It took some time for Toyota to lastly convey its hybrid RAV4 to Australia, ready an entire technology to introduce a powertrain that has rapidly turn into the preferred within the line-up.
With the RAV4 hybrid promoting up a storm and ready occasions blowing out to as much as two years, there’s clearly demand for a mid-sized hybrid SUV.
GWM, Nissan and Subaru have responded in sort, whereas Honda has a pair of hybrid mid-sizers within the pipeline and Hyundai is predicted to lastly convey a hybrid Tucson right here subsequent yr.
The section has subsequently gone from barren to booming in a brief area of time, with the GWM Haval H6 carving out a distinct segment as one of many extra inexpensive fashions.
That’s regardless of GWM providing it completely in a single totally loaded trim. Does it make sense to stay with a base mannequin SUV from the established hybrid chief, or take an opportunity on a car from a youthful Chinese language model that’s loaded with all of the fruit?
The hybrid is out there solely in top-spec Extremely trim, priced at $45,990 drive-away – a steep $6000 greater than a front-wheel drive, petrol-powered H6 Extremely.
Towards a Toyota RAV4, nonetheless, that is one sharply priced machine. A base RAV4 GX hybrid prices $40,550 earlier than on-road prices, or $44,770 drive-away based mostly on a Sydney postcode.
Nissan doesn’t provide an equal X-Path e-Energy to that base RAV4, with the electrified vary opening at $54,190 earlier than on-road prices for a well-specified Ti, or $58,621 drive-away. Subaru’s much less environment friendly Forester Hybrid L is priced at $43,290 earlier than on-roads, or $48,224 drive-away.
The H6 Hybrid’s inside is nearly an identical to the petrol H6’s, which is each good and unhealthy.
By way of presentation, the H6 scores extremely. It has critical showroom attraction, from the slick-looking screens to the minimalist dashboard and neat ambient lighting that bleeds via the dashboard.
Materials high quality can be typically good, with soft-touch trim used on the dashboard and doorways. It can be discovered on the perimeters of the centre console, if not close to the place your knee might relaxation.
There are some low cost touches within the inside, nonetheless. The steering wheel feels skinny and has a gap on the rear with an uncovered screw, one thing GWM may simply repair. We additionally observed a creaky sound when winding down a window, although there have been no different rattles or different construct high quality points current within the H6.
Probably the most bothersome a part of the inside is the infotainment system.
That neat, minimalist dashboard design has been achieved by eradicating numerous the bodily switchgear, leaving you to go burrowing via touchscreen menus to manage capabilities like turning on the ventilated seats or altering the drive mode. The shortage of native voice prompts additionally prevents you from simply adjusting settings.
You may customise a pull-down menu together with your most well-liked shortcuts, however for some cause it wouldn’t allow us to add some key options like ventilated entrance seat controls. This leaves you looking via menus to activate or deactivate options that in most automobiles you’d press a single bodily button for.
The helpful pull-down menu additionally doesn’t seem whenever you’re utilizing smartphone mirroring. You’ll wish to have your cellphone related, because the Haval H6 doesn’t have manufacturing unit satellite tv for pc navigation. Handily, nonetheless, turn-by-turn instructions from Google Maps seem within the head-up show.
There aren’t any bodily controls for the local weather management, once more forcing you to depend on the touchscreen, whereas the system can lag whenever you’re swiping between screens.
The usability points with the infotainment system are irritating because the precise look of the system, in addition to that of the digital instrument cluster, is sort of spectacular.
You may have two slick themes to select from – we most well-liked ‘Earth’ – and there are cute particulars just like the animation within the cluster of your automobile and surrounding autos, which tells you the place you might be in relation to lane markings and different autos. It’s all the time transferring, however manages to not be distracting. GWM has additionally performed a greater job with such a show than Chery, which has a really related display screen.
Then there’s the 3D surround-view digicam, which has fabulous decision. It’s a class-leading system, and places these of some luxury-brand fashions to disgrace.
There’s a wi-fi charging pad on the base of the centre stack, whereas a helpful storage shelf might be discovered beneath the centre console that’s massive sufficient to accommodate a purse. However GWM, why wouldn’t you progress the USB outlet required for smartphone mirroring to the driving force’s aspect?
Talking of storage, the entrance doorways will simply swallow 1L bottles, whereas there’s a decently sized centre console bin with an attractively completed lid that opens with the push of a button.
