IOL Motoring Staff
GWM is entering the Toyota RAV4's play pit with its all-new H6, a softroader that looks to be one of China's most sophisticated products to date.
A far cry from the bakkie-based GWM H5, the H6 is a unibody crossover that's available in 4x2 guise only and with 180mm of ground clearance for tackling dirt tracks. In size terms its 4640mm length and 2680mm wheelbase puts it somewhere between the Hyundai ix35 and Santa Fe, giving it a cabin space advantage over the lower-C-segment crossovers that it competes with on price.
Buyers will get to choose between a 1.5-litre turbopetrol and 2-litre turbodiesel engine, both mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The petrol mill, available in a few weeks from now, comes close to matching the outputs of your average normally aspirated 2-litre petrol, with 105kW developed at 5600rpm and 210Nm from 2200rpm. Claimed combined consumption amounts to 8.5 l/100km.
The oil burner also pushes 105kW, at 4000rpm, and produces 310Nm of twist from 1800rpm. The economy advantage comes in at a claimed 6.7 l/100km.
The all-new platform upon which it's built not only promises superb noise, vibration and harshness levels, but a sophisticated ride too thanks to multi-link rear suspension - a design that many of its rivals don't have.
But the big draw card is the level of standard equipment on offer.
Forget options lists, this fully loaded automotive box meal comes with leather seats, climate control, height-and-reach-adjustable steering wheel, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers as well as a full-colour touch-screen infotainment system complete with USB, Aux and mini-SD slots and a reverse camera that's also linked to an audible warning system.
As for safety, the H6 attained a five-star C-NCAP (Chinese) safety rating, although they weren't exactly generous when packing in the explosive cushions, with just driver and passenger frontal airbags fitted, along with the obligatory ABS brakes.
1.5T 4x2 - R294 900
2.0 TCI 4x2 - R329 900
The H6 is sold with a three-year/100 000km warranty and is available through a network of 70 outlets and service centres nationwide.