2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid review - SUV VEHICLE

2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid review


Does GWM Haval’s H6 Hybrid have what it takes to trouble segment heroes like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid? Tom Fraser finds out.

What we love
  • Well-presented and spacious cabin
  • Great level of included kit 
  • Very affordable upfront, and ongoing
What we don’t
  • Fuel efficiency doesn’t match the claim
  • Front seats short on under-thigh support
  • Suspension tune lacks finesse

2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid

For the longest time, Toyota looked to be the only brand taking a serious shot at a hybrid-powered medium-sized SUV. But GWM’s launch of the Haval H6 Hybrid in early 2022 upset the big T’s monopoly, and it’s been stealing buyers away from a RAV4 Hybrid purchase ever since – especially those who can’t weather the Toyota wait-time storm.

We’re behind the wheel of the top-spec Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid to see whether it continues to be a viable alternative in 2024.

How much does the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid cost in Australia?

Whereas the normal Haval H6 is offered in Premium, Lux, and Ultra model grades, the Hybrid variant is only offered with the latter two specification levels – but that means a high level of equipment no matter which H6 Hybrid you get.

Prices kick off from $42,490 drive-away nationwide for the more affordable H6 Lux Hybrid variant, though our model is the more expensive H6 Ultra Hybrid variant priced from $45,990 drive-away. Right now both these cars are currently under offer until the end of March 2024, with discounts of $2500 and $2000 respectively applied to the price.

Reasons why you’d opt for the H6 Ultra Hybrid include the fact that it’s fully laden with all kinds of equipment. This includes a panoramic sunroof, hands-free powered boot, a head-up display, heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated seats, and automatic parking functionality.

The H6 Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that pairs with a 130kW electric motor and a 1.8kWh battery. Combined power outputs of 179kW and 530Nm are sent to the front wheels through a two-speed dedicated hybrid transmission.

Importantly, GWM quotes a fuel economy figure of 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres. That is the reason you’ll be opting for one of these as opposed to its regular petrol stablemate. It’s competitive with the Toyota, but whether the Haval H6 Hybrid can match its claim is another matter. Read on to find out how it fares.

Characterising the Haval H6 Hybrid’s design is a wide front grille (unique to the hybrid variant) with sleek headlights at either side, lashings of chrome trim throughout, and the package rides on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Hankook tyres.

The rear-end treatment features spaced-out Haval branding, a full-width light bar, funky fighter jet-esque central brake light boosters, and specific HEV badging to signify its powertrain. GWM’s Haval Jolion and Haval H6 models are also rolling out revised HAVAL lettering front and rear, but while not shown on the car driven here, trainspotters may notice the new pale blue Haval logo on the front of new hybrid stock arriving in the country.

To my eye it looks like a handsome SUV, but let me know if you agree in the comments at the bottom of this review.

Key details 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid
Price $45,990 drive-away
Colour of test car Crayon Grey – $495
Options Metallic paint
Price as tested $46,485 drive-away
Drive-away price $44,485 (limited-time offer, nationwide)
Rivals Toyota RAV4 | Mazda CX-5 | Kia Sportage

How much space does the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid have inside?

Slide inside the cabin and you’re first met with a nicely styled and ergonomically sorted space.

There’s synthetic leather upholstery throughout, but it feels decent to the touch and features heating and ventilation for the front seats on this model grade. While the seats offer good bolstering for holding you in through corners, my gripes with the H6’s seats are the fact that the seat base is too low and there’s minimal under-thigh support.

Get a great deal today

Interested in this car? Provide your details and we’ll connect you to a member of the Drive team.

In terms of build quality, it’s all put together pretty well for an SUV at this price point. However, there’s some flex to the plastics surrounding the centre console tunnel and a particularly squeaky rear-view mirror.

Speaking of which, there’s a mix of materials used throughout the front seat space – some good, some bad. The plastics used for the centre console tunnel and electronic parking brake are particularly nasty, but there are nice coverings for the dash top, door card tops, and around the steering wheel.

However, all the basics are covered – there’s a deep centre console bin, dual cupholders, two USB-A ports, a stowage space under the console, and a wireless phone charger under the air-conditioning controls.

Regarding cabin feel and ambience, the big panoramic sunroof lets in a lot of light and you feel airy no matter which row you’re sitting in.

In the rear row there’s great head room, good foot space, and more than enough clear air to move your legs about. But when the rear headrest is stowed away, it annoyingly stuck into my back, a good reminder that it needs to be raised to offer proper support.

Amenities include two USB-A ports to charge devices, map pockets to stow the Melways, and a fold-down centre armrest with dual cupholders.

The material quality does diminish slightly in the second row – the door cards contain scratchy plastics, which isn’t the nicest. But then again, this is pretty affordable hybrid motoring.

Pop open the electric-opening boot to reveal a huge 600-litre cavity. Importantly, it loses no luggage space compared to its petrol H6 alternative however, it does get a tyre repair kit in place of a space-saver spare.

If more room is needed, the seats fold in a 60/40 format to afford a full 1485L.

