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Haval, China’s best-selling SUV brand for 13 years straight, is now in Australia, launching this week with a modest four dealerships and three models: the compact H2, the large H8 and the seven-seat H9.

There’s nothing modest about the brand’s ambitions, however. Haval management has not been shy about detailing the company’s goals since first announcing plans for a local launch in 2014, with a top executive telling CarAdvice in China earlier this year that its long-term goal is to be Australia’s top-selling SUV brand.

To do that, the Great Wall Motors-owned brand will need to outsell Toyota, which sold 56,663 SUVs in Australia last year, along with Nissan (33,742) and Jeep (30,408).

“Australia is a country where SUVs sales have doubled in the past five years. We are confident our combination of quality product and outstanding value for money will prove popular with Australian customers,” Haval Australia managing director Parker Shi said.

In the hunt for the top podium step, Haval is going on the assault, adding dealers and more models in the years ahead.

For now, the company has just four dealerships in its network, located in Sydney, Perth, and the Victorian suburbs of Geelong and Berwick. That will change fast.

“We are close to announcing a number of other dealerships around the country to join our foundation members and expect to have 10 dealerships in place by the end of 2015,” Haval Australia chief marketing officer Tim Smith said. The company expects to expand to “at least” 25 dealerships by the end of 2016.

More SUV models are also expected to land in the near future, including the mid-sized H6 Coupe and the slightly larger H7.

From launch, however, the range opens with the Nissan Qashqai-sized H2, the H8 – a soft-roading challenger to the popular Grand Cherokee – and the Prado-rivalling H9 seven-seater.

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Haval H2

Opening the range is the small H2, available in a range of single- and two-tone colour options, both inside and out. Pricing ranges from $26,490 to $30,990 plus on-road costs.

As with all Haval models, the H2 wears a broad U-shaped grille, flanked by LED-framed headlights, a pair of deep fog-light bezels and a second set of LED lamps.

A tapered roofline, chrome-wrapped windows and high-set character line define the H2’s profile, while the rear features include an integrated tailgate wing, a slender rear window cherry-red tail lamps connected by a chrome garnish.

Power in the H2 is provided by a 110kW/210Nm 1.5 litre turbo-charged dual-VVT petrol engine, matched to a choice of six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions. Front- and all-wheel-drive options are available.

Fuel consumption and acceleration figures are still to come.

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Above: overseas model shown

Cloth trim is standard in the base H2, along with keyless entry and start, cruise control, Bluetooth with audio streaming, reversing camera with rear parking sensors and an eight-inch touch screen.

There’s also automatic headlights and wipers, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, a trip computer, and 60:40 split-fold rear seats.

The top-spec H2 Lux adds ‘Comfort-Tek’ faux-leather seat trim, driver’s seat six-way power adjustment, heated front seats, two tweeter speakers, fold-in mirrors and dual-zone climate control.

Standard safety features include six airbags, electronic stability control, active headrests and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

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Above: overseas model shown


Haval H8

The larger H8, described by Haval as its “premium large urban SUV with high levels of interior comfort and outstanding refinement”, is priced between $41,990 and $48,990 plus on-road costs.

The H8 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre longitudinal four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 160kW and 324Nm. The H8 is available in rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, all matched to a six-speed auto. Fuel and performance figures are likewise still to be confirmed.

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Above: overseas model shown

Features standard with the 4.8-metre long H8 include Australian-sourced leather, powered front seats, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth connectivity, a sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, satellite navigation, tri-zone air-conditioning and tyre-pressure monitoring.

Upgrading to the H8 Lux adds 19-inch alloys, heated front and rear seats, driver’s seat memory, ventilated and massaging front seats, Infinity audio system and adaptive headlights.

Safety kit includes six airbags, ESC, hill descent control, driver condition monitoring, parking sensors front and rear, and a reversing camera.

Haval-H8-9

Above: overseas model shown


Haval H9

At the top of the tree is the H9, boasting seven seats and an off-roading ladder frame chassis. Pricing ranges from $46,490 to $50,990 plus on-road costs.

Power is provided by the same 160kW/324Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine that drives the H8, matched to a ZF six-speed auto and a dual-range transfer transfer case.

haval_h9_melbourne

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, keyless entry and start, cruise control, trip computer, tri-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, an electronic parking brake and tyre pressure monitoring.

Moving up to the H9 Lux adds 18-inch alloys, electronic off-road traction control, leather seats, heated and powered front seats with memory, ventilated and massaging functions for the front seats, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, adaptive headlights and Infinity audio.

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Every Haval comes with a 5 year, 100,000km warranty, 5 years of roadside assistance and 5 year Haval Service Price Guarantee.

The company is also confident of a top safety score.

“Every HAVAL is designed to achieve 5 star ANCAP rating and we are actively working with ANCAP to realise this result in Australia,” Tim Smith said.

2016 Haval range pricing (plus on-road costs):

H2 Premium

2WD – six-speed manual – $26,490
2WD – six-speed auto – $28,490
AWD – six-speed manual – $28,990

H2 LUX

2WD – six-speed manual – $28,490
2WD – six-speed auto – $30,490
AWD – six-speed manual – $30,990

H2 options

Two-tone paint / two-tone seats $750

H8 Premium

2WD – six-speed auto – $41,990
AWD – six-speed auto – $44,490

H8 LUX

AWD – six-speed auto – $48,990

H8 options

Rear DVD $1500
Heated/Vented/Massage seats (Premium) $1000

H9 Premium

4WD – six-speed auto – $46,490

H9 LUX

4WD – six-speed auto – $50,990

H9 options

Rear DVD $1500




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