REVIEW: Haval H6 offers impressive bang for the buck

Published Sep 15, 2022


REVIEW: Haval H6 2.0T 4WD Luxury

Pretoria – When you haven’t been selling cars for very long and you start to kick more recognised manufacturers down the sales charts, then you know you’re doing something right.

Which is precisely what Chinese manufacturer Haval has been doing the last few months with its value-for-money offerings that have seen South Africans opt for the “newcomer” over the more tried and tested brands.

We’re a sucker for a bargain and even more so if it means we’re getting more bang for our buck when we slide behind the steering wheel.

Because since the brand entered the market in 2017 Haval has been selling its cars with almost every option as standard at a price point not many can match.

It’s also the case with the H6 2.0T Luxury 7DCT 4WD model that we recently had on test.

The front of the H6 is possibly its best exterior feature with a striking grille flanked by thin LED headlights, which received many compliments during the week I drove it.

Behind the grille is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol mill delivering 150kW and 320Nm, and powering all four wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The wheel arches are filled by 18-inch alloys, and I feel that perhaps the 19-inch wheels in the top-spec Super Luxury version should have been an option that fills the space better and looks more aesthetically pleasing.

It’s certainly not a deal-breaker because for a rather large slab of metal the designers have done a very decent job.

It’s on the inside, though (with one or two personal reservations), that the H6 truly stands out. On the face of it, it’s as good as anything you’ll find in any premium manufacturer, with soft touch surfaces, quality leather and stitching and every panel lining up flush and neat.

As with some of the premium brands there’s a lot of glass in front of the driver with a fully digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen infotainment system that provides a lot of information once you’ve managed to figure out which menu is which sub menu, which can be a little disconcerting when you’re on the road.

The screen also provides brilliant graphics from the 360-degree camera, with a panoramic view that works well when parking, but they also come on every time you stop to turn and put the indicator on, and I couldn’t figure out a way to disable it.

It’s not unique to Haval but the lack of a simple volume dial is frustrating when you only have the steering wheel and a small window on the touchscreen as an option with clumsy fingers while driving. I mean, even a R3-million Audi e-Tron has an elegant dial on the centre console.

The H6 stands its ground firmly as a mid-size family SUV with lots of space and a large boot that can be increased by dropping the rear seats. I managed to sit comfortably behind the driver’s seat without having to move my legs sideways, with it set to my ideal driving position. The back also has its own air vents and two USB charging points.

But what’s the Haval H6 like to drive?

There’s some initial lag on take-off but once it’s built up a head of steam it cruises comfortably with smooth gear changes when passing slower traffic.

In Sport mode with the steering set to be more responsive it handles the twisties relatively well with quick gear changes and good response to driving inputs.

Interior noise levels are impressive, given its size and shape, with minimal engine or wind noise in the cockpit while driving with the adaptive cruise control set, but it is rather harsh with slowing down and accelerating again.

Most of the driving was done in Normal Mode with fuel consumption on the high side, averaging 11l/100km during the week I had it.

There are also Sand, Snow and Off-road settings in this all-road version of the H6 that uses a torque-on-demand system allowing the front and rear rubber to operate at a 50/50 ratio, which certainly comes in handy when you’re driving on badly corrugated dirt roads.

Haval have also put in a hill descent control button which is probably more of a nice-to-have as I doubt owners will be taking on any serious rocky roads, especially with 170mm of ground clearance.

The H6 2.0T Luxury 7DCT 4WD impressed me during the time I had it. With decent driving dynamics, comfortable seating and driving position, a host of passive and active safety features and tech that would impress a millennial no end, you would be doing yourself a disservice if the H6 is not on your radar if you’re in the market for an affordable family SUV.

It’s priced at R549 950 and comes with a five-year/100 000km warranty and a five-year/60 000km service plan.

FACTS: Haval H6 2.0T 4WD Luxury

Price: R549 950

Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cyl, turbopetrol

Gearbox: 7-speed dual-clutch automated

Power: 150kW at 6 300rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 1 500 – 4000rpm

Fuel use, mixed: 11.0 l/100km (tested)

Kerb weight: 1 666kg

Wheels: 18-inch alloy

Fuel tank capacity: 60 litres

Warranty: 5-year/100 000km

Service plan: 5-year/60 000km

IOL Motoring