The entrance seats aren’t notably properly bolstered however they proved comfy over lengthy distances, whereas the steering wheel might be adjusted for each rake and attain.
The H6 is among the many extra spacious autos in its class, with the second row a very comfy place to sit down. There’s loads of room in each dimension as, even at 180cm tall and with a panoramic sunroof above me, I may sit within the center seat and have headroom to spare. There’s a pleasant, flat ground again right here too.
By way of facilities, there are two USB-A retailers, a fold-down armrest with two cupholders, and rear air vents. The storage cutouts within the doorways, nonetheless, don’t have a correct insert to maintain bottles in place.
Little one seats might be positioned utilizing one of many three top-tether anchor factors or the ISOFIX anchor factors on every outboard seat.
With the rear seats upright, the H6 has a boot capability of 600L – one of many bigger within the class. This expands to 1485L with the rear seats folded down.
Beneath the boot ground you’ll discover a tyre restore package, whereas on both aspect of the primary boot ground you’ll discover two open cubbies for storage. There’s additionally a 12V outlet.
The H6 Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine teamed with a two-speed 130kW electrical motor, a 1.8kWh battery pack and a two-speed ‘Direct Hybrid Transmission’.
Whole system outputs are 179kW of energy and 530Nm of torque. Whereas the petrol H6 is out there with all-wheel drive, the hybrid is front-wheel drive-only.
Over a mixture of inner-city, suburban and freeway driving, we averaged 6.1L/100km – about the identical as a Nissan X-Path e-Energy. On a number of freeway runs, we might common round 6.0L/100km.
The official mixed cycle declare is 5.2L/100km, barely greater than a front-wheel drive RAV4 hybrid (4.7L/100km) however significantly lower than the all-wheel drive-only Forester hybrid (6.7L/100km). It’s additionally 2.2L/100km thriftier than a front-wheel drive, petrol H6.
Just like the Toyota, the Haval H6 will run on 91 RON common unleaded gas.
Toyota’s hybrids account for almost all of hybrid gross sales in Australia, which is sensible as they’ve been doing them for longer and the Japanese model presents a wider vary of them.
It’s truthful to say, then, many Australians who’ve pushed hybrids earlier than might have solely had expertise with Toyota’s. The Haval H6 goes to really feel fairly completely different.
Whereas Toyota’s hybrids begin nearly silently and run on EV energy at low speeds earlier than the petrol engine fires up, the Haval H6 will lower out and in of EV mode even at excessive speeds. For instance, we noticed it driving at speeds of as much as 80km/h with out the petrol engine working.
That key distinction between the H6 and a RAV4 is welcome. Nonetheless, there are some downsides to GWM’s method to hybrids.
The silent idle and assured low-speed silence of a RAV4 hybrid isn’t current right here, with grumbly sounds at idle and when driving in EV mode.
There’s a little bit little bit of vibration generally when the petrol engine and electrical motor are each working in tandem, and generally the transitions between petrol and electrical energy are a bit abrupt.
The automobile will inform you whether or not you’re in EV mode, parallel mode, or tandem mode, the latter mode a seemingly uncommon incidence in our expertise.
The H6’s outputs are spectacular, however they’re additionally so much for a front-wheel drive car. With the wheelspin, you be taught to feather the throttle like there’s a really small, very cute creature below the precise pedal that you just don’t wish to squash. The tyres lack a lot in the best way of grip, one thing all too obvious on greasy roads.
The hybrid powertrain is genuinely spectacular, nonetheless. It has easy thrust, and proves punchy in all driving situations; low-speed refinement can be superior to the petrol H6. Whereas it has its personal quirky noises, we additionally wouldn’t say that it general sounds worse than a RAV4 hybrid – in reality, we’d argue the H6’s petrol engine sounds higher.
At freeway speeds, nonetheless, the H6 will get disappointingly noisy, notably when put next with its electrified rivals. The cabin will get somewhat boomy, and an excessive amount of street noise seeps in.
Noise apart, freeway driving is a breeze within the H6. The pinnacle-up show is a welcome inclusion, and the adaptive cruise management works properly, with the show cleverly displaying an image of a car that adjustments from inexperienced to yellow to pink the nearer you get to it.
The lane centring does a commendable job of maintaining you between the white traces, although it may well really feel a bit squirmy at occasions.
