Remember the Great Wall X200/X240?
It was one of the first Chinese vehicles to enjoy commercial success in Australia, but it left our shores in 2014. It’s carried on in China as the Haval H5, but the poor old X240 is well overdue for replacement.
Fortunately a fresh one’s on the way and, as these leaked photos obtained by CarNewsChina reveal, it’s embraced a chunky, distinctive design language.
The outgoing H5 wore exterior styling that, while handsome, was uncomfortably close to that of the Isuzu Axiom.
The new H5, in contrast, has a bluff, imposing front fascia with a purposeful, shield-shaped grille and rather menacing looking single, round headlights recessed into the bodywork.
The look is boxier and more like a traditional SUV in appearance than the rest of Haval’s range.
There also appear to be some muscular shoulders towards the rear of the vehicle.
While not derivative of any particular model, the new H5 has some visual commonalities with the upcoming Ford Bronco Sport crossover, the Jeep Renegade, and the Land Rover Defender.
We’d argue a GMC or Jeep badge wouldn’t look out of place on the H5’s grille.
It’s not yet known whether the new H5 will be underpinned by a new platform.
The outgoing model features ladder-frame construction, unlike the more car-like, unibody H2 and H6.
Once accounting for over a third of Haval’s Chinese sales, the H5 has cratered in its homeland. According to CarSalesBase, last year the company sold just 2822 H5s, down from a high of 143,816 in 2011.
As the Great Wall X200 and X240, the car’s Australian high watermark was 3516 sales in 2012.
That was enough for it to outsell established models like the similarly rugged Jeep Cherokee and Suzuki Grand Vitara that year.
A dispute with its local distributor saw Great Wall briefly exit the Australian market. Though the brand returned, the X200 and X240 didn’t, nor did they move over to the newly launched Haval brand.
On whether the H5 will arrive in Australia, a Haval spokesperson said, “It’s an exciting car and it looks great. We’ll look and see if it fits but at this point it’s not on our radar.”