Motormouth – Hyundai H1 range.

Hyundai H-1 range trimmed, refreshed and updated for 2016
More convenience and safety.

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Although it has been available here for almost seven years, Hyundai’s H-1 range of commercial and family vehicles still looks handsome and modern.
The eight-to-nine seat family wagon has comfortably outsold its competitors over the past two years although its siblings, Panel Van and six-seat Multicab, have suffered supply shortages recently. The situation is improving so Hyundai Automotive SA expects sales of these models to recover.

The H-1 Wagon is aimed at extended families, hotels, shuttle operators and tour companies, with seating in three rows of three each and generous luggage capacity of 842 litres – even when all seats are being used. The reason we say eight-to-nine seats is that the front row has a neat fold-down armrest and drinks holder in the middle, so when that’s in use one chair falls out of reckoning.
The Panel Van offers dual sliding side portals, twin side-hinged rear cargo doors and a low floor for easy loading. Cargo space length, width and height measurements are 2375 mm x 1620 x 1350, with 1260 mm between the wheel arches. Effective load volume is 4426 litres. Floor and wall mounted securing rings and a metal bulkhead, for crew protection, are part of the specification.
The Multicab is basically a Wagon with fewer features and without the third row of seats. Think small businesses – or average families with big bags of sports kit for school matches or lots of luggage when going on holiday.
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The range was treated to a few cosmetic and equipment upgrades as part of a recent midlife refresh. A restyled front grille and bumper with new 16-inch alloy wheels are exterior clues, while a redesigned centre fascia and instrument cluster enhance the interiors. The panel van continues with steel wheel rims.

Convenience and safety features added to the range-topping 2.5-litre, turbodiesel, nine-seater bus include a folding-type key; Bluetooth connectivity for the sound system with multifunction controls on the steering wheel; cruise control with satellite remotes; automatic climate control with glove box cooling; curtain airbags (bringing the total to four); leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob covers; electric folding mirrors; Electronic Stability Program (ESP), and auto-down with anti-jamming protection for the driver’s side window.
Other models in the rationalised range, in which only one petrol variant survives, enjoy fewer new features. Cruise control and the folding key carry over to both Multicab and Panel Van, Multicab gains Bluetooth and the 2.4-litre petrol bus with five-speed manual box gains audio and Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel, the glove box chiller and dual measurements on its trip meter.
All models are fitted with McPherson struts and gas-filled dampers in front. Wagon boasts a five-link rear axle with double-acting shock absorbers, while Multicab and Panel Van use live axles with dual leaf springs. Brakes are discs at both ends, equipped with ABS and EBD, but only the diesel Wagon has ESP.

Our familiarisation drive in one of these showed that it was comfortable, spacious, quiet and well able to keep up with traffic. The automatic gearbox is a conventional unit without sporty pretensions, so kick-down is inclined to be leisurely. It does offer manual gear selection however, so ratios can be held when circumstances demand.
H-1s are built for work, rather than racing, so reliability is a key consideration. Stanley Anderson, the marketing director of Hyundai Automotive SA, pointed out that the international average spend on warranty claims works out to seven US dollars per vehicle per month, and that a major SA fleet owner clocks up 20 000 km monthly on each of its H-1 wagons.
(Information gathered at a manufacturer-sponsored media event)

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Fast facts:
Prices:  2.5 Turbodiesel 9-seater Bus (auto) R579 900  /   2.4 Petrol 9-seater Bus (manual) R482 900
2.5 Turbodiesel 6-seater Multicab (auto) R492 900  /  2.5 Turbodiesel 3-seater Panel Van (auto) R441 900
Engine 1) 2497 cc, DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder turbodiesel
Output: 125 kW and 441 Nm.
Average fuel consumption (claimed): 9.8 l/100 km.
Zero to 100 km/h: 14.4 seconds
Maximum speed: 180 km/h
Engine 2) 2359 cc, DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder petrol
Output: 126 kW and 224 Nm.
Average fuel consumption (claimed): 10.2 l/100 km.
Zero to 100 km/h: 17.1 seconds
Maximum speed: 178 km/h
Fuel tank: 75 litres
Maximum braked trailer mass (all) – 1500 kg
Pricing includes Hyundai’s 5-year/150 000 km warranty with roadside assistance and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan.
Pics by Quickpic  – Text by Gordon Hall