2024 GWM Haval H6 GT Ultra Review

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2024 GWM Haval H6 GT Ultra Review



Overview

 

TOPPING out the Haval H6 medium SUV line-up is the coupe-SUV style H6 2.0 GT Ultra (AWD) priced from $46,490 drive-away.

 

The Ultra asks a $6500 premium over the other coupe-style H6 2.0 GT Lux front-wheel drive listed from $40,990 drive-away.

 

Competition may come from two other Chinese brands in the MG HS 2.0 Essence AWD (wagon) from $36,990 drive-away and the Chery Tiggo 7 1.6 Ultimate AWD (wagon) from $45,990 drive-away.

 

Coupe-style SUVs with a sleek fastback, raised ride height and big wheels seem to be in vogue right now ringing a bell with new car buyers Down Under.

 

Until the arrival in 2022 of the H6 GT, they were mostly the province of so-called premium brands.

 

It is a striking car with strong road presence heightened on the test model with light grey duco, black alloys and fluoro green brake callipers.

 

Someone up the road has taken the styling of their H6 GT to another level lowering the suspension and fitting big wide wheels and tyres. It looks a bit like a Lambo.

 

The H6 GT Ultra shares its chassis and most other underpinnings with other ICE powered H6 wagon models and the Jolion SUV. But the H6 wagon line-up’s hybrid powertrain option isn’t available on the GT which is solely available with a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine delivering 150kW and 320Nm to all four wheels in the GT Ultra’s case.

 

Both the Ultra AWD and the Lux FWD use a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to put power to the wheels.

 

Both GT variants are well equipped across safety, tech and luxury kit including Comfort-Tek eco-leather seats, 10.25-inch colour LED instrument cluster (on Lux) and multimedia touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, eight-speaker DTS audio, electric tailgate, 19-inch black alloy wheels, 360-degree camera and a comprehensive suite of safety features are all standard.

 

On top of that, the GT Ultra tested adds an AWD drivetrain along with highlight features including Michelin Sport tyres, heated and cooled electrically adjustable Comfort-Tek eco-leather front seats, heated leather steering wheel, heads up display, wireless phone charging, panoramic sunroof and fully automatic parking.

 

Both models score an active exhaust booster for acoustic appreciation under power.

 

The test vehicle is rated at 8.4 litres per 100km fuel efficiency using regular 91RON petrol.

 

Safety credentials are underlined by the GT’s five star ANCAP score derived from the H6 wagon.

 

As with all GWM vehicles, the Haval H6 GT comes with a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, five years’ roadside assistance, and five-years’ capped price servicing.

 

Driving Impressions

 

Like the curate’s egg, the H6 GT Ultra is “good in parts” offering up decent performance from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine with the added safety of all-wheel drive balanced against super annoying ADAS systems that constantly try and wrest control away from the driver, often inappropriately.

 

As is the case with many new models, emergency lane keeping will spear you into a pothole for example if you try and swerve to avoid it. This one even activated on polished tar joins on the road accentuated in the wet, so we turned it off. Other superfluous and distracting ADAS features were also turned off… each time we drove the car.

 

The H6 GT Ultra’s engine output feels stronger than the claim in real world driving as once on boost, the weighty H6 GT delivers decidedly sporty performance tempered by elevated fuel consumption albeit regular 91 RON. Turbo spool-up can be a touch tardy causing some angst in pressured situations.

 

The claim of 8.4L/100km is ambitious, but achievable with concerted effort and a deft right foot. We saw it hovering around the 10.3L/100km mark with mixed driving.

 

On the move acceleration is not lacking as the H6 GT Ultra blasts past slow vehicles when overtaking then cruises easily at the limit with minimal cabin noise intrusion.

 

The H6 GT Ultra’s impressive roll-on response makes light work of steep hills rarely needing a downshift thanks to the readily available torque that, like the kilowatt rating, seems lower than real world driving would suggest.

 

In the dynamic department, the H6 is OK restricted a tad by its ride height and dull steering but otherwise, grip from the Michelin Sport tyres and AWD is good, and the brakes are strong.

 

Several drive modes are offered, including Normal, Eco, Sport, Snow and All-Terrain Response System all with discernible specific calibrations. We chose to leave the test car in Normal mode most of the time.

 

It is a comfortable vehicle to travel in offering up seats for five with a decent load space down the back behind a high lifting hands free electric tailgate.

 

Creature comforts abound inside topped by a premium audio system, 12.3-inch and 10.25 screens on the dash and eco-leather upholstery called Comfort-Tek over the interior and seats that are heated and ventilated in the front.

 

The driver’s pew is eight-way electrically adjustable and has lumbar support with the passenger scoring four-way electrically adjustability.

 

A panoramic sunroof is standard in the Ultra as is wireless phone charging that is super handy as are the heated exterior mirrors and head up display. The fully automatic parking function seems unnecessary as Australian drivers are all taught to reverse park… aren’t they?

 

The interior’s styling is neat, well laid out and easy on the eye Haval simplifying everything through the adoption of a two-screen dash design. Drama is heightened with selectable ambient lighting that seems gimmicky but is actually good to have.

 

We like the look of the H6 GT Ultra as it has a suitably aggressive stance highlighted by gloss black 19-inch alloys and wheel arch trim, the in-your-face angular frontal styling and swept roofline.

 

The test car had an annoying rattle in the near side rear passenger area we couldn’t isolate but overall is good value, goes well, looks the part and is comfortable to travel in. 

 

On balance, it’s hard to argue with that.

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