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Haval H6 2021 review

The Haval H6 hopes to steal buyers away from Toyota's RAV4
EXPERT RATING
7.9
Like suprises? The new-generation Haval H6 has arrived to challenge the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.

There are good surprises and bad surprises. Like the time I was driving my ute and the steering wheel came off. Bad surprise. Or the time the chicken shop accidentally gave me a large chips when I paid for a medium. Good surprise. The Haval H6 also surprised me. And it was up there with a large chips type of surprise.

See, my expectations of Haval have been of a brand which is really big in China where its owned by Great Wall Motors, but can’t keep up with the likes of Toyota and Mazda when it comes to driving and styling. Instead, their strength seemed to be just value-for-money.

Surprise! The new generation H6 isn’t just good value-for-money any more. It’s still really well priced but it has stunning looks, too. But that wasn’t the biggest surprise.

If you are considering a mid-sized SUV such as a Toyota RAV4 or Mazda CX-5, I strongly suggest you widen the net and consider the H6, too. Let me explain.

Haval H6 2021: LUX
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency9.8L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$30,990

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

This new generation H6 is ridiculously good looking. So much so that my Dad thought it was a Porsche when I arrived to pick him up. But in saying that Dad also has a glass coffee table supported by a golden naked lady and thinks I work in a car dealership, despite me explaining that motoring journalism is an actual job.

This new generation H6 is ridiculously good looking. This new generation H6 is ridiculously good looking.

He’s not wrong, for once. Well, it doesn’t look like a Porsche, but I can see what he means given the way the LED strip across the tailgate lights up and connects with the tail-lights either side.

Havals in the past have seemed low quality and unfinished, but this new H6 seems the opposite. Havals in the past have seemed low quality and unfinished, but this new H6 seems the opposite.

I don’t know what kind of deal with the devil the H6’s designer made but there isn’t an angle from which this SUV looks nothing short of beautiful. There’s the flashy but not over-the-top grille, the sleek headlights, and the smooth lines in profile which wrap around to the curvaceous back end.

Havals in the past have seemed low quality and unfinished, but this new H6 seems the opposite.

The same goes for the minimalist cabin. Those screens house almost every function except for the climate control and that clears the dashboard of buttons.

This cabin is a premium design with a floating centre console and metallic trim. Stepping up to the Lux from the Premium adds 'leatherette' upholstery, a leather steering wheel and then the Ultra takes the high-end feeling further with a 12.3-inch media display and a panoramic sunroof.

This cabin is a premium design with a floating centre console and metallic trim. This cabin is a premium design with a floating centre console and metallic trim.

As for the dimensions, the H6 is larger than most mid-sized SUVs but smaller than a large SUV at 4653mm end to end, 1886mm wide and 1724 mm tall.

The H6 is larger than most mid-sized SUVs but smaller than a large SUV at 4653mm end to end, 1886mm wide and 1724 mm tall. The H6 is larger than most mid-sized SUVs but smaller than a large SUV at 4653mm end to end, 1886mm wide and 1724 mm tall.

The six exterior colours are, 'Hamilton White', 'Ayres Grey', 'Burgundy Red', 'Energy Green', 'Sapphire Blue' and 'Golden Black.'

How practical is the space inside?   8/10

The H6 is cavernous for a mid-sized SUV with large and wide seats up front and excellent leg and headroom in the second row. The H6 doesn’t come with a third row which is shame because there’s room for one.

The H6 is cavernous for a mid-sized SUV with large and wide seats up front. The H6 is cavernous for a mid-sized SUV with large and wide seats up front.

A 600-litre cargo capacity is big for the class and cabin storage is good with two cupholders in the second row, another two up front, a large space under the floating centre console, although the door pockets could be better.

  • A 600-litre cargo capacity is big for the class. A 600-litre cargo capacity is big for the class.
  • A 600-litre cargo capacity is big for the class. A 600-litre cargo capacity is big for the class.

Second rowers will be pleased with directional air vents back there, plus two USB ports. There are another two USB ports either side of the floating centre console, too.

The leatherette upholstery in the Lux I tested was easy to keep clean and would suit families better than the cloth material used in the Premium.

Second rowers will be pleased with directional air vents back there. Second rowers will be pleased with directional air vents back there.

You’re going to notice the high load lip on the boot and for people as tall as me (191cm/6'3") the opened tailgate and your head may meet occasionally. Still the H6 is super practical.  

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

You’re saving a decent amount of moolah choosing a Haval H6 over, say, a Toyota RAV4,  Mazda CX-5 or Nissan X-Trail. The H6 entry-grade is called the Premium and lists for $30,990 drive-away, while the mid-range Lux is $33,990 driveaway.

Both come in front wheel drive only. If you’re after all-wheel drive you’ll need to step up to the top-of-the-range Ultra for $36,990 drive-away, or pay $2,000 less and have it in front-wheel drive.

The H6 features two 10.25-inch displays with Apple CarPlay. The H6 features two 10.25-inch displays with Apple CarPlay.

