Tested: 2021 Haval H6

Back in 2018, when we tested and drove the then new Haval H6 from Somerset West to Kamieskroon and back, the main question from onlookers was: “What is this Haval thing?” Fast forward to the end of 2021 and the Chinese brands are flooding into Southern Africa, and with good reason.

The Haval H6 skipped a generation between 2018 and 2021; and it shows. There is a day-and-night contrast between the two models with regards to quality. This manufacturer has certainly learnt from its mistakes; so much so that they are currently ahead of the field, with new owners waiting for their vehicles to be shipped into the country.

Why then, is it that everyone seems to currently jump for their pockets as soon as hear the “Haval” name? Well, hopefully we can help with the following few pointers.

Price

Both the H6 and Jolion models barged into the market with surprising prices. While each of the H6 models are sold with 2.0 turbopetrol (150kW and 320Nm) units, accompanied by a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, the cheapest of the four models, namely the two-wheel drive Premium model, goes for R419 900, while the Luxury version will be R454 900. Jump up to four-wheel drive (Luxury model) and the price rises to R479 900. The Super Luxury (4WD) solidifies the H6 range at R514 900.

Each model will be sold with a 5-year / 60 000km service plan and a 5-year / 100 000km warranty.

Purchase the Haval from Thorp dealers and they will add an additional two years.

Let’s put this into perspective. The H6 2.0 7DCT 4WD Luxury model (our test unit) costs less than a new 2022 Kia Seltos 1.4 (GT-Line), Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5T Auto, Toyota Rav GX Auto, Mazda CX-5 2.0 Active Auto, Peugeot 2008 GT 1.2T Auto, Honda HR-V 1.8 Elegance Auto, Opel Grandland X 1.6T Cosmo Auto, Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Premium Auto, Mazda CX 30 2.0 Dynamic Auto, Nissan Qashqai 1.2T Midnight Auto and Volkswagen T-Cross 1.5 TSI R-Line Auto.

Did already mention all the compact SUV’s currently on the market? Jip, the H6 seems to be the best priced of all the current mid-sized SUV’s on the market. It even costs less than a new Audi A1 Sportsback 25 TFSI, or Hyundai Kona and Creta.

At 4653mm in length and 2738 mm in wheelbase length, the H6 is larger than the Rav4, X-Trail and Mazda CX-5.

But why is it so much less than its competitors? For once, we really cannot give you any reason, which brings us to our next point.

Value for money

From previous experience, I personally expected the H6 to only look nice, while cheap, squeaky and rattling plastics may greet you inside. To silence skeptics like myself, I unfortunately have to acknowledge that Haval proved me wrong.

The interior feels oddly familiar, having driven Land Rover products not long ago. The leather upholstery seats and steeing wheel is refined, while the door panels have no scratchy plastics, but are also coated with leather. The driver’s seat is also electrically operated.

All four H6 models also come with Adaptive Cruise Control (with cyclist and pedestrian detection) as well as semi-autonomous driving. While the base model features a 10.25 inch touch screen, our test unit came with a 12.3 inch touch screen as well as a 10.25 inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.

All models come with a keyless push-button start, automatic headlights and wipers, rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, tyre pressure monitoring and six airbags.

Our Luxury model even came with a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, front parking sensors, 360-degree view cameras, lane departure alert and traffic sign recognition.

Luxury

With three models under the R500 000 mark and each with an abundance of luxury, the range-topping Super Luxury model features 19-inch alloy wheels, an electrically operated tailgate, heated front seats, wireless phone charging, heads up display, rear privacy glass and blind spot detection.

Ever wondered what your child can study after school? Well, there is certainly a demand for chiropractors, and this is largely thanks to the new vehicle sales market. For some obscure reason, most new cars feature sporty suspensions. I won’t go into this pointless debate at this time, but luckily Haval kept well within reason and developed an SUV with a comfortable suspension.

Driving on the Vissershok road en route to Durbanville, this feature alone won me over. The new McPherson strut independent front suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension seamlessly glides over the bumps and potholes.

On the topic of comfort, the power delivery of this H6 ranges between 1500 and 4000rpm, resulting in a very smooth and linear drive and no high-revving shenanigans. The only disappointment seems to be the fuel consumption, which results in 10-litres per 100km.

There is also an abundance of rear leg- and headroom, while the rear luggage compartment features 337-litres of boot space.

Apart from the fuel consumption, the H6 can’t put a foot wrong, meaning that we at NamWheels are still scratching our heads as to why this car is so affordable.

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