- Plenty of high-speed cruising punch
- Eight-seater really – nine if one must
- Sliding seats make extra luggage easy
CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Hyundai’s popular H1 Bus has received a bold new face as part of a make-over that should elevate this market-leader as an even bigger favourite among customers in need of a competent people-carrier that offers great value for money.
We reckon is it even a serious challenger for Mercedes’ big people-haulers…
The whole nose section of the H1 has been redesigned to give the nine-seater bus, and its panel van sibling, a modern look that fits in with the styling of the passenger car and SUV range of the Korean manufacturer, and it comes without an increase in price.
New 17” alloy wheel rims add to the good looks of the 2.5 turbodiesel derivative of the H1 range, while an infotainment centre with a large touch-screen enhances the list of interior luxury and comfort features in both nine-seater derivatives.
REVERSE PARKING? NO PROBLEM
A steering-wheel that can now adjust for reach as well as height makes the driving position in the H1 even more comfortable – as it does in the equivalent panel van though the latter will continue to be fitted with 16” steel wheel-rims.
The range-topping H1 2.5 turbodiesel bus has a rear parking camera with displays in the vehicle’s rear-view mirror – and was the model available for a launch test-drive through a newly very green Western Cape.
Projection-style headlights have been added, too, which are said to not only illuminate the road more effectively but also add to the good looks of the H1 Bus’s new front end. The addition of a much larger grille is an easy recognition note…
READ MORE Hyundai features on Carman’s Corner
Existing features that make the H1 2.5 turbodiesel bus an ideal family or touring vehicle include:
- Bluetooth connectivity for the infotainment’s sound system with multifunction controls on the steering wheel
- Steering-wheel cruise control
- Auto aircon and glove-box chilling (though fitting a 750ml wine bottle might be a challenge!)
- Side crash-bag
- Powered folding external mirrors
- Electronic stability control
Hyundai says the H1 9-Bus has long been one of its most popular vehicles with applications as a family vehicle and as a commercial for businesses that require a car for transporting a number of people in luxurious comfort and safety.
Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive SA, told The Corner at the launch: “The H1 has not aged since we launched it in 2009 but this make-over has really given it a modern look and a bold exterior that will attract many more buyers.’
“That we’ve sold nearly 14 500 H1 buses and 2272 panel vans since the 2009 launch has proved their popularity.”
A six-seater Multicab derivative has, however, been discontinued for general sale, though individual orders with deposits will still be considered.
The refreshed H1 Bus is still available with a choice of two engines: a 2359cc petrol engine capable of 126kW / 224 Nm delivering torque through a five-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels and a 2497cc turbodiesel engine making 125kW / 441Nm.
The 2.5-litre turbodiesel uses a five-speed autobox driving the rear wheels – again, the model driven on the launch. There’s plenty of punch from the engine, certainly for high-speed cruising across South Africa’s wide-open spaces and easy overtaking.
Whatever the role, the Bus can carry eight adults and their luggage long-distance (or nine if you include a small person with short legs on a folding seat between the front occupants). Folded, it makes a useful centre console for driver and front passenger.
Hyundai says there’s plenty of room for a lot of luggage behind the third row of seats – something not common among minibuses – with both rear rows slide adjustable.
Adding to its appeal in a working application is the 1500kg towing capacity of the turbodiesel units.
Handling characteristics of the H1 are car-like with rack-and-pinion steering and hydraulic assistance which made driving easy – even for my petite daughter who came along for the ride in the Western Cape.
The Bus is also easy to park thanks to large windows and large external mirrors.
FOR MORE information about the H1 Bus, visit the Hyundai SA website
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
H1 2.4 Executive Bus (petrol, manual transmission) – R499 900
H1 2.5 Elite Bus (turbodiesel, auto transmission) – R629 900
H1 2.5 Panel Van (turbodiesel, auto transmission) – R459 900
which prices include…
- A five-year or 150 000km warranty.
- An additional two years or 50 000km manufacturer’s power train warranty.
- Five years or 150 000km roadside assistance plan
- Five-years or 90 000km service plan.
Doesn’t get any better than that…