In comparison the RAV4 and CX-5 ranges start more than $3K higher than the entry-grade H6 and don’t get the same level of features. Let me show you what you get for your money.

Coming standard on the Premium are two 10.25-inch displays with Apple CarPlay, six-speaker audio, digital radio, air-conditioning, proximity key with push-button start, a reversing camera, paddle shifters, LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Stepping up to the Lux adds dual-zone climate control, privacy glass, power adjustable driver’s seat, the front seats are also heated, leather steering wheel, 360-degree camera and roof rails.

The Ultra brings in a 12.3-inch media screen, power adjustable front passenger seat and both front seats are now heated and ventilated. There's also wireless charging, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, an electric tailgate, and auto parking.

That’s incredibly good value. Normally things that are cheap (like a Jetstar flight) offer nothing in return (like a Jetstar flight). Yep, nobody is going to accuse you of being ripped off here.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The same four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine is in all three grades. It’s a 2.0-litre and makes 150kW/320Nm.

This engine had no problems pulling the H6 around when I tested it with my little family onboard with good acceleration and smooth shifts from the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

When pushed hard the four-cylinder responds well, but it’s on the noisy side.

As mentioned at the start of this review only the top-of-the-range Ultra grade gives you choice of all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive. The Premium and Lux are front-wheel drives only.

The same four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine is in all three grades, a 2.0-litre that makes 150kW/320Nm. The same four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine is in all three grades, a 2.0-litre that makes 150kW/320Nm.

The car we tested was the front-wheel drive Lux, but we’ll be able to review the all-wheel drive version when it arrives in our garage soon.

On paper the all-wheel drive Haldex system in the H6 looks promising and in this generation the SUV has a rear differential lock for better off-road capability. That said, the H6 is not an off-roader in the Toyota LandCruiser sense, and you should keep your adventures in it mild rather than wild.

There’s no diesel in the H6 line-up, nor will you find a hybrid variant or and electric version of this SUV at this stage.

Braked towing capacity is 2000kg for all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive H6s.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

Haval says that after a combination of open and urban roads the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder should use 7.4L/100km in the front-wheel drive cars and 8.3L/100km in the all-wheel drives.

In my testing of the front-wheel drive I measured 9.1L/100km at the fuel pump. That was after an even split of motorway and urban running.

Thirsty work considering most of the time it was just me and an unloaded car. Add a family of four plus holiday gear and you can expect that mileage to be worse.

It’s here that the H6 is showing a weakness in its offering by not having a hybrid powertrain in its Australian range.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

I’m still in shock. This is the biggest surprise. The H6 I tested was effortless to drive, with a comfortable and composed ride. I was not expecting it, not when most Havals I’ve piloted in the past have disappointed when it comes to the driving bit.  

Sure, the engine isn't overly powerful, but it's responsive, and the dual-clutch transmission shifts smoothly whether driving in slow traffic or at 110km/h on the motorway

Sharp speed bumps taken a bit too fast in the front-wheel drive Lux I tested reveal only modest suspension travel, causing a reverberating ‘bang’ as the shocks and springs react. I’ve experienced the same thing in many cars I’ve tested – even properly prestige ones.

This though is one of very few complaints I have about the way the H6 drives, for the most part this SUV performs remarkably well with a (high) level of refinement I seriously wasn’t expecting.

I can’t tell you what the all-wheel drive version of the H6 is like to drive having only tested the front-wheel drive version, but we’ll no doubt have one in the CarsGuide garage soon.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

7 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

Is the Haval H6 safe? Well the H6 hasn’t been given an ANCAP rating yet, but this new generation car looks to be equipped well with advanced safety tech across all three grades.

All H6s come with AEB which can detect pedestrians and cyclists, blind spot warning and lane change assistance, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, and rear collision warning.

The Lux adds adaptive cruise control, while the Ultra brings rear cross-traffic alert with braking, and an 'Intelligent Dodge' overtaking system.

Along with all that tech there are seven airbags on board, too. And for child seats you’ll find two ISOFIX points and three top tether anchor mounts.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

The H6 is covered by Haval’s seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 15,000km, although the first service is required at the 10,000km point, then 25,000km and so on. Servicing is capped at $210 for the first service, $280 for the second, $380 for third, $480 for the fourth and $210 for the fifth.

Verdict

The H6 could be the turning point for Haval in Australia. The brand’s first big success that changes the way Aussies view this Chinese carmaker. The H6’s great value and stunning looks will win over many but add an excellent warranty, advanced safety tech, plus the surprisingly good, and you have a package that appears right up there with the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.

The sweet spot of the range would have to be the Lux - the car I tested with its leatherette seats, privacy glass and dual-zone climate control.

Pricing guides

$29,490
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$27,990
Highest Price
$30,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LUX 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO $30,990 2021 Haval H6 2021 LUX Pricing and Specs
Premium 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO $27,990 2021 Haval H6 2021 Premium Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.9
Design8
Practicality8
Price and features8
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption7
Driving8
Safety8
Ownership8
Richard Berry
Senior Journalist

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