Cape Town - In an attempt to usher one of the best selling MPVs in South Africa into 2016, Hyundai has given the H-1 some cosmetic upgrades so that it can keep up with the competition. Items such as new alloy wheels, a leather bound steering wheel with multi-function buttons and ESP are now standard features.
Not much has changed in the H-1 since we featured it in our April 2009 issue. When we put the naturally-aspirated petrol version against the Fiat Scudo and the Mercedes-Benz Vito we the H-1 it because of its affordability, high quality and surprising comfort. With a price tag of R579 900, however, the H-1 has lost some of its affordability edge.
What's new on the outside?
Exterior appearances of the H-1 include a double panel colour coded grill (as opposed to the old single panel one) and a new 16-inch alloy wheel design which does away with the daisy inspired one and adopts more of a double-spoke layout. Drivers will also have the convenience of electronic folding mirrors for those tight spots such as alleyways and parking bays.
What's new on the inside?
Changes found on the inside include a new radio face with Bluetooth connectivity very similar to the one found in the current i20. Gauges have also been updated to the ones used in current models and illuminate with a softer blue accent unlike the retro green displays. Along with this comes a leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel and a leather touch gear lever.
The climate control features a new digital display and a fully automatic air conditioning. The upper glove box also has a cooling vent but it won't fit anything more than 1,5-litres.
Other odds and ends
Safety features include the implementation of side-airbags, ESP and a jam protection and auto down window for the driver only. Hyundai's standard folding key found with most of its models will also be used for the H-1.
The H-1 still maintains its large family orientated persona despite being aimed at more of a commercially based market. The 2,5-litre turbodiesel has aged very well with its 125 kW and 441 N.m of torque. There is a slight delay in acceleration but it manages to move its two tonne body with ease uphill and in overtaking situations thanks to a capable five-speed automatic transmission.
The windy conditions we drove in displayed how easy it was for the H-1 to be thrown around but those who load the wagon up with luggage and goods won't suffer with this too much. General road stability under normal conditions is pleasant as the H-1 still exudes a high quality and comfortable ride.
The H-1's added ESP is also a welcome standard feature especially for a rear-wheel drive vehicle of this size. Thankfully there weren't any situations for this feature to be properly tested. This as well as the addition of side air bags definitely makes the H-1 a more family friendly product.
All of the above equipment will come standard with the H-1 which is where it has the edge over opponents such as the Volkswagen Kombi T6 and Mercedes-Benz V-Class. It still maintains itself as a reasonable product that possess a decent build quality, comfortable drive and capable diesel drivetrain but the increase in price does make it a little less desirable.