It’s amusing watching people take a second gander at the H6GT as they walk past it. Clearly they are enticed by its coupe-inspired design. But upon spying its badge, they get a bit of a shock as they realise they have been ogling a Haval.
The GT is the third instalment to the H6 line-up, joining the hybrid and regular five-door versions. It wears a new body shape which includes a unique front end, all-black detailing (no chrome at all thankfully), that sloping rear end and lashings of spoilers. Even the side sills gain some sort of winglet on the rear door. The brake calipers get a splash of lurid yellow paint too.
It’s a tad longer than the other H6s, wider and lower to give it a more dynamic sense of being. But while it wears the GT badge, and racier styling, there’s nothing mechanically to set it apart from the regular H6. It gets the same 2.0-litre turbo and seven-speed twin-clutch, while the chassis hasn’t had anything special thrown at it either, although the Ultra model does get Michelin Pilot Primacy rubber.
There are two GT variants, the Lux 2WD at $42,990 and the Ultra AWD is $48,490, the latter with higher spec level. The premium for going GT is $4000 over the usual H6. What price style eh? The Ultra is also slugged with a $1495 CCD fee, the emissions at 212g/km, whereas the 2WD is neutral at 188g/km.
The interior has been given a GT makeover, the seats and door panels given a spruce up in both look and feel via a suede treatment. There’s also a convincing looking faux carbon fibre material on the dash, and fewer shiny surfaces about. However, the matt trim on the centre console doesn’t seem to be particularly hardwearing, already showing signs of use. Otherwise, the cabin quality can’t be sniffed at. And at close to $50k, this Haval isn’t one that you can forgive its foibles so easily.
As we’ve come to expect from the brand, the GT Ultra is loaded; a full glass roof, 360-degree parking camera, heated seats and steering wheel, wireless charging and a head-up display. There’s a full range of active safety too, though some systems like the active cruise need better calibration, and the lane centring function borders on infuriating at times. The touchscreen has good resolution but the response to commands could be snappier. Once you’ve discovered the secret shortcut screen, and configured it to your liking, it’s much easier to live with.
The 2.0 turbo and twin-clutch work harmoniously here. It’s best to disarm the stop/start (which then remains off) as it’s too slow to refire, and then the uptake off the mark is much smoother. There’s little in the way of turbo lag, only when the twin-clutch holds a taller gear too long but generally speaking the trans does a good job as the shifting is refined. The GT isn’t great on gas however, the average for us being 11L/100km.
Trawling around town the ride is pleasant enough, the steering easy although the turning circle is large. Its A pillars are quite chunky too, restricting vision at intersections, but rearward vision isn’t bad for a coupe SUV. Neither are the rear seat accommodations. Practicalities haven’t suffered greatly with the change in roofline, entry still straightforward and there’s good headroom in the rear too. The overall load hauling capabilities take a hit with that sloping tailgate, luggage space rated at 392L down from 600L on the regular SUV but it’s still practical and the split folding facility remains.
As mentioned, the GT receives no tickle up in the interest of dynamics, so don’t expect anything special from the drive experience. They have added a Race mode, woof, which delivers more exhaust drama via a flap in the pipes, along with a racier throttle setting and quicker gearshifts. Thanks to those Michelin tyres, this holds on longer through the curves but the H6GT still isn’t exactly a driver’s delight. The steering is too removed from the experience, while the suspension can get in a pickle when trying to both diffuse a bump and track around a bend. While this drives better than the hybrid H6 we steered last month, a lighter kerb mass helping, it falls flat when trying to match the sporty styling it wears.
So buy it for the look because even at this price it’s still reasonable value when considering the fit-out and its five-year, 150,000km warranty.
|Model||Haval H6GT |
|Clean Car Discount||Fee + $1495|
|Engine||1998cc, IL4, T|
|Drivetrain||7-speed twin-clutch, |