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Car reviews - Haval - H6 - Hybrid

Our Opinion

We like
Value for money, assembly quality, generous equipment levels, real-world fuel consumption and range, ample performance, ride comfort, packaging and practicality
Room for improvement
Calibration of driver-assistance technologies, steering assistance and feedback, adaptive cruise control gremlins, complicated touchscreen menus and sub-menus

The Haval H6 Hybrid is the most affordable petrol-electric SUV in its class

22 Apr 2022



GREAT WALL MOTOR’s Haval brand is making its presence known Down Under with a broadened SUV portfolio that now extends to the Jolion, H6 and coupe-inspired H6 GT. It’s also venturing into the increasingly popular hybrid SUV market with the appropriately named H6 Hybrid – a variant based on the range’s flagship H6 Ultra and priced from a competitive $46,990 drive-away.


The H6 Hybrid is powered by GWM’s proven 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine in combination with a two-speed 130kW electric motor. It offers combined system outputs of 179kW and 530Nm, as well as a claimed average fuel consumption figure of 5.2 litres per 100km (on the ADR combined cycle), which gives the variant a single-fill range of approximately 900km.


Drive to the front wheels is via GWM’s electronically controlled Dedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT), which harnesses the petrol engine and electric motor to provide “excellent acceleration and performance at low speeds with increased efficiency and power at higher speeds.”


The manufacturer further claims the H6 Hybrid's driving experience is similar to that of a battery-electric vehicle. The lightweight DHT, which offers drive modes such as EV, Series, Parallel and Regeneration, is optimised to provide “maximum efficiency across all speed and load conditions”.


Visually, the Haval H6 Hybrid can be differentiated from other derivatives in the medium SUV range by its bespoke grille, additional door-trim garnishing and centrally mounted brake lights.


The variant is equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go functionality, leather trim, six-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, front-seat heating and ventilation, heated steering wheel, electric tailgate, self-dimming rear-view mirror, head-up display, panoramic sunroof, and inductive device charging pad.


Infotainment and driver information comes courtesy of 12.3-inch touch-sensitive- and 10.25-inch colour LED screens, with the former including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.


The Haval H6 Hybrid’s safety- and driver-assistance features include a 360-degree camera system, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring with lane-change assist, driver-fatigue monitoring system, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic-sign recognition, and fully automatic parking.


All Haval passenger vehicles are backed by a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty with five years’ roadside assistance and capped-price servicing.


Haval capped price servicing covers the H6 HEV for the first five services. Service intervals are set annually or at 10,000km increments (whichever comes first) with pricing set at $225, $250, $400, $550 and $225 respectively.


Driving Impressions


So far, so good. Right? Well, bear with us. There’s a lot to unpack here, and we don’t necessarily want to throw away the suitcase.


The Haval brand and indeed its H6 model have come a long way in a very short passage of time – a lot further than many other new-to-market makes have managed in the past – but, in our view, still not quite far enough to be on the same level as the market’s stalwart marques.


On balance, the H6 is vehicle that is generously proportioned, well screwed together, sensibly priced and fundamentally, according to ANCAP, at least, safe. It’s also a decent vehicle to drive, provided you don’t ask too much from it.


Most punters would say: “I won’t, so that’s fine. I’ll take it”. But a decent driveline and chassis will only achieve so much, especially when the road ahead becomes rather challenging, or you need to perform an emergency evasive manoeuvre. Then, decent just doesn’t cut it.


When it’s dawdling around town or commuting on a well-paved freeway, the H6 Hybrid feels quite like any other medium-segment SUV. It’s rather quiet, genuinely comfortable, and has a list of equipment that delivers the kind of luxury and technology items we now somehow believe we can’t live without. However, the H6 becomes an altogether different vehicle when challenged.


The level of torque steer it presents can inhibit the driver from countering a rapid directional change when manoeuvring around an object that has suddenly appeared in their path (such as a vehicle entering from a side street or driveway). The level of assistance offered at this point simply can’t overcome the torque driving the front wheels, and from the driver’s perspective, too little results from far too much effort.


We also found the driver-assistance technologies extremely uptight – a legacy issue Haval has yet to fully address. The adaptive cruise control is overreactive in braking for even slight bends in the road, while the stability control system brakes forcibly – and activates the hazard lights, no less – when faced with sharp bumps in the road (such as large expansion gaps on bridges).


Even in low-speed and manoeuvring scenarios, the Haval feels nervous and reactive. The acoustic parking sensors beep solidly when weaving through tight underground car parks or heading down a hedged driveway, even when there is 80cm (or more) to spare. As a driver, you feel on-edge when parking the H6, knowing you can never completely trust the acoustic guides.


We also found the menu system of the central touchscreen overly complicated. Simple settings and controls that are usually accessed via hard buttons on the dashboard or centre console are, instead, buried deep within an illogical (and sometimes unnavigable) menu system that takes a long time to fully understand. Dimming the panel lights, turning on the seat heaters, adjusting the temperature, switching the airflow to recirculate, tuning the radio, and myriad other basic controls are all hidden away within various pages we feel are too difficult to access on the go.


But if you can get past all of that – and let’s face it, for the price that’s something that’s quite easy to do – then the Haval H6 Hybrid is a decent car. The packaging and spaciousness of the Chinese contender are excellent, it’s a quiet car to drive over almost any surface, it sticks very close to its fuel economy claims, the ride quality is brilliant, and the handling – in day-to-day scenarios, at least – is rather crisp. It also has brilliant headlight optics and properly cold air-conditioning, meaning it’s better equipped than some models (even some that have been around for much longer than Haval) for long, hot Aussie summers.


But for our money, we just can’t live with the Haval’s neurotic driver-assistance systems and highly strung parking aids. If GWM can finesse the stability control, adaptive cruise control and parking sensors to better match Australian conditions, the brand could well have a winner on its hands. However, as it stands, we quite simply believe the H6 Hybrid needs a rethink.

Quick tests

1st of December 2021

Haval H6 Hybrid

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1st of December 2021

Haval H6 Hybrid

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