.
Treat your family to a Haval H2 from the ClickaCar Virtual Showroom.