Every single time I drive a large MPV, like the Hyundai H1, I’m reminded by how much easier life would be if I had one of these thing parked in my yard.
Yes, the designs aren’t that great, the performance isn’t exactly stellar and the handling, while safe, won’t leave you counting down the minutes until the next time you drive it.
And yet, if I won the lotto, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. I’d order a 3,6-litre Outback from Subaru and a MPV for the weekends. You’ll note that I didn’t mention the H1 specifically, because, if money were a mere formality, I’d have to go with the new VW Caravelle with all the options boxes ticked.
The H1, however, is definitely worth consideration if money was an important factor. It’s an expensive van, but compared to its main rivals, one might even consider it a bargain. Put simply, it’s impossible to get a bigger car for less money.
And it’s this bigness that gives a van like the H1 all of its charm. It means you never have to worry about space constraints, because there simply aren’t any. The H1 can easily swallow two families and their luggage, so imagine what a joy it’s going to be on the daily school run with only three kids in the back. It’s so big that each one of the three kids can have their own row and all the parents out there will know how many fights could be avoided by simply separating the young ones.
So the main characteristic of a van is still present, but the recent update goes a little further by adding a few style updates and some luxuries.
The exterior features a new bumper and wheel design, while the interior receives a redesigned front fascia with blue lighting and a new instrument cluster with a 2,8-inch LCD display.
The new convenience features for the 2,5-litre turbocharged diesel bus includes leather steering wheel and gear knob, folding type key, Bluetooth connectivity, glove box cooling, automatic air-conditioning, cruise control, ESP and an auto down driver window.
Other than that, it’s business as usual. Two engines are available, with the petrol being the cheaper of the two, but we’d recommend sticking to the diesel option. At 125kW and 441Nm of torque it has enough power to cope with the H1’s bulk, while the automatic gearbox takes most of the effort out of the driving. The claimed fuel consumption of 9l/100km is acceptable considering the size of the car.
A five-year/150 000km warranty is standard, as is a five-year 90 000km service plan.
Pricing ranges from R492 900 for the six-seater Multicab to R579 900 for the top-of-the-range 2,5-litre nine-seater bus, which makes the H1 around R140 000 cheaper than the base Caravelle.