Hyundai’s H-1 Bus – and its workhorse siblings, the H-1 Panel Van and H-1 Multicab – have undergone a mid-cycle make-over that has added a number of features to this people carrier which will entrench its position as the leading seller in its segment.
A new front grille and bumper design, and new 16-inch alloy wheels are the new exterior features of the H-1 range, while a new, redesigned centre fascia and instrument cluster enhances the interior of the range. The Panel Van will still be equipped with steel wheel rims.
Several new convenience and safety features have also been added to the range-topping H-1 2.5 Turbodiesel 9-seater Bus, including a Folding-type key, Bluetooth connectivity for the sound system with multifunction controls on the steering wheel; Cruise control with controls on the steering wheel; Full automatic air conditioner with climate control; Glove box cooling; A side airbag; Leather steering wheel and gear knob covers; An electric folding mirror; An Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) for the turbodiesel derivative and Jam protection and auto down function for the driver side window.
The 9-seater H-1 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.
With more than 10 943 H-1’s sold since its South African launch in 2009, the 9-seater Bus has dominated its local market segment for a considerable time. It is available with a choice between 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 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, which has a few more luxury, safety and convenience features than the petrol derivative, 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 its 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 two-pedal turbodiesel.
The 2,4-litre petrol H-1 9-seater Bus boasts a new design alloy wheel, leather trim for the steering wheel and gear lever knob, a folding type key, Bluetooth connectivity for the sound system with control switches on the steering wheel for the telephone, and glove box cooling.
Handling characteristics of the H-1 are car-like, with confidence-inspiring road holding. Rack and pinion steering ensures crisp responses while hydraulic assistance reduces the effort required in tight situations. In fact, drivers will find the H-1 Bus easy to park and along with the generous glass area and substantial mirrors, there is of course the PDC system fitted to the rear bumper.
The other two models in the H-1 range – the versatile 6-seater Multicab and the Panel Van, with its huge load-carrying capacity – have also received a new grille and front bumper, while the Multicab also benefits from new design alloy wheels. Cruise control has also been added as a convenience feature to both the Multicab and the Panel Van, as well as a folding type key. The Multicab also gets Bluetooth connectivity added to its list of features.
The H-1 series is equipped with McPherson type strut with gas shock absorbers for its front suspension, and for the H-1 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 Multicab and Panel Van, giving them a rating to carry 1 100 kg and tow up to 1 500 kg.