Independent vehicle safety advocate, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), has released a 4 star ANCAP safety rating for the Haval H9.

“New vehicle buyers have come to expect 5 star safety from new models and unfortunately this result falls short of marketplace expectations,” said ANCAP chief executive officer, James Goodwin.

“This is the first rating for the Haval brand in Australia following its entry to the local market last year and the first independent safety rating for the H9 in the world,” he said.

The Haval H9 scored well in the areas of side impact and whiplash protection but did not perform well enough in the frontal offset test to enable a rating beyond 4 stars. Lower leg protection was marginal and there was a slight risk of serious chest injury for the driver.

“The H9 is being marketed as a premium offering from China’s highest selling SUV brand and we would expect a vehicle in this price range to offer a greater range of advanced safety features and improved crash performance,” said Mr Goodwin.

The H9 is the largest of the three SUVs being sold by Haval, which is the premium nameplate of China’s Great Wall Motors.

“The Large SUV category is extremely competitive and there are now 5 star options from almost all brands at varying price points,” he said.

“It’s hoped this process draws new entrants’ attention to the importance of safety and a 5 star rating in Australia.”

The H9 comes equipped as standard with side head-protecting (curtain) airbags for all three rows of seats, reversing collision avoidance and fatigue detection. However, it lacks autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane support systems (LSS).

The H9 offers a reasonable level of protection for pedestrians with a score of ‘Acceptable’ but, as with occupant protection, falls short of market expectations and current technology available.