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Haval H7 2018 to offer seven-seat value

The Haval H7 seven-seat SUV is due to land on Australian shores early next year.

Haval Motors Australia has announced it will aim to market its new H7 seven-seat large SUV as a rival to the Mazda CX-9, but for the price of a CX-5 mid-sizer when it arrives early in 2018.

As part of a major marketing and sales push from the brand, the H7 will slot between the H6 medium SUV and H9 large SUV, and will likely replace the similarly-sized H8, which has struggled for sales in its time Down Under.

Haval Motors Australia chief marketing officer Tim Smith said the H7 will launch early next year for around $32,000 drive-away, and will feature a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a six-speed dual-clutch auto, and seating for seven.

Mr Smith admitted the brand had struggled to get pricing right with previous models, and would endeavour to keep pricing fixed this time around.

"Pricing (for H7) is not set in, but I’d love to be able to bring that into that competitive set where you're up against Kia Sorento-style buyers with Mazda CX-5-style pricing, or even sharper," he said.

"H7 will be the first one (model) where we try not to adjust that (pricing).

"We've got support from head office, but (I would) suggest that we're going to get somewhere in between where this product will be attracting that larger SUV buyer at a small or mid-size SUV price, or even sharper."

He said pricing "has to be" in the low-$30,000 drive-away region, while the brand will only offer mid-tier Premium and flagship Lux variants, with the entry-level model deleted.

"We'll make it easy (with) seven seats standard, plenty of features for the Premium, the Lux gets the sunroof and massage chairs and other bits and pieces,” he said.

"It's got all the benefits of driving an H6 DCT, turbocharged, very responsive turbocharging – but with seven seats."

Mr Smith said Australia was one of the first mature markets Haval had entered, which presented a learning curve in regards to pricing structures.

When the H2 small SUV was first launched in 2015, the entry-level Premium variant came with a sticker price of $28,490 plus on-roads, which was changed to a limited offer of $24,990 drive-away, before becoming a permanent price.

Similarly, the H8 Premium has decreased from $41,990 plus on-roads to $38,990 drive-away.

Ahead of the arrival of the H7 will be an updated H9 with an eight-speed auto and extra power.

Mr Smith said the drive-away pricing of the H7 would be an attempt to make it a more compelling package, and get customers to associate Haval with high value. 

The H7 measures 4700mm long, takes 9.3 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill and will be available with safety features such as AEB, blind spot monitor, lane-departure and lane-keep assistance, and rear cross-traffic alert with around-view monitor.

Incremental growth to the Haval range will be an important part of the H7's arrival, while Mr Smith said a decision had not yet been made on whether to keep the H8, which has failed to reach sales expectations.

Ahead of the arrival of the H7 will be an updated H9 with an eight-speed auto and extra power, while the H6 update will come mid-next year, following the H7 release.

Do you find the H7's keen pricing appealing? Tell us what you think in the comments below.