Hyundai's popular H1 Bus has received a bold new face in a make-over that is bound to elevate this market-leader as an even bigger favourite among customers in need of a competent people-carrier that offers great value for money.
The whole nose section of the H1 has been redesigned, giving the 9-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-inch alloy wheels adds to the good looks of the 2.5 turbodiesel derivative of the H1 range, while the addition of an infotainment centre with a large touch-screen enhances the list of interior luxury and comfort features in both 9-seater derivatives.
A steering wheel that can now adjusts for reach as well as height makes the driving position in the H1 even more comfortable, also in the panel van. The panel van will still be equipped with 16-inch steel wheel rims.
Rear camera as parking assistance, with display in the rear-view mirror, has also been added as a luxury feature in the range-topping H1 2.5 Turbodiesel Bus.
Projection-style headlights have been added too, which not only illuminates the road ahead more effectively, but also adds to the good looks of the new front-end of the H1 Bus.
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;
- Cruise control with controls on the steering wheel;
- A full automatic air conditioner with climate control;
- Glove box cooling;
- A side airbag;
- Electric folding mirrors; and
- An Electronic Stability Programme (ESP).
The H1 9-Bus has long been one of the most popular vehicles in the Hyundai line-up, with applications as a family vehicle as well as commercial use for businesses that require a car for transporting a number of people in luxurious comfort and safety.
"The H1 has never really aged since we launched it in 2009, but the new make-over has really given it a modern look and a bold exterior that will attract many more buyers in this segment. says Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
"The fact that we have sold 14 424 H1 buses and 2 272 panel vans since the 2009 launch, proves the popularity of the car," says Anderson.
The 6-seater Multicab derivative has been discontinued from the range, however, individual orders with deposits for this practical derivative will still be considered.
The refreshed H1 Bus is still available two engines: A 2 359 cc petrol engine, delivering its 126 kW maximum power and 224 Nm maximum torque through a 5-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels; and a 2 497 cc turbocharged diesel engine that delivers 125 kW maximum power and a healthy 441 Nm maximum torque.
The 2,5-litre turbodiesel uses a 5-speed automatic gearbox and is also driven through the rear wheels.
Whatever the role, a genuine ability to carry eight people and their luggage over long distances (or nine if the seat between the driver and front passenger is deployed) is the H1 Bus's key strength: it isn't an MPV and does not suffer from that category's shortcoming of having minimal luggage space once the rearmost seats are in use.
Adding to its appeal in a working application is the 1 500 kg towing capacity of the turbodiesel derivatives.
Handling characteristics of the H1 are car-like, road holding that inspires confidence. Rack and pinion steering ensures crisp responses while hydraulic assistance reduces the effort required in tight situations. The H1 Bus is easy to park and along with the generous glass area and substantial mirrors, there is the park-assist rear-view camera.
The H1 series is equipped with McPherson type strut with gas shock absorbers for its front suspension, and for the H1 9-seater Bus a rigid axle 5-link rear suspension with oil-filled shock absorbers ensures a comfortable ride.
Dual leaf springs are used as rear suspension for the Panel Van, giving it a rating to carry 1 100 kg and tow up to 1 500 kg.
The prices of the H1 range are:
H1 2.4 Executive Bus (petrol, manual transmission) - R499 900
H1 2.5 Elite Bus (turbodiesel, automatic transmission) - R629 900
H1 2.5 Panel Van (turbodiesel, automatic transmission) - R459 900
Pricing includes Hyundai's 5-year/150 000 km warranty, with an additional 2 years/50 000 km manufacturer's powertrain warranty, as well as a 5 year/150 000 km roadside assistance plan and 5-year/90 000 km service plan.