It’s good the H6 is such a succesful commuter, as a result of the automobile doesn’t actually do a lot to encourage you to drive it with any zeal. Do you have to accomplish that, the wheelspin will hassle you earlier than the physique roll and understeer get an opportunity.
It’s possible you’ll suppose the trade-off for unexciting dealing with could be an opulent journey, and also you’d be principally proper. It’s softly sprung, verging on floaty, however whenever you hit sure issues like trim tracks it may well really feel somewhat brittle.
It additionally will get a little bit fidgety over some rougher surfaces, whereas the floatiness means it will get a bit bouncy over undulating roads and takes a few seconds to settle.
There are three completely different steering modes, although we simply left it in Consolation; Mild was too mild, and Sport wasn’t sporty sufficient. Whatever the mode, there’s not a lot street really feel and it may well really feel somewhat synthetic in its weighting.
Among the many settings, we discovered the choice of a “enhance power restoration mode”, however we didn’t really feel a lot of a distinction. Additionally current within the menu is a Wash/Trailer mode.
Parking the H6 is a breeze with its semi-autonomous parking help. The system works genuinely properly and there’s little to no studying curve.
We may do with out the judgey “driving analysis” that seems whenever you park the automobile. Three stars? Gee, okay GWM, I don’t inform you the way you drive. Oh wait.
General, we’d wish to see the H6 Hybrid get all-wheel drive and a few higher tyres, with some retuning performed to its suspension. There are some strong components right here, notably that punchy powertrain, but it surely wants some extra finessing.
There’s only one hybrid H6 out there, and it comes totally loaded.
Commonplace gear on the Haval H6 Extremely Hybrid contains:
- 19-inch ‘Vortex’ alloy wheels
- 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Head-up show
- Semi-autonomous parking help
- Inside ambient lighting
- Energy tailgate
- Panoramic sunroof
- Heated and ventilated entrance seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Wi-fi cellphone charging
- 4-way energy passenger’s seat
That’s along with options present in cheaper, petrol-powered variations of the H6, together with:
- 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
- Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- LED headlights, daytime working lights and tail lights
- LED entrance and rear fog lights
- Static cornering lights
- Keyless entry and begin
- Roof rails
- Leather-based-wrapped steering wheel
- Black leatherette upholstery
- Eight-way energy driver’s seat
- Twin-zone local weather management
- Eight-speaker sound system
- Digital anti-glare rear-view mirror
- Rear privateness glass
- Energy home windows with on-touch up/down for all home windows
The GWM Haval H6 line-up – together with the H6 Hybrid and H6 GT – has a five-star ANCAP security score with a 2022 date stamp.
The H6 acquired an grownup occupant safety rating of 90 per cent, a baby occupant safety rating of 88 per cent, a weak street consumer safety rating of 73 per cent, and a security help rating of 81 per cent.
All fashions come normal with the next security options:
- Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection and junction help
- Lane-keep help
- Lane-departure warning
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Driver consideration monitoring
- Site visitors signal recognition
- Protected exit warning
- Entrance, front-side and curtain airbags plus a front-centre bag
- Reversing digicam with rear parking sensors
Rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise management with cease/go, a surround-view digicam, site visitors jam help, and entrance parking sensors can be found greater up within the vary, together with on the Extremely Hybrid.
The GWM Haval H6 is backed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.
GWM additionally presents 5 years of capped-price servicing. The primary service is due at 12 months or 10,000km and prices $225, with subsequent companies at 15,000km intervals. They’re priced at $250, $400, $550 and $225.
That works out to a complete servicing price of $1650 over 5 years, properly below the Forester Hybrid L ($2963.61) however barely pricier than a RAV4 ($1300).
The GWM Haval H6 Extremely Hybrid makes a compelling case for itself.
Its infotainment is as irritating as within the petrol mannequin, its journey and dealing with are simply as floaty, and it does really feel like numerous grunt in a front-drive SUV on eco tyres. That $6000 premium over the thirstier petrol mannequin can be a tricky ask.
However when you think about the very fact you will get this totally loaded H6 hybrid for roughly the value of a base RAV4 hybrid, it begins to make a little bit extra sense. The occasional rumbly sound does intrude on the EV mode serenity, however that is in any other case a responsive powertrain that in some respects is extra nice than that of the Toyota’s.
As with the common H6, there’s additionally a spacious inside that feels fairly strong general.
GWM might have been growing its costs currently (who hasn’t?), however the H6 Extremely Hybrid nonetheless presents spectacular worth for cash.
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