As a fairly new brand to the South African market, we’re slowly seeing more and more Havals on the road – I noticed a large amount of them during my trip down KZN’s South Coast in December. While the Haval brand reigns in China’s SUV market, the question on everyone’s mind is – how will the brand fair in our local market when it comes to after-sales and reliability? For this, only time will tell, but for now what we’ve experienced with the Haval brand thus far is as impressive as we hope it will be for new customers…
If you followed WOW’s reviews last year, you’ll remember that we spent some time with Haval Motors on a nine-day expedition around the country to experience the new H9 SUV. While I was left feeling rather impressed with Haval’s largest SUV, I’ve been hoping to experience some of the other models in the range – and the H6C was the next-best-thing…
At the start of 2019 we still had a few days of holiday left and just enough time to squeeze in one more road trip. The Breede River mouth is one of my favourite places to drive to, not just because it’s a beautiful destination, but because the route offers a great variety of road conditions and environments to test a new car.
What you should know about the Haval H6C
The H6 C is Haval’s medium-sized sporty SUV, that comes loaded with standard specification that you’ll struggle to find with competitors at this price.
Its entry-level (CITY) model is priced from a value-for-money R329 900, and includes premium features like a 4-way adjustable leather steering wheel, 8-way electric seats, front and rear park distance control with rear camera, and a Dual-Zone Climate Control System to name just a few. Click here to see more. Haval has really included a generous amount of features to entice new buyers – it even has puddle lamps as standard.
I drove the top-spec Luxury model, which adds 19-inch allow wheels, a very large panoramic sunroof, a left-hand kerb side mirror and Xenon headlamps, to name a few.
In terms of power and performance, the H6 C combines a 140 kw turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with a six speed dual clutch transmission. It offers 310 Nm of torque, which is just the right amount for a medium-sized family SUV.
After hopping into the H6 C and heading out in the direction of the Breede River mouth, it took no time or trouble adjusting and getting comfortable in the driver’s seat. The H6 C’s cabin is a really comfortable place to be, with lots of improved qualities, soft-touch finishes and loads of features that make long distance driving an enjoyable experience, even when you’re driving solo for 358 km. It’s also super roomy – which I was grateful for because despite travelling solo, I’d somehow managed to load enough luggage to make it look like I was travelling with a family of five! My surfboard, cooler boxes, suitcase, boardgames and a grocery shop (to last seven days) on route were only some of the items hosted by 1146-litres of space with the rear seats folded flat. The car was fully loaded, yet it didn’t seem to compromise highway driving when taking over slow-moving vehicles or on inclines. It still offered a lot of kick and punch, giving me the confidence to know that I could get to my destination safely and in good time to enjoy the rest of the holiday.
Once I’d reached our family holiday-home at the mouth of the Breede River, (where I met the rest of the family), there were lots of questions about Haval – a brand they’d heard of but not yet seen in the metal. “It’s a Chinese brand – an arm of GWM – a top-seller in China’s SUV market, and I’m quite impressed by this one,” I responded. I then prompted the confused-looking family members to take a look inside and once we’d offloaded my ‘house’ we all hopped for a drive down to the beach.
“R329 900, you say?” said Uncle Jeremy. I had to remind him that we were driving the top-specced (Luxury) version, which starts at just 40K more. More questions followed…
What’s the fuel consumption like? “I haven’t been driving very economically, but I’ve been averaging around 10.8-litres/100km until now”
Safety features? Impressive, especially for families. ABS, EBD, brake assist, and on this top-specced model you get full-length side curtain airbags for rear-seat passengers.
Top speed? 190 km/hour.
Warranty? 5-year/100 000 km.
Speculation over its local popularity aside, the Haval H6 C offers so much value-for-money, especially if you’re looking for a family vehicle that offers as many premium-like features as possible, at an affordable price. If you’ve been shopping around in its segment, I’d recommend including the H6 C on your list of possibilities, and would encourage you to visit a local dealership and ask for a test drive – its interior and cabin features will surprise you!
If you’re looking for something smaller or more compact, the Haval H2 also includes an impressive amount of standard spec. Want something bigger? Click here to read about Haval’s latest and largest SUV, the H9.