H6, arguably the best suspension on an SUV
Great Wall Motors is determined to let auto lovers know that it is a brand to be reckoned with, andas such, it produced the Haval line as a subsidiary of sorts. It is a distinctive SUV line for the company, and its flagship model is the Haval H6.
The H6 is a compact crossover SUV that comes in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive and is one of the top-selling SUVs in China.
A few months ago, I reviewed its younger brother, the Jolion, which came equipped with a lot of power and comfort. So needless to say, I was looking forward to this review, given the fact that this is a new company to our market.
The H6 has an overall curvy silhouette with sharp character lines to create a contrasting effect and gives it a classy yet strong appearance. Helping it to obtain a ground clearance of 170mm, are 18-inch alloy wheels, which can be upgraded to 19, depending on the trim level. This is very useful when doing light off-roading, and it also has an approach angle of 20 degrees and a departure angle of 27 degrees.
Haval steps things up a notch, with its interior that boasts leather with single stitching and chrome accents on the centre console and doors. One of the first things people will see is the textured rotary gear knob, which has a diamond-like pattern that reflects light from every angle. Surrounding this is a piano-black housing, which also forms a bridge between the centre panel and the dashboard.
The H6 keeps everything minimalistic, with as few buttons as possible and a design language that is both bold and sleek. Sitting at the front of the dashboard is a 10.25 inch touch screen infotainment system, with three prominent panels that can be customisable, and to access the other panels, simply swipe to the right. This size screen is available in both the Premium and the Lux models, however, for the top spec Super Lux model, the screen balloons to 12.3 inch.
Using their infotainment system does come with a learning curve as it is jam-packed with features, however, it is worthwhile. The first thing I had to figure out was how to access the dual-climate-control system given that there are no physical buttons to do so. Once this was done, I made it one of the main tiles to ensure that I had easy access to the feature. Many other things can be changed such as the overall theme of the screen. One theme is called ‘space fold’ and the other ‘the foreign space.’
There are more features that can also be adjusted, namely, the overall brightness of the interior lights, the brightness on the clusters, and the standby clock.
The audio is another stand-out point as it comes with a perfect balance of treble and bass and gives the option of moving the sound to the front only or to the rear. The driver can also choose to apply the DTS audio effect, which tunes the sound in a robust manner, however, the six speakers were quite fine in their default setting.
When the DTS audio effect is turned off, the regular EQ settings can be accessed, and the sound of the vehicle can be adjusted to any targeted area of the interior. All other audio settings can also be adjusted such as the ringtone for incoming calls, text messages, and a shocker for me, the lane departure alerts.
On the steering wheel, all the media control buttons are to the right and are laid out in an intuitive manner. On the left hand side are the vehicle information buttons as well as a unique button that can be programmed as a quick access to any feature you favour, for example an audio setting or climate preference.
The creature comfort continues with the controls on the door panel, which are angled towards the driver, making it extremely easy to use as opposed to the customary horizontal position.
With the aim of providing as many driver-assistance features as possible, the H6 comes with around-view cameras similar to what is in many Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles. Where the four main cameras that are located at the front, sides, and back of the vehicle are used to create a 360 degree view of the vehicle. This does help with persons who struggle with special awareness as it provides a visual on any object that is close to the H6.
It has a driver-safety system that it calls Intelligent Driving, which mainly consists of three things: front assist, lane assist, and traffic-sign information. For front assist, you can adjust the option to have the vehicle brake automatically if the camera sees a pedestrian or object immediately in front of the H6. It can also repeat this action if it senses a collision risk with another vehicle.
The lane-assistant function works pretty much the same as most other vehicles, however, you can adjust the sensitivity of this feature as well as the warning tone it gives.
The final one is quite unique as the camera can recognise wherever there will be a traffic sign ahead and give a warning to the driver. It can also identify the speed limits, which comes in very handy as it knows the limit of any area you are in without having to be connected to the Internet. There is a small red dot that is above the speed gauge and it adjusts to wherever you are as it worked perfectly both in Kingston and Old harbour.
Whenever making a turn, the audio decreases as well as the side camera image is displayed on the screen. Which to me is a form of driver assistance as it puts the driver in a position to be as aware as possible.
The biggest takeaway from driving this 2-litre turbo vehicle is the pillowy suspension. It is by far one of the best I have experienced. Driving in and out of potholes did not feel disruptive or uncomfortable, as both the shocks and the dampers worked in harmony.
The second generation 7-speed dual-clutch transmission provides smooth transition between gears and also improves throttleresponse timing. There are four selections for the rotary knob, which include park, reverse, drive, and manual. When in drive, the knob can be turned again, to the right, to activate manual mode.
There are also four different driving options: Sport, Snow, Normal, and Eco. I would have preferred an alternative way to access these modes with a knob close to the gear selector. However, the only way I found access to them was through the infotainment screen.
Once you have driven this vehicle, it will leave a positive impression that is hard to forget. It provides all the needed amenities, many additional features and it gives buyers one of the best values for money.
Price of tested model: $7,510,000, Lux
Price Range/ Options:$7,980,000, Super Lux
Engine: 2 litre turbocharged, Petrol
Torque: 320 Nm at 1500 - 4000 rpm
Transmission: FWD, 7-speed Dual Clutch
Fuel tank: 61L
Gas consumption: 11.4 L/ 100 km
Body Type: Compact crossover SUV
Competition: Honda CRV, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester
Vehicle courtesy of Stewart’s Auto Sales Ltd, 876 928 5043, firstname.lastname@example.org