Haval’s entry into the Australian SUV market has seen the introduction of its H2, H8 and H9 range. The latter, the H9, has recently undergone safety testing by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
Customers hoping for the maximum 5-Star safety rating may be disappointed to learn that the H9 has instead managed the lesser 4-Star rating.
ANCAP said the H9 scored well during the side impact and whiplash protection tests, but the SUV’s scores during the frontal offset test delivered a lower-leg protection rating of ‘marginal’.
Pedestrian protection was rated at ‘acceptable’, but an overall score of 30.65 out of 37 combined with a slight risk of serious chest injury for the driver delivered the 4-Star result.
“New vehicle buyers have come to expect 5-star safety from new models and unfortunately this result falls short of marketplace expectations,” ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin, said.
“This is the first rating for the Haval brand in Australia following its entry to the local market last year and the first independent safety rating for the H9 in the world.”
Mr Goodwin said the Haval models were marketed to Australian customers as ‘premium’ buys, and that customers shopping within the H9’s price bracket would likely expect a 5-Star safety rating.
“The large SUV category is extremely competitive and there are now 5-star options from almost all brands at varying price points,” Mr Goodwin said.
“It’s hoped this process draws new entrants’ attention to the importance of safety and a 5-star rating in Australia.”
Standard safety features for the H9 include side curtain airbags for all three rows of seating, fatigue detection and reverse collision avoidance, but ANCAP noted a lack of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane-support systems.
Haval Australia’s Andrew Ellis said he was shocked by the result, saying Haval had worked hard to achieve a 5-Star rating.
The carmaker’s own testing pointed to a 5-Star result, and a further 0.45 points on the frontal impact test may have been enough in overall terms to secure the desired outcome.
“Our engineers have been working very hard to deliver a 5-star safety rating and all our testing indicated that we would achieve this result. The results of the ANCAP test were clearly unexpected,” Ellis said.
Plans are already in place to address the shortfall with a view to retesting for a 5-Star ANCAP rating - stay tuned.
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