There was a time when coupe-inspired SUVs were accessible only to those with deep pockets. Think of cars like the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, BMW X4, Audi Q5 Sportback and Porsche Macan, all of which cost nearly a hundred grand.
But now, for half of the price you could get into an equally stylish SUV-coupe with the same if not better equipment level. The Haval H6 GT is the latest model from the fast-establishing Chinese SUV manufacturer to disrupt the market. Available in two variants, the H6 GT Lux is priced at $40,990 while the upper-spec H6 GT Ultra asks $46,490. No, they are not manufacturer’s list price, they are drive-away pricing. It’s tempting, we know.
On test was the H6 GT Ultra with the only option available – metallic paint, bringing the final drive-away sticker to $46,985.
Being the only SUV-coupe in the mainstream segment, you could argue that the H6 GT has no real competitors. Nevertheless, it plays in the medium SUV category, going up against the likes of Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and even its own sibling the Haval H6, which is in fact what the H6 GT is based on.
The drawcard of the H6 GT is obviously the coupe-inspired design. Amongst the segment’s more conventionally styled SUVs, the Haval oozes sportiness and sleekness with its tapered roofline, liftback profile and roof spoiler. Elements of muscularity are retained with those aggressively styled front and rear bumpers as well as thick wheel arch mouldings, inside which sit 19-inch alloy wheels.
While the overall design is attractive and well proportioned, a few areas in the rear of the car look tacky, like those fake exhaust tips, faux carbon-fibre look garnish and the boot lid spoiler that doesn’t extend all the way to the edge of the tailgate panel. Below the rear number plate are also two mounting points designed for squarer plates which really shouldn’t be there.
The interior is where things are the most impressive. A quick fact check: this thing is under fifty grand drive-away, but the interior looks premium. Cover the badge and it’s quite likely most people would put the price tag of this car at around the $60-70k mark.
The clean, contemporary dashboard design is pleasing to the eye, while the leather (synthetic) seats with suede upper seat back and GT embroidery look plush. There’s certainly an aura of sophistication in the cabin.
While the vibe is good, some cabin trim materials are still a little less refined, for instance the plastic trim inserts around the aircon vents and on the steering wheel spoke are a bit rough on the edges. Most upper surfaces are soft touch, though.
Despite its coupe-ish roofline, the H6 GT still boasts generous cabin space for five adults thanks to an underpinning that is derived from the stupendously spacious H6. Headroom and legroom is plenty for both front and rear occupants. A drive shalf hump usually present in the rear cabin floor of all-wheel drive cars is almost non-existent in the H6 GT, adding to the comfort of the middle rear passenger.
Cabin storage is also excellent, with a large open storage under the centre console for a small handbag, plus additional storage in the centre compartment and glovebox. A pair of cupholders can be found in the front centre console and on the back of the rear dropdown armrest. Well-sized bottle holders are also featured in the door bins.
Perhaps, the only compromise for its coupe styling is in the boot. At 392 litres, the boot capacity is about that of a hatchback. Drop the rear seats and the space expands to 1390 litres. In comparison, the regular H6 offers 600 litres and up to a maximum of 1485 litres.
The tech on offer is generally up to date, if not a little low on usability. A large 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen supporting wired Apple Carplay and Android Auto serves as the main interface for most of the car’s functions including climate control. It’s always risky to ditch physical buttons and incorporate climate settings into a touchscreen, with very few manufacturers getting it right. Haval, unfortunately is not one of them. The climate controls are nestled within menu and pages, certainly not the easiest to get to when on the move. The on-screen buttons, as well as some texts, are also too small.
The infotainment system has AM/FM radio and Bluetooth but not DAB digital radio, which is a big miss given most of its rivals have it as standard. It’s also lacking built-in satellite navigation, forcing you to rely on phone mirroring and reliable phone coverage.
A 10.25-inch fully digital instrumentation cluster combines with a colour head-up display to give a modern cockpit. However, like the centre touchscreen some texts are hardly legible and the screen size is rather small.
