I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first jumped behind the wheel of the new HAVAL H6.
My first impressions were that the 2016 HAVAL H6, I had the top-spec LUX grade, certainly had a very familiar feel about it.
Expecting something with quite a different look and feel inside the cabin, it was anything but.
There is nothing weird, strange or out of place inside the HAVAL H6 cabin.
The switch-gear, controls, the lay-out of the steering wheel buttons, the control buttons around the infotainment screen, they are all very familiar and quite mainstream in look/feel/positioning.
I also took the time to do a walk around of the vehicle and found all the panel gaps were consistent and everything looked and felt as it should.
So then it was time to take the HAVAL H6 for a drive and it was here that I found the only area where this offering still has some room for improvement – simple drive-train refinement.
The power tends to come on with a bit of a surge and there’s a bit of a shudder every now and then.
The automatic transmission, which is a six-speed unit, also could provide just a bit more response when downshifting was required, it was also fairly pedestrian when selecting either drive or reverse.
Finally, my last real complaint and that is the front-wheel drive, in the wet, tends to struggle to find grip on wet roads.
Especially when making a start on a hill, the front wheels would want to spin, before the traction control kicked in.
These observations are more evident because the rest of the HAVAL H6 LUX is such a well-appointed and generally very acceptable SUV.
I thought the ride was particularly well-sorted and the steering nicely weighted.
Fuel economy, about on par for an SUV of this size – expect to use 8.8L/100km combined, but most likely about 11.0L/100km in the city.
The cabin, as already pointed out, well above what my expectations might have been.
In fact, HAVAL has done a great job with fit and finish and this is exacerbated by little things like the suede-type lining in the glove box and centre console bin.
Legroom, front and rear is reasonable and boot space generous.
While standard features are also really generous, especially when the starting price of just $34,990 (currently $33,990 drive-away until end of 2016) is considered.
Opt for a HAVAL H6 LUX and you will drive home with features including:
- 19″ Alloy Wheels
- Tilt & reach steering adjust
- Reverse camera
- Side vision camera
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Push button ignition
- Heated and electric front seats
- Electric park brake
- Tyre pressure monitor
While HAVAL charges no extra for premium/metallic paint.
At this stage there isn’t an ANCAP safety rating for the HAVAL H6, though standard safety features include driver and passenger airbags, head-protecting airbags, and side airbags (front row).
Summing it up, I’m really pleased to say that across most aspects, especially when pricing is taken into account, the HAVAL H6 is an impressive offering.
Comfortable, well-appointed, nicely finished, and with a better than average five-year warranty, if you can look past the less than perfect drive-train then the HAVAL could be one of the best buys on the Australian SUV market at present.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 HAVAL H6
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 145kW/315Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Price: LUX from $34,990 ($33,990 drive-away until the end of 2016)