In this review...
- Interior, Tech & Safety
- Driving & Handling
- Initial Verdict
2023 GWM Haval H6 First Impressions Review: Introduction
The Philippine automotive industry is about to get more interesting as new car brands are coming in that further diversify the market. Great Wall Motor (GWM) is among the new car brands entering the country. Well, the said Chinese car brand is technically not a new player in the local market. It’s more of returning to the Philippines, similar to what Chery did in 2019.
From the looks of it, it seems like GWM is following Chery’s approach as it will feature crossover vehicles in its revamped lineup. Through Haval, GWM’s sub-brand, the returning Chinese marque wants to have its share in the Philippine crossover market.
The Haval H6 is among its initial model offerings in the Philippines. It’s a five-seater compact crossover that takes aim at the likes of the Geely Azkarra and the Toyota Corolla Cross since the Haval H6 comes with a hybrid powertrain.
GWM invited Philkotse for a quick drive with the Haval H6, but before we dive into our initial impressions, do note the vehicle’s exact specs, pricing, and variants are yet to be announced. That said, here’s our 2023 GWM Haval H6 first impressions review.
2023 GWM Haval H6 First Impressions Review: Exterior
The Haval H6 quickly gets your attention when seen in the metal for the first time. You can’t help but notice its large intricately designed grille.
2023 GWM Haval H6
The broken chrome accents seen on the grille give the H6 a modern-looking front end. It then blends with a whisker-like design detail seen on the grille’s either end. One can say that the Haval H6’s grille is an attention grabber but it also gives a somehow familiar look, which reminds me of a certain French car brand.
The side comes with crisp character lines, giving the H6 a confident stance. The prominent wheel arches add a bold look to the Haval H6’s side profile. It also complements the glossy black 19-inch alloy wheels.
Haval H6 from the rear
The rear is as distinctive as the H6’s fascia. Thanks to the LED taillights that are connected by a light bar, which runs across the power tailgate. The Haval badge is proudly placed on the rear, which is above the chrome bar accent. Speaking of which, I prefer to have the chrome bar a tad slimmer as it can make the H6 achieve an even more premium look. That’s just me. Meanwhile, I like the design execution for the H6’s third brake light, which is mounted on the rear spoiler.
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2023 GWM Haval H6 First Impressions Review: Interior, Tech & Safety
A dark interior theme welcomes you once you hop inside the Haval H6. It has a neat yet distinctive layout that gives a premium-looking design. Of note, this crossover can accommodate up to five individuals.
The H6's cockpit
The cabin is relatively filled with soft-padded materials at least in the high touchpoints area. The monotony brought by the dark interior is altered thanks to the texture seen on the dashboard. I also like the seamless integration of the front aircon vents, making the cabin look neat. Adding style points to the interior are glossy black trims and flat silver accents.
The steering wheel is wrapped in leather but I find the centerpiece, the one where the horn is, too bulky. I prefer a slightly less bulging design.
It offers plenty of legroom for rear passengers
Two digital screens dominate the dashboard – one is the instrument cluster while the other is the infotainment touchscreen. The screens have a crisp interface, which is what you can expect from modern cars. Vehicle functions, such as the aircon fan speed adjustment, can be toggled on the infotainment touchscreen.
The Haval H6 also has leather seats, and the driver gets power adjustment. I find the cushioning to be good but do take note that I only had a short stint onboard the H6. To add, this compact crossover has wireless mobile phone charging, a rotary gear shift knob, and an electronic parking brake, among others.
The H6's trunk
In terms of tech and safety, the Haval H6 is filled to the brim. As shared by GWM during the product briefing, the H6 comes with adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a 360-degree camera, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert among others. The Haval H6 can also park automatically by itself.
2023 GWM Haval H6 First Impressions Review: Driving & Handling
The Haval H6 is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine combined with an electric motor and a battery back. This generates 240 hp and 530 Nm of torque while the engine is connected to a two-speed Direct Hybrid Transmission (DHT).
I drove the Haval H6 around the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) and pitted it on a series of driving tests to see how it accelerates, how effective the braking power is, and how it handles. A driving instructor from GWM rode shotgun during my driving stint.
The Haval H6's 1.5-liter turbocharged hybrid gasoline engine
At low speeds the electric motor powers the H6. The 1.5-liter turbo gas engine kicks in once the vehicle hits 60 km/h. The change in power source (from the electric motor to the gas engine) is seamless, and could not be felt much when you’re behind the wheel.
On the acceleration test, I was asked to floor the H6 and quickly engage the brakes once the speed reaches 80 km/h. During this test, I find the H6 to have a slightly delayed acceleration from a standstill. I was looking for a bit more push from the H6 due to its claimed 530 Nm of torque. But, once power kicks in, hitting the 80 km/h mark is relatively a breeze. Meanwhile, the H6 is composed and stable when the brakes are engaged quickly and fully.
The Haval H6 can also hold its own when tackling corners around the BRC. A tad of body roll can be felt, which is expected. But for a compact crossover SUV, the H6 performs relatively decent. It has a light steering feel that gives enough road feedback.
The Haval H6 going around the Batangas Racing Circuit
The adaptive cruise control (ACC) tech was also demonstrated at the BRC. Once the ACC is activated, the H6 automatically accelerates and decelerates depending on the speed of the car upfront. It also has the ability to provide assistive steering, which can help you keep the vehicle centered with the lane. Expect a more detailed insight once we’ve fully reviewed the Haval H6 hybrid.
2023 GWM Haval H6 First Impressions Review: Initial Verdict
The Haval H6 has the tools to make a statement in the local compact crossover SUV market. It has an exterior design that can rival the likes of the Geely Azkarra. The H6’s tech and safety features can also go head-to-head with the current crossovers offered in the Philippines today. That is considering GWM offers the Haval H6 with the full feature package shared during the media preview.
The crucial factor for the Haval H6’s success in the local market is pricing. GWM has yet to share the pricing details for its hybrid compact crossover SUV. Pricing the Haval H6 somewhere at Php 1.7 million could be an ideal move as it can undercut the Azkarra, which is currently priced at Php 1,808,000.
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