HomeBreaking NewsCut-price new Toyota RAV4 rival tested

Cut-price new Toyota RAV4 rival tested

Summary

Our family of testers sampled the H6 Lux to decide if this well-equipped $35,990 family SUV is worth considering.FIRST IMPRESSIONSJules: This looks rather flash. Chinese you say?Iain: Yep. Haval is owned by Great Wall Motors (GWM) and specialises in SUVs. You’ve probably noticed plenty of these H6s around of late.Jules: Loads of them. I can see why. They’re gorgeous.Iain: I’d not go that far, but it’s attractive and imposing. I like its striking LED lights, especially the strip running the width of its rear.Jules: The silver front grille looks like rows of sharp shark teeth. Lovely Burgundy red body colour too.Iain: Style, features and sharp pricing mean Havals are flying out the door.Jules: For how much?Iain: The H6 starts at $32,990. Our fancier Lux is $35,990, then there’s a loaded $38,990 Ultra or blacked-out $39,990 Vanta. All prices are drive-away.Jules: About $15,000 under range-topping Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Kia Sportage rivals then?Iain: Exactly. There’s even hybrid and sporty coupe-styled GT H6s about to launch too, but they’ll cost more.THE LIVING SPACEJules: Excellent space. A proper large mid-size SUV.Iain: I was expecting a cheaper feel inside, but despite its price this is an expensive-looking cabin.Jules: I’ve got two 10.25-inch widescreens; one for infotainment and one for dashboard instruments. The seats’ faux leather feels pretty good and all the plastics are soft touch. It presents very well.Iain: The silver speakers look Mercedes-like, and how fancy’s the knurled metal gear selector? Heated front seats and a storage-rich floating centre console too.Jules: More good news in the back. There’s so much head and leg room, which is ideal for our growing kids.Iain: The rear seats don’t recline and some plastics are scratchy here, but two USB ports, air vents and a centre armrest are wins. Three adults can comfortably sit across the rear bench.THE COMMUTEJules: Okay, I’ve found some flaws. Visibility is poor through the small rear window and the engine’s slow to respond when pulling away.Iain: I blame its dual-clutch auto gearbox for that. Around town it’s jerky and lazy, but once up to speed it’s fine. Jules: The H6 is at its best on the highway. There’s good engine response and it’s a quiet, comfy cruiser.Iain: Agreed – if you ignore the constant beepy nannying of the lane departure warning. Admirably, the H6 has plenty of driver aids, but some are overly sensitive. Jules: At least you can turn them off and they stay off when you next start the car.Iain: Batting above its average are speed sign recognition and a nicely customisable digital dashboard. There’s radar cruise control too, but it’s a shocker in this car.Jules: Go on.Iain: When activated on the highway it panics when it no longer detects a car in front, such as on a corner. It then slows or sometimes brakes which confuses me and, no doubt, the car behind. It renders radar cruise useless on all but straight roads.THE SHOPPINGJules: With all the other features I’m surprised there’s no electric tailgate. Iain: The $38,990 Ultra grade has it. Our Lux does have an excellent 360-degree camera with multi-view for easy parking.Jules: Giant boot too. I reckon they could fit two more seats back here. A 5+2 seater H6 would add another level of appeal.SUNDAY RUNIain: Here’s where the H6 falls down for me. Challenging roads shows up its limitations.Jules: When the back roads got bumpy it was quite bouncy and the kids complained of car sickness.Iain: It body rolls like a large SUV, but the biggest shock was in the rain. On wet roundabouts it struggled to corner effectively, despite good quality Hankook tyres. The wheels would often spin under throttle too. Jules: I also experienced spinning wheels, but I’d suggest you were going too fast in the roundabouts.Iain: All I’d say is the higher H6 grades can come with all-wheel-drive for an extra $2000, and I’d want that in my H6.THE FAMILYJules: Lots of active safety kit, bags of cabin space and cheap to buy … that’s a lot of family boxes ticked.Iain: A seven-year warranty, cheap servicing and reasonable fuel economy all help too. We returned 8.4L/100km after a mix of town and highway trips.Jules: And I see it has a five-star crash rating.Iain: That’s right. A big achievement that shows how far the Chinese have come in terms of occupant protection. It has all the driver aids, plus a central airbag between the front seats.THE VERDICTJules: I’m really impressed with this H6. It looks superb inside and out, has lots of standard inclusions, is roomy and very comfortable to drive. A great value family SUV.Iain: I can see why they’re proving popular; the H6 is the most convincing Haval I’ve yet experienced. But its cornering, particularly in the wet, rules it out for me.

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