The Lux variant packs a 6-speaker audio system while the Ultra model has 8 speakers. Also included in the top-spec model is a wireless phone charging pad.
From the driver’s perspective, the A pillars are thick which can hinder the front quarter vision. Elsewhere, the rotary gear selector in the centre console looks lovely, but since its rotation is not limited, it’s far too easy to over rotate and select Manual when you actually wanted to select Drive.
Granted, there’s a bunch of passive and active safety features included as standard in the Ultra in case the fiddly controls and poor forward vision play against you. Amongst them are autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree surround view camera, tyre pressure monitoring and seven airbags.
Most of those safety techs are fine, but a few need to be used with caution. For instance, the lane-keeping assist steering correction doesn’t disable when you indicate to change lane. The indicator clicker also oddly turns off whenever the drive assist system is sounding a warning.
Under the bonnet of the H6 GT is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 150kW and 320Nm. It’s paired with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission sending drive to the front wheels (Lux) or all four wheels (Ultra).
Accelerating away from a standstill, immediately noticeable is the overly eager throttle response. It ought to be finessed a little. Once you’ve gotten used to it you’ll appreciate the smooth, muted and gutsy power delivery that is more than adequate for the daily grind.
The dual clutch auto works discretely in the background, most of the time operating in the right gear to get things moving along swiftly. However, it’s quite slow to re-engage on idle stop start. When it does eventually slot into gear you’ll feel a slight lunge. Not the most refined of idle stop start systems.
The car comes with several selectable drive modes, including Normal, Eco and Off-Road. Strangely, switching to Sport or Race modes will momentarily activate the hazard lights. We aren’t sure if it was due to a bug in the software or a deliberate feature. Either way, it’s not smart to bring on the hazard lights on drive mode change, as it can cause confusion to other drivers.
The suspension is setup for comfort and thus feels compliant across all but the roughest of surfaces. The trade-off, however, is in body control where it can feel a little unsettling under quick direction changes. That said, there’s good traction from the all-wheel drive system and good stability on the freeway at high speeds.
Over our week-long test with the H6 GT driving on a variety of roads and traffic, fuel use recorded was 9.2L/100km. This is against the rated average of 8.4L/100km. It runs on 91RON fuel.
Adding to its value-for-money proposition, the car comes with a 7-year unlimited kilometre factory-backed warranty and 5-year 100,000km complimentary roadside assistance.
Design & Comfort
Performance & Handling
Equipment & Features
- Exceptional value
- Attractive styling
- Comfortable and premium cabin
- Lack finesse and fine tuning
- Unintuitive infotainment touchscreen
- Looks sportier than it drives
It’s hard to ignore the Haval H6 GT’s exceptional value. The coupe-inspired SUV looks good, is equipped to the brim and drives just fine. If you’re tired of the conventional two-box SUV and want something a little more stylish without breaking the bank, the H6 GT is certainly worth a look.
But there’re a few sticking points. The car feels like it needs some more finesse and fine tuning, and for such a relatively new brand reliability and longevity is yet to be proven.
2023 Haval H6 GT Ultra AWD pricing and specification
|Price (Drive-away):||From: $46,490|
As tested: $46,985
Premium paint – $495
|Warranty:||7 years/unlimited kilometers|
|Warranty Customer Service:||5 years roadside assist|
|Country of Origin:||China|
|Service Intervals:||12 months/15,000km|
|Engine:||2.0-litre turbocharged, direct-injected 4-cylinder petrol:|
150kW @ 6300rpm, 320Nm @ 1500-4000rpm
|Transmission:||7-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|Power to Weight Ratio (W/kg):||92.9|
|Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):||Claimed: 8.4 / Tested: 9.2|
|Fuel Capacity (L):||60|
|Body:||5-door SUV, 5 seats|
|Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:||4,727/1,940/1,729/2,738|
|Turning Circle Between Kerbs:||12.0|
|Kerb Weight (kg):||1,680|
|Boot Space (L):||Min: 392, Max: 1,390|
|Towing Capacity (kg):||Braked: 2,000/Unbraked: 750|