Five reasons to love and hate the Great Wall Hover
Russian car enthusiasts first met the Hover at the Moscow Motor Show 2005, and the following year the official importer of the Great Wall brand, Irito, organized the assembly of cars in the old town of Gzhel (body welding from parts supplied from Celestial was carried out Cherkessk). It is worth noting that then, 12 years ago, the reaction to the novelty was quite positive: “Well, this one looks like a car though.”
Indeed, the prototype of the Hover was the Isuzu Axiom SUV. This did not cause any conflict of interest: by that time, the concern GM, which owned the majority stake in Isuzu, decided to curtail the production of Japanese brand SUVs for Japan, the USA and Europe. Axiom just got under this decision.
Chinese designers have kept intact the main lines and proportions of the body, but made major changes to the design of the front, which went only to benefit the model. But the technical “stuffing” of the car was made according to the principle “I made him blind from what was.” In particular, the licensed 2.4-liter petrol engine Mitsubishi 4G64-S4M with a power of 130 hp became the main power unit. Much less common were two-liter engines with a capacity of 122 hp. (clone Mitsubishi 4G63) or 95-horsepower diesel engines, which combined a five-speed manual transmission and a two-speed transfer case, leading to a pedigree from Toyota pickups of the 90s of the last century.
Subsequently, during the restyling of 2010, the car received a 150-strong turbodiesel of its own design, with which either the six-speed “mechanics” or the adaptive five-speed automatic 5R35 produced by the Korean company Hyundai Mobis was installed, as well as the transfer boxes Borg Warner with the “push-button” control. There were versions with a drive only on the rear axle, but they did not enjoy popularity in spite of even a lower price. Frame construction, torsion bar suspension front and spring-lever rear, good geometry and 230 mm ground clearance predetermined endurance Hover and its good adaptation to the conditions of the Russian hinterland.
The car had a fairly rich equipment even in the basic configurations, and in the most favorable years, its sales reached 16-18 thousand units per year. Even in the crisis year of 2014, more than 11,500 Hover were sold. But in 2015, in the history of the brand, there was a real “epic fail”: the management of “Irito” failed to agree with the Chinese partners engaged in the promotion of the Haval brand about the supply of components, and the assembly of Hover in the Russian Federation was curtailed.
However, Great Wall Hover is a completely normal road user, and the farther from the capitals you drive off, the more often these cars will meet. But although the car gained a certain popularity, its ratings have always differed in ambiguity, from “the worst car I’ve ever driven” to “a great car for my money.” So why love and why hate the Great Wall Hover?
Acquaintance with any car occurs in two stages. First, you evaluate his appearance, and with this question, Hover has complete order. However, to this we will return. But then you open the door and get behind the wheel … And here the newly minted owners of the Chinese-Russian SUV (regardless of where they bought it, new in the cabin or used) are faced with the features of Chinese ergonomics.
First, the landing itself. All frame SUVs can be divided into “high” (in which the driver sits like a driver on the floor) and “low” in which the body of the person sitting behind the wheel is straight enough, but the legs are extended forward, as in a train compartment. Isuzu Axiom was classified as “low,” and Hover inherited this trait. In itself, this is not bad or good, just someone likes the first more, and someone – the second option. But the fact that the Hover pedal is designed in a very peculiar way, and even in ordinary sneakers, when you move your foot from the gas to the brake and back, you constantly cling to the edge of the pedal with a welt – this is, as programmers say, “a bug, not a feature”.
Well, driving in winter shoes, say, snow boots, or, God forbid, in boots, and does turn into a real torment. Simultaneous pressing of the gas and the brake is a very effective driving technique, but it should be used only in certain circumstances, and not constantly.
Finally, the seats themselves. Evaluation of their convenience is determined solely by individual perception, and there are owners who initially had the Hover seats.