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REVIEW: Haval H6 GT is a striking new take on the ‘coupe SUV’

REVIEW: Haval H6 GT is a striking new take on the ‘coupe SUV’

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REVIEW: Haval H6 GT

Johannesburg – Haval has been rocking the local sales charts with its sensibly-priced Jolion and H6 SUV models, but with the new H6 GT the Chinese carmaker is letting its hair down while taking a shot of tequila and dancing on the table.

Although based on the H6 all-wheel drive model, the GT has a completely different body shell, with a coupe-like sloping roof design. Sort of what BMW does with its X4 and X6 models, but for a lower end of the market.

That said, with its price tag of R629 950, this Chinese GT is also an attempt to move upmarket with a more premium player that also turns heads. Given how there are only so many ways you can style an SUV, we reckon Haval has done a decent job in making the H6 GT look unique. It rolls on 19-inch alloy wheels and there are plenty of gloss black and carbon-like garnishes adorning the body.

Those racy vibes continue in the cabin, in a big way. Here you’ll find sports seats with luminous green accents as well as GT logos and Alcantara inserts. The cockpit has a hi-tech, even somewhat futuristic feel to it, thanks to a dual-tier dash design and tall central tunnel between the driver and front passenger.

As for the electronics, you get a 12.3-inch central infotainment display and 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. However, that swanky dashboard design means there are no traditional ventilation controls, meaning you have to use the screen to control even the most basic functions, which can be cumbersome and distracting.

REVIEW: Haval H6 GT is a striking new take on the ‘coupe SUV’

Thankfully Haval has fitted a whole raft of advanced driver assistance features, including Automatic Emergency Braking, with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. A 360-degree surround-view camera system is also part of the deal.

But is the Haval H6 GT practical? Actually, more so than you might imagine. Move into the back seat area, which also has the luminous accents and GT badging, and you’ll find very decent leg room as well as head space. The boot is also quite vast, albeit relatively shallow, which explains its rather so-so load volume of 392 litres with the rear seats in place.

Let’s take it for a drive

Beneath the bonnet of the Haval H6 GT is a slightly perkier version of the familiar 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine. In this guise it offers a hearty 155kW and 325Nm, which is 5kW and 5Nm more than you get in the regular H6. All-wheel drive is also part of the deal here, with power going to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox.

Chinese cars have been criticised for their fuel economy, and unfortunately the H6 GT proved no exception during our week with the vehicle. On a short highway stretch I managed to get it down to 8.2 litres per 100km, which is not too bad for a relatively large all-wheel drive SUV. However, when cruising around in urban areas I struggled to keep it below 13 litres per 100km, eventually getting it down to 12.3 after some careful driving. Enthusiastic driving, on the other hand, can easily result in a readout hovering closer to the 18 l/100km mark.

Overall performance is quite punchy though, but it does feel a touch laggy off the mark when you’re aiming for a brisk take-off, even when Sport mode is dialled in. It’s like there is a bit of a disconnect between the throttle, engine and gearbox.

REVIEW: Haval H6 GT is a striking new take on the ‘coupe SUV’

Out on the road the suspension feels a touch firm, and the ride can get a little busy over uneven surfaces, but overall the ride quality is more than acceptably comfortable.

Through the corners the H6 GT feels as stable as you could expect from an SUV of this stature, but the steering does feel a little woollen and disconnected. I am nitpicking here because the average driver might not care about steering feel and sharp throttle responses. If you’re simply looking for an SUV with strong performance, then what’s on offer here will serve you just fine, but just don’t come into this expecting a hot hatch on stilts…

As mentioned, there is a Sport mode, which admittedly doesn’t feel too different to the normal default, but there is also a Race mode, which artificially amplifies the engine sound and sharpens up the responses a little.

VERDICT

The new Haval H6 GT might lack refinement in a few areas, and it’s not exactly affordable at R629 950 (in November 2022), but in our book it still offers an impressive combination with its striking looks, modern and surprisingly practical cabin and decent spec levels.

FACTS: Haval H6 GT 4WD Super Luxury

Price: R629 950

Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbopetrol

Gearbox: 7-speed dual-clutch automated

Drive: All-wheel drive

Power: 155kW from 6 000rpm

Torque: 325Nm from 1 500rpm

Fuel use, highway: 8.2 l/100km (tested)

Fuel use, urban: 12.3 l/100km (tested)

Ground clearance: 170mm

Fuel tank capacity: 60 litres

Boot volume: 392 litres

Warranty: 5-year/150 000km

Service plan: 5-year/60 000km

IOL Motoring

Original Article

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