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Sunday / 23 June 2024
HomeFeaturesHaval H6 GT review – The accessible super SUV

Haval H6 GT review – The accessible super SUV

The term super SUV is used very lightly in this scenario, but the Haval H6 GT has the looks, the sound, and the features to let it assume this position.

Accessibility, too, is relative, however, a starting price of just under R630,000 for a full-size SUV packed to the brim with nice-to-haves is nearly unheard of in the modern world.

While the GT is unlikely to give the Lamborghini Urus a run for its money any time soon, it’s the closest many of us will ever get to owning something that resembles a raging bull.

Dynamic and direct

Despite the athletic body kit, the GT isn’t the most powerful version of the H6 as that accolade goes to the newly-unveiled hybrid, though out of the non-electrified models, it’s the leader of the pack.

The SUV conjures up 155kW and 325Nm from its 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol mill – 5kW and 5Nm more than the standard models – that meshes with a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox.

Haval has not disclosed the energetic H6’s acceleration times or top speed, and don’t expect any whiplash-inducing pull aways. It takes a few seconds to get going but once the turbo hits its powerband the driving profile is dynamic and direct.

Power is also delivered linearly and it’s therefore easy to roll along in bumper-to-bumper traffic without jerking too much. However, the transmission, while it gets the job done just fine, doesn’t let the driver hold a gear for as long as they please rather switching back into automatic when it decides the revs are too high.

Toggling Race mode, my personal favourite out of the seven onboard drive programmes, kicks up the excitement factor as the GT’s instrument panel gets sportier dials, the accelerator and steering noticeably firm up, and it opens its throat to generate an aggressive engine sound.

In this setting the SUV is more lively, but not frighteningly quick, allowing you to explore its limits all-the-while the exhaust’s pops and bangs give the impression that you’re doing much more than you are.

The GT is also driven by all four wheels, bringing a surefootedness that lets you throw it into turns at faster-than-expected speeds.

Fair warning, though, this high-riding Haval is thirsty and owners can expect the 60-litre tank’s reserve light to brighten after around 500km.

The SUV doesn’t show lifetime average usage, opting to refresh the reading with every trip, so it’s rather difficult to determine the true fuel spend over the course of several hundred kilometres.

It’s not impossible to get close to the manufacturer’s claim of 8.4l/100km on a lazy commute, I managed 8.6l/100km on the way to the office one morning, but more often than not it read between 10-12l/100km.

Driver’s cockpit

The H6 GT’s interior resembles more of a cockpit than a car cabin, the driver positioned deep and snug inside the attractive, model-exclusive synthetic leather/Alcantara seats and the dash featuring a modern and angular layout.

The long passenger cell supplies ample leg room in the front and rear, as well as a sizeable cargo compartment, and the low-down seating position means headroom in the coupe isn’t much of an issue.

It further has touches of Alcantara and faux carbon on the centre console and door panels which supplies a premium undertone, with bright green stitching and highlights adorning elements such as the chrome gearshift roundel.

The instrument cluster further takes the form of a 10.25-inch display that offers several layouts each with its own set of information, enabling the driver to choose a dial configuration that fits them best instead of having to choose between pre-set layouts.

In the centre then sits a 12.3-inch infotainment screen that supports wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with the way the dash is shaped beneath it providing a comfortable resting spot for your palm when navigating the touch display.

Offered in Super Luxury trim only, other amenities that stood out on the GT, when taking into consideration its price tag, were adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, a heads-up display, and a high-definition 360-degree camera system with multiple viewing angles.

Unfortunately, a physical volume toggle is missing which, for everyone but the driver who has access to the multifunction steering wheel, makes adjusting volume a two-step process by swiping down on the centre screen and sliding a horizontal bar.

Another button I would’ve loved to see is one for the exhaust, as it’s not possible to unleash the pipes in any mode but Race which comes with the caveat of increased fuel usage. Somewhat expected, due to the descending roofline, visibility out of the rear-view mirror is just shy of abysmal, too.

Verdict

The Haval H6 GT is a lot of car for the money and represents a decidedly unique package in a segment that is catered to family carriers and off-road adventure seekers.

If you don’t fit into one of these two categories, the GT is one of the few examples that are likely to tick many of your boxes as not many of its rivals ares able to bring the looks, sound, and equipment levels at such a competitive price.


Haval H6 GT


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