2018 Haval H2 Review

2018 HAVAL H2 Road Test, Review

This wasn’t my first time in the Haval H2, last year I had a jaunt in the small SUV through dense NT scrub!

Check out the details on that unintended adventure here.

This time around I got to put the baby Haval SUV to the test on my local roads, running my usual errands, picking up and taking kids to school etc.

It’s a solid little thing, just the right size too, though a couple of elements need a little more attention from the Chinese manufacturer in my opinion.


You would say the 2018 Haval H2 has reasonably non-offensive looks, I doubt anyone would be able to say they don’t like the styling.

The little Haval badge on the C pillar is a nice touch and this helps give it some individuality.

Like that solid feel I already mentioned, the H2 has a robust look about it and I think that works better in the small SUV space than the more car-like designs of some of the competition.

haval h2 interiorInterior

The squarish design of the Haval allows for good interior space, you could sit three adults across the back seat in reasonable comfort.

Rear seat legroom is also surprisingly good and the boot is generously sized too (particularly for a vehicle in the small SUV category).

Generally speaking the interior has a better than acceptable feel, the seats, although firm, have generously sized bases and are comfortable enough.

The gauges are large and easy to read, while the driver info screen is also a nice size…the only disappointment is that you can’t choose to display a digital speedometer.

The centre control area for heating/air-con etc. is basic and easy enough to use, interestingly though the Haval doesn’t give you a temperature reading for the climate control, just different levels of heating and cooling.

The only really disappointment inside the H2 is the infotainment system. There’s no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and the system in my test car was a bit clunky and dated.

Haval has promised to beat the South Koreans on in-car tech, that being the case I think they need to spend the dollars and give potential buyers the latest and greatest, including those now proven and popular smartphone links.

While the four-speaker stereo is also a bit behind what you might be used to in a new vehicle in 2018.


Standard kit in the entry-level Haval H2 Premium includes:

  • Reverse camera
  • Electric sunroof
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Cruise control
  • Auto headlights/wipers
  • Electric park brake
  • Push-button ignition
  • Leather steering wheel

While the top-spec H2 LUX adds (for an extra $2,000):

  • Six-speaker stereo
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Electric drivers seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-look seats

haval h2 cargo areaDrive and Engine

The Haval H2 comes with just the one powertrain on offer – a 1.5 litre turbo-petrol mated to a six-speed auto transmission.

The engine produces 110kW/210Nm and provides acceptable performance for most applications.

Interestingly, Haval unveiled a new Euro 5 compliant 1.5 litre turbo-petrol engine producing 124kW/285Nm, as well a new seven-speed auto transmission at the recent Beijing Auto Show.

Hopefully we see that new engine/transmission in Australian Haval models soon.

I felt the turbo on the existing engine is set to kick-in too late – i.e. the turbo only gets to work at around 1,750rpm and that means the little Haval is initially sluggish while the revs build up.

While expect reasonable fuel economy around town in the low to mid 9L/100km range.

I already mentioned the infotainment system, the other area that the Chinese manufacturer needs to allocate some resources is in Australian tuning.

The South Korean manufacturers, Kia and Hyundai, have local teams who test new vehicles here before they go on sale in our market and are able to request specific suspension and steering tunes.

This has really helped those brands shed their cheap and cheerful tags and become highly-regarded among Aussie car buyers.

The Haval H2 is a little too tightly sprung for my liking (for Aussie roads), while the steering could provide more feel, and provide some more assistance when turning back to centre.


Both the Haval H2 Premium and LUX have qualified for a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Good Bits

  • Interior space
  • Solid look/feel
  • Standard features
  • Pricing

Not So Good Bits

  • Better driving dynamics required (ride and steering)
  • Infotainment/stereo system
  • No Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • No digital radio

haval h2 side and rear stylingSummary

The positives outweigh the negatives with this offering from Haval.

Good pricing, impressive interior space and the five-star safety rating make this a small SUV worth considering.

Haval is constantly getting closer to the competition, head office just needs to loosen the purse strings and get better infotainment systems and some local tuning happening ASAP.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2018 Haval H2

  • Engine: 1.5 litre turbo-petrol producing 110kW and 210Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed auto
  • Warranty: 5 year/100,000km
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Origin: China
  • Price: from $24,990
2018 HAVAL H2
  • Overall Rating


  1. For interest sake, we have had our Haval H2 LUX for two years now. We have put on over 20 000 Ks, not high mileage but everything is working perfectly and it still looks brand new. What impresses me is the attention to detail, apart from the very long list of features you are getting for your $25 000. Detail like vanity mirrors and lights in both sun visors, reading lights for front and rear passengers, a sunglasses case for the driver, arm rest on the consul storage cover that rolls forward, heated driver and passenger seats and what is often not mentioned is a side vision camera as well as the rear vision camera. Really impressive for the money, not to mention all the other standard features. I find the car very comfortable on a long trip. The H2 is however starting to show its age in that it does not have things like active braking, blind spot monitoring, lane change warning etc, some safety features which are becoming standard in other models. So, I have heard new models will be arriving in 2021, which if you do a search, look pretty good! However, I still think the H2 is very good value for money. I have been accused of being a Haval agent, but I’m not. I just think the H2 copped a lot of undeserved criticism when it was introduced and I think it would be a real pity, if a family on a limited budget, overlooked the H2, or H6 for that matter, because of the initial reports/tests. All I can say is, we are very happy with ours!

  2. As with James I was very happy with my H2 Lux that I owned for 6 weeks until on the same day within 30 minutes going through two large round-a-bouts in Melbourne Victoria two Drivers decided to change their mind and direction and head straight for me and when I needed power to get out of the way all I got was Turbo Lag in a big way. Sadly I do not have the H2 anymore. I find it also interesting you only reviewed the turbo lag at low revs, perhaps a review on when power is actually needed for safety may also be helpful for the readers.

    • Kim, really sorry to hear! Glad you are ok. To my knowledge turbo lag should not be as big a factor at speed, because the higher revs should reduce the turbo lag as it is already at a high RPM. Like I said, you need to get on the gas earlier and I have also found that progressively pushing down the accelerator pedal helps, as this allows the turbo to spool up, with the pedal input as such. Yes the turbo lag is one feature of the Haval that could be improved, but as has been said, the Haval is not perfect, but it is still very good value for money, I think. Guess it’s a good thing it has a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating!

  3. Well finally!! A balanced and fair review of the Haval H2, without bias and suspicion of the unknown. We bought one, and the value for money is outstanding. Yes it’s not perfect but when you’re paying around $6000 less…these minor imperfections pale into insignificance. I find I’m automatically compensating for the turbo lag and it’s not such an issue now. I personally find the steering actually feels good and the ride is nice and solid. For a high vehicle, cornering is pretty good. To me the main point is at the current price, you are really getting a lot for your dollar with the LUX model. We really enjoy ours, I bought it for my lovely wife….but wish it was my daily driver!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.