Car reviews - Haval - H6 - GT
Attractive styling, strong performance, generous standard kit, long warranty, five-star crash rating
Room for improvement
Pricey for a Chinese-made ICE car, some annoying driver assist traits, can be thirsty when pushed
Lambo lines lift Haval appearance. But does the drive experience match its looks?
13 Apr 2023
COPY-CAT cars are rife at this moment in time, with some looking almost identical to models from other brands.
Visualise Lamborghini’s Urus, launched in 2018 with a requisite aggro look, huge wheels and tyres, a squadron of exhaust pipes, squat stance and fast back, then overlay that with the medium-size GWM Haval H6 GT… The similarities are obvious.
The latter is not as in-your-face, but is disturbingly similar in appearance, enough to elicit a second look.
‘Lambisti’ will know the difference. But punters in the street wouldn’t have a clue. So, in essence, you can get your Lambo look-a-like at a tenth the price if you go down the H6 GT path. Throw on a set of bigger wheels and Bob’s your mother’s brother.
Of course, it won’t clock a 0-100kmh sprint in 3.3 seconds, but the H6 GT coupe SUV’s 2.0-litre, direct injection, turbocharged four banger gets the job done to a satisfactory level.
A hybrid model is floating around somewhere (and may be here soon), but this one is a pure ICE-mobile and is available in two variants, the front-wheel drive Lux and the AWD Ultra priced from $40,990 and $46,490 respectively, drive-away.
All-wheel drive petrol rivals include the Toyota RAV 4 AWD 2.5 Edge from $54,520, MG HS 2.0 Excite X from $38,990, Mitsubishi Outlander 2.5 ES from $38,740, Nissan X-Trail 2.5 ST from $39,790 Hyundai Tucson 1.6 AWD from $43,900, Kia Sportage 1.6 SX AWD from $43,850 -- all plus on-road costs.
While the H6 GT Ultra AWD driven lists at more than many of these entry models, the drive-away pricing accounts for much of the price differential and the test vehicle is the top of the range with high levels of standard kit.
To clarify, this is the GT model with a four-door, fast back coupe profile. A more conventional, boxy H6 SUV is also available.
The model scores big on luxury and safety equipment boasting goodies like ‘eco’ leather upholstery, two 10.25-inch info screens, an LED instrument cluster, eight-speaker audio, Apple and Android connectivity, electric adjustment to heated and cooled front seats, heated wheel, head-up display, large glass sunroof, auto park function, Michelin tyres, inductive phone charger and a 360-degree camera system.
Safety features include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and cross road recognition, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, emergency lane keeping, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise, traffic jam assist, hill descent control, driver attention warning, tyre pressure monitor, and reverse brake assist.
Size-wise it is 4727mm long, 1940mm wide and 1729mm high with a 2738mm wheelbase.
The direct injection petrol engine is turbo boosted and runs a high 12.0:1 compression ratio and yet is happy to use regular 91 octane unleaded. It is good for 150kW and 320Nm output which is about average for the class and power is fed to the two axles via a conventional seven-speed automatic transmission.
‘Conventional’ is the operative word here as that pretty much sums up all aspects of the vehicle from an engineering and styling perspective at least.
It gets a five-star ANCAP crash rating and has an impressive seven-year / unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Straight up we like the looks of this beast with its Lambo-esque visage and flanks. Punters walk up asking what it is… always a good sign especially in something from this end of the market.
And we like the way it goes too even though it’s a lazy 2.0-litre donk generating only 150kW and 320Nm. GWM could have turned up the wick a touch and made it more like the Lambo…
They didn’t, and it pays dividends in driveability and at the bowser where the biggish and somewhat weighty H6 GT sips lightly driven carefully registering a pretty good combined average of 7.5 litres per100km of the regular 91 stuff. That goes out the window when you ratchet it up.
The H6 GT is responsive underfoot, too, with virtually no lag on planting the right foot apart from accelerating from a standstill… waiting… whooshdah. Bit problematic when you have a large semi bearing down on you at an intersection…
The engine runs smooth as silk and makes minimal noise apart from when the ‘exhaust booster’ is activated with elicits more snap, crackle and pop from the rear of the vehicle.
Though it is a high riding SUV, the H6 GT is really only a sealed road vehicle capable of driving on dirt roads if needed and potentially in the snow. The AWD system activates on demand which is sometimes too late for a given circumstance.
Suspension is by a conventional MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear set-up and numerous drive modes are provided – Normal, Sport, Eco, Sport and Snow along with two all-terrain modes.
It is competent on sealed roads with a sporty flavour to the dynamics that deliver stable cornering, strong braking, impressive grip from the Michelin tyres and overall good driver feedback… to a point. It is after all a high-riding, relatively heavy wagon with the limitations the physics of that impose.
The five-seat compartment is roomy with somewhat restricted headroom in the back row. A decent size, easily expanded load space is provided… with an electrically operated automated tailgate.
The large sunroof and auto park function are superfluous in our opinion, but we appreciated the inductive phone charger and head up display. If you can’t park a car you shouldn’t be driving, I reckon.
The level of luxury adds to the vehicle’s appeal though too many functions are run through the touchscreens compromising the human-machine interface.
Using mobile phones in a car is illegal but rifling through numerous menus on a touch screen is just as dangerous.
The 1680kg vehicle has a 2000kg towing capacity though we weren’t able to test it.
This vehicle took us by surprise and was certainly much better than expected gauged against similar offerings from the same continent.
However, given the pricing of competitors, Haval’s H6 GT might struggle to get on shopping lists.
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