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Refreshed 2018 Haval H9 revealed… tweaks courtesy of Australian customers

Refreshed 2018 Haval H9 cops improvements performance, looks and safety in response to feedback from customers in Australia.

THE REFRESHED H9 has been revealed and will arrive Down Under later this year. Haval said it had listened to buyers and the media and implemented key changes to its seven-seat SUV, hoping it will help to win favour in Australia.

“HAVAL has always prided itself on listening to customers and I’m confident the Australian market will see it has clearly responded with the first major model update since launch,” said chief marketing officer, Tim Smith.

Outside, the refreshed H9 features a new front bumper and grille, new-look fog lights and 18-inch alloys for both Premium and LUX grades. Inside the changes are light with the centre console receiving some tweaks and the inclusion of a digital speedo readout in the redesigned dash.

Perhaps more importantly for the four-star ANCAP-rated H9 is improvements to its safety technology. The H9 will now come with blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning as standard across both Premium and LUX grade models.

The lack of lane support systems was among the criticisms from ANCAP when it tested the vehicle, and although some of this has been addressed, the H9 still lacks AEB (autonomous emergency braking).

Performance has also been improved and refreshed H9 will run an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission (previously a six-speed auto) and a more powerful version of its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. The revised motor increases power and torque to 180kW and 350Nm, respectively, up from 160kW and 324Nm.

According to Haval, the reworked engine has resulted in 20% quicker acceleration (no 0-100km/h times provided) and 10% better fuel economy. Although it’s still considerable thirsty at 11L/100km, down from 12.1L/100km, and there are still no plans to bring in a diesel engine.

“The H9 has already earned its stripes with the motoring media in Australia, where it has continued to surprise them with its impressive off-road credentials. When we asked what changes they would like to see, they listed performance, better economy and new safety technology as key updates,” Smith said.

“We’re confident they are going to be very impressed with the updated H9 when it lands,”

In Practical Motoring’s review of the Haval H9, we found it provided a value-for-money competitor to the likes of the Toyota Prado and Ford Everest.

Haval Australia has said the refreshed H9 will land here in the fourth-quarter of this year, although an on-sale date and pricing information has not been released.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae