If there is one brand out there which continues to surprise us in the specialist motoring press, it would have to be Haval. A few years ago, they were no real threat to the established order of Japanese SUVs, but the Chinese company have pulled their finger out and are inching ever closer to being on par with many of their Japanese rivals. The new H6 is an integral part of Haval’s spearhead and here is how it stacks up.
Straight off the bat, the new H6 is very well priced. The range starts at a way low $32,990 plus ORC for the H6 Premium. Despite sounding like a higher spec model, the Premium is the entry point in the H6 family. Step up the mid-range Lux at $35,990 plus ORC before you reach the car featured here, the flagship Ultra at $38,990 plus ORC. You can have your H6 Ultra in 2WD or 4WD, but the latter will set you back an extra $2k.
Regardless of which you opt for, there exists only one powertrain to choose from, well until the new H6 Hybrid gets here that is. All models get a 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine producing 150kW of grunt and 320Nm of torque. This is a boost over the previous generation of 5kW and 5Nm respectively. This is mated to Haval’s new seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission. Haval also say the H6 can tow up to two tonnes and will return combined fuel consumption figures of 7.4L/100km.
On the styling front, its easy to see some in-house styling influence from the Haval Jolion. You get the same style of LED headlights and while you don’t get the same chrome eye liner as the Jolion, you get a very blingy front grill. My favourite design aspect of the H6 would be the full-width LED rear light bar. The H6 has a wheel base of 2738mm and it tips the scales at 1555kg.
Inside the H6 continues Haval’s modernist and minimalist approach to creature comforts. It is also good to see the level of refinement has been improved too, not dramatically so, but it is noticeable. There is a better range of premium feeling materials for the dashboard and that leather wrapped steering wheel. I also love the floating centre console which houses a number of areas for storing knick-knacks.
The H6’s greatest weapon in its arsenal is the sheer amount of kit you get as standard. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Fatigue Monitoring, Reversing camera and Rear parking sensors are standard across the range.
My Ultra gets even more goodies like a sizeable Panoramic sunroof, Power Tailgate, Heads Up Display, Heated steering wheel, Wireless charging, Heated and ventilated front seats, Rear Cross Traffic Alert with brake, 360-degree camera, Automatic Parking and a larger 12.3-inch infotainment system in place of the 10.25-inch system you get in the Premium and Ultra.
That infotainment screen is very clear and looks sharp, as does the instrument cluster screen. With nods to interplanetary space exploration, you get the feeling Haval is intending to boldly go where no Chinese SUV maker has gone before.
The H6 is also a relatively roomy so-and-so. Folk seated in the rear can find plenty of head and legroom to get comfortable. Boot space is rated at a decent 600L and when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded away, this swells to a hefty 1485L of space. Underneath the floor the H6 gets a space saver wheel and it is quite easy to load and unload.
Moving off and despite having a titch too much throttle pedal travel, once that turbo four pot gets into its stride, it shows itself to have a very well-balanced delivery of power and torque. That seven speed dual clutch auto box isn’t too bad either, however shifting via those shiny paddles behind that leather wrapped steering really isn’t really necessary. At a regular cruise, the H6 is quite comfortable. There is sufficient softness to the suspension to give a good ride without being too wallowy.
Changing drive modes is done via the infotainment screen. That said, I would have loved a toggle switch or a separate button to do this. Anyway, once you flick over to Sport mode, it really is Sport mode. Sometimes switching to a mode catered for a spot of driving exuberance results in the revs rising and that’s about it. Not so with the H6. That turbo four pot becomes very responsive and dare I say it, even makes an ok noise.
The new Haval H6 is certainly miles ahead of the car it replaces. There are still a few niggles surrounding ergonomics and that fact refinement, while getting there, is still not quite at the level it should be. That said, when you factor in bang for your buck and the sheer amount of safety kit and other goodies thrown at it, the new H6 is hard to ignore.