2018 Haval H9 Review | Asian Car Guide
September 21, 2020

2018 Haval H9 Review

2018 haval h9

Haval H9 is the one proper SUV from the same guys that bring in Great Wall pickups to Australia.

It is also the biggest SUV they have, comparing easily to Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado. The Toyota connection goes further as Engineering Vice President of Haval, Mr. Suguya Fukusato, used to be Chief Engineer at Toyota.

The 2018 Haval H9 starts at $40,990 for the Lux version and $44,990 for the Ultra, (plus on road cost); saving $5,500 and $6,000 respectively over the outgoing H9.

The Haval H9 is huge, measuring 4,856mm in length x 1,926mm in width x 1,900mm in height. The Chinese company has developed its own design elements based on contemporary cues.

2018 haval h9 interiorIt rides tall and provides imposing presence with flared haunches above each wheel. The front features the scowling headlight appearance preferred for SUVs these days.

Thankfully chrome is kept to a tolerable amount.

The H9 is already big and muscular in appearance and does not require further bling.

Inside, it is very well organised and generously equipped. A digital speedo has been included in direct response to feedback from Australian customers.

Plenty of leather, wood and subtle aluminium highlights create its ambience. Ergonomics work well, as you sit high but have all necessary features within reach.

Front seats with Comfort-Tek eco-leather offer heating, lumber massage and ventilation function.

Interior is well insulated from the outside although a little amount of engine noise comes in if you push hard.

That is alright because a 10-speaker loud and rich Infinity audio system (4 tweeters, 4 mid-range, 1 centre channel, 1 sub-woofer) will handle the rest.

Overall noise reduction has been measured at 2.0 decibels.

The engine is turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol, delivering 180kW of power (20kW increase) and 350Nm of torque (up 26Nm).

Initially we were wondering if this was enough to power a vehicle weighing 2,230 kg. The engine is a little lazy initially but quickly picks up pace.

The power band rests a little higher in the rev range so you have to stomp to get decisive action; however, it quickly pushes into triple digit speeds with ease.

The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly without any clunks. The electronic all-terrain control system uses sensors to detect sand, mud or snow and can adjust the torque distribution accordingly.

The addition of a ZF 8HP70 transmission has reduced the 0 to 100 km/h sprint to just over 10 seconds.

After the launch I was lucky to drive the Haval H9 from Werribee 4×4 Proving Ground in Victoria back to Crown Promenade and the ride is where the big surprise comes in.

The car is fitted with sophisticated wishbone suspension up front and multi-link setup at the rear.

The ride is surprisingly compliant for an off-road ready SUV. The H9 soaks up bumps with relative ease. I do like the steering as it is very light with a rather tight turning radius allowing for quick U-turns.

Off road, it soaks in the rough terrain.

There is some roll as the 18 inch tyres thump into deep holes but it is all nicely composed and absorbed. This is a great car to ride in even on terrible roads. The seats are very supportive without being stiff.

Added features include Blind Spot Monitoring, Reversing Camera, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Lane Departure Warning, Locking Rear Differential on the LUX, good for boat towing, and the Ultra gets an Electric Panoramic Sunroof, Premium Stereo and Adaptive Headlights.

The Haval H9 offers real world off-roading ability. Its major pros are powerful design, a very well built interior and wonderfully cushioned ride.

Thanks to its suspension, it makes for a comfortable off-roader as well as an on-road cruiser.

I am personally not very keen on bulky SUVs. I consider them a waste of space and not really something that the world needs for non-off road normal use, other than as delivery vehicle, for weekends away, and hauling lots of kids maybe.

However, it is undeniable that the Haval H9 is a very good example of how to do an SUV right. It has the right balance of comfort, practicality and off-road prowess, all for the right price.

The Haval H9 pulls well and is surprisingly agile both on and off road, despite its size. Quick manoeuvres leave the H9 fairly well composed while the high seating position gives a commanding view from the cabin.

2018 haval h9 rearThe quality of materials is great but we will have to wait and see how these hold up in terms of longevity.

If I had to get an SUV, this Haval H9 would be a very strong contender for consideration.

We will have more to say after driving the Havel SUV for an extended period.

 2018 Haval H9 – Pricing and specifications:

  • Price: from $40,990+ORC
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
  • Power: 180kW at 5,500rpm
  • Torque: 350Nm from 1,800-4,500rpm
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic Drive 4×4 – dual range
  • Thirst: 10.9litres/100km
  • Dimensions: 4856mm (L) 1926mm (W) 1900mm (H) 2800mm (WB) Angles 28° (A) 23° (D) 23° (BO) Ground Clearance 185-225mm
  • Weight: 2,230kg
  • Towing: 2500kg (braked) Boot Space 747 litres Spare full-size alloy
  • Fuel Tank: 80 litres
  • Warranty: five-years/100,000km