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H1 finally gets a turbodiesel

2010-01-27 07:10
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Hyundai
Model H1 2.5 VGTI
Engine 2.5 turbodiesel
Power 120kW @ 3 800r/min
Torque 392Nm @ 2 000r/min
Transmission Five-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 14.5 sec
Top Speed 182km/h
Since its launch last year, the H1 has been an absolute bargain in a market segment dominated – with some justification – by Mercedes-Benz’s Vito.

Excellently equipped, with multi-link rear suspension and cavernous interior space the H1’s ability to completely dominate its market segment has only been truncated by its lack of a turbodiesel engine.

Lots to torque about

Hyundai has now addressed the asthmatic altitude effect most Reef buyers have suffered with their H1’s by introducing a 2.5l compression ignition turbo to the range.

Although the power output of 120kW is six units shy of its 2.4l petrol sibling, the new diesel option does weigh in with a substantial 392Nm of peak rotational force at only 2 000r/min.

With the new diesel engine producing 168Nm more, it's hardly surprising to find the only available transmission being a five-speed automatic. This should suit most airport shuttle operators and school lift club users anyhow.

With H1 diesel trimming a whole two seconds off the petrol model’s 0-100km/h sprint time finding those opportune gaps in traffic should be a lot easier.

Hyundai claims the turbodiesel H1 returns 10.1l/100km, whilst sporting a 1.5t towing capacity.

Utilitarian but stylish

With the second and third row of seats in place, you still have 851L of symmetrical load-space without any nasty rear-wheel mouldings intruding. Merc’s class leading Vito offers only 730L of load-space by comparison.

Typically Korean, the interior is feature laden and assembled at a standard of perceived build quality comparable to anything Europe can muster.

H1 diesel sports a full complement of leather seats, independent front and rear air-conditioning (featuring both roof and floor mounted vents for the rear passengers) and slideable windows in the side doors.

Passenger access and debussing is easy thanks to the H1’s dual sliding doors. Third row seating is simply an under-seat straight-bar tug and push away, as the second row of seats slide forward quite easily on the floor-runners, which are well insulated from sand intrusion with comprehensive rubber protectors covering their grooves.

With Hyundai having fixed the only major issue with H1 – a lack of power – all it now needs it darker interior trim colours to be perfect. At nearly R100 000 less than the comparable Mercedes-Benz Vito though, H1 diesel is simply the best deal out there.

The H1 2.5 VGT is priced at R359 900 including A 5-year/150 000km warranty and 5-year/100 000km service plan. Service intervals are 15 000km.

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