There is no denying that Hyundai has got the recipe right for the H1. The 1st generation which was launched in 2009 went on to be family favorites, especially since it was priced a fair bit more economical than the German counterparts.
Move over to 2016 and the new model has seen a few improvements. On the outside it has received a facelift and while nobody would look at the bus and think, man it’s good looking, it is certainly not the worst looking people carrier out there. The new model also received a few interior enhancements with a new steering wheel with an array of buttons for the cruise control/radio and also an updated center console.
Probably the highlight of this bus is the 2.5 diesel engine and that it’s mated to a 5-speed automatic box. This in conjunction with the torque converter makes for effortless stop-start and traffic navigation and it’s also easy to see why this has been so popular in the tourism industry.
The engine is also rather torque and will pull from down low with the greatest of ease. There always seems to be enough in reserve to overtaking, even at freeway speeds. Overall performance and economy are impressive, with it averaging around 10km/l combined. The one downside is that it is a little noisier than its rivals, but its also a whole lot cheaper.
More safety equipment like ABS, EBD, and traction control are also added as well as driver and passenger airbags.
This 9 seater has ample space from the front to the back. The 1st-row seats are reclinable and also slide on the floors giving them a flexibility for more legroom in the front, or the rear. The rear seats are mounted and not adjustable in any way. It’s unfortunate that there is no quick removal on the last row, though it is hardly needed as the luggage space is ample. It would only become a problem if you had to load awkward things like mountain bikes and so on. The sliding doors on both sides is a nice option, offering more versatility from a leisure point of view.
The cabin does come with a few luxuries like a decent audio system with Bluetooth and USB. There is also front and rear climate control, with each row in the rear having their own fan settings.
While it’s not a small vehicle by any means, I found that it was actually very easy to maneuver, even in tight situations. Rear PDC is standard, which should help somewhat for more inexperienced parkers.
From the looks of things, the H1 has its eyes set on conquering the family and leisure market. Armed with the new upgrades , attractive price and good after sales, I can’t see how this H1 won’t be increasing their sales for the next year.
The H1 2.5 VGTI retails for R599 900. For more info on warranty and after service, check out Hyundai.co.za