2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid
Seats Five
Boot volume 600L seats up
1485L seats folded
Length 4653mm
Width 1886mm
Height 1724mm
Wheelbase 2738mm

Does the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

The 12.3-inch infotainment screen adopts a space theme with sci-fi graphics and a futuristic typeface. It sounds funny, but it’s visually appealing to my eye and it’s a theme that continues to the digital instrument cluster. There’s also a head-up display included on this flagship variant.

In any sense, it’s fairly easy to move your way around the infotainment menus with hotkey shortcuts along the left-hand side. But too many functions are buried in the infotainment – like the steering wheel heating and heated seats, for example.

However, there is a dedicated button on the steering wheel that you can configure as a shortcut to certain functions and a drop-down menu on the main screen with customisable functions. It’s a workaround, but I’d like to see more physical buttons for commonly used functions, personally.

There’s no digital radio on the Haval H6 Hybrid and there is no native satellite navigation. But it does have the ability to connect to either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto through a wired connection, which is what I used in my time with the car.

Is the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid a safe car?

ANCAP safety-tested the H6 in 2022 where it achieved a full five-star rating. This includes the hybrid-powered versions, with additional testing carried out to ensure no damage to the battery or high-voltage electrical system.

The Haval H6 was awarded individual scores of 90 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 73 per cent for vulnerable road users, and 81 per cent for safety assist systems.

What safety technology does the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid have?

The above scores were made possible by a wide array of active and passive safety equipment. In terms of the former, it’s got autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian, cyclist, and crossroads detection), traffic sign recognition, a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control with lane-centring, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic parking functionality, and tyre pressure monitoring.

All variants come with dual front airbags, dual side airbags, a centre airbag between the driver and front passenger, and curtain airbags.

To use, I was impressed by the adaptive cruise-control system that kept a safe distance to the car ahead, and the lane-centring system kept me squarely within the lane markings. I also enjoyed seeing a visual depiction of my car, and the cars around me, on the digital instrument cluster and even in the head-up display.

How much does the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid cost to maintain?

Value is a key area where the Haval H6 Hybrid appears more attractive than its competition – especially while cars are discounted until the end of March 2024.

But in terms of what you get for your purchase money, GWM’s range comes with a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, five years of roadside assistance, and five years of capped-price servicing.

Services must be completed every 15,000 or 12 months, whichever is sooner, but oddly the first service occurs at the 10,000km mark. The first three services cost $875, while stretching out to five costs $1650 altogether.

In comparison, our Toyota RAV4 Hybrid yardstick costs $780 over three years and $1300 over five.

When it comes to insurance costs, our online quote generator spat out a $1717 annual premium for the Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid. This is based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

In comparison, I retrieved a quote of $1870 per annum for a 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE.

At a glance 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid
Warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Battery warranty Eight years
Service intervals 12 months or 10,000km (1st service)
Then 12 months, or 15,000km (2nd service on)
Servicing costs $875 (3 years)
$1650 (5 years)

Is the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid fuel-efficient?

The whole reason you buy a hybrid over a regular petrol (or diesel) car is for its fuel-saving benefits. And while there are benefits over the regular petrol H6 (which returned an 8.7L/100km economy the last time I drove it), the Hybrid doesn’t come close to the hybrid efficiencies of its rivals.

Compared to GWM Haval’s 5.2L/100km combined-cycle claim, our time on test netted a 6.7L/100km rating. In comparison, we’ve regularly seen numbers around the 5L/100km mark from the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and 5.5L/100km from the Honda CR-V Hybrid, matching its official claim.

That’s at odds with how seemingly long the H6 Hybrid holds onto electric power before switching over to petrol. But in any sense, its real-world efficiency isn’t near GWM’s claim. We’ve also seen a similar story with the other times we’ve driven the Haval H6 Hybrid.

The car comes with a 61-litre fuel tank that takes regular unleaded 91-octane petrol.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 5.2L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 6.7L/100km
Fuel type 91-octane unleaded
Fuel tank size 61L

What is the GWM Haval H6 Hybrid like to drive?

One of the immediate things I noticed after first driving the H6 Hybrid is how long it’ll hang onto electric power, before firing up the petrol engine and transferring power sources. Whereas you’re only getting up to about 20–30km/h in Toyota’s hybrids, in the Haval H6 Hybrid you can get right up to the speed limit before power is transferred.

It’s at odds with the on-test fuel consumption – which is far worse than you get from a Toyota hybrid – but it’s a nice feeling to hang onto that electric propulsion for longer. It’s also quieter around town, too, especially where speed limits are low.

There’s a big power jump going from the regular petrol Haval H6 to the hybrid-powered version. Punch from a standstill is surprisingly sharp and the H6 Hybrid rockets up to traffic speeds quickly. However, the downside of its front-driven powertrain means there’s a fair bit of chirpy torque steer.

Despite decent Hankook tyres, the front axle can’t cope with full-throttle acceleration from rest, and it becomes especially overwhelmed when roads are wet.

When the petrol engine is in use noise from the engine and exhaust are quiet; the combo does not produce undue vibrations or upset the cabin refinement. However, the road noise and wind noise are another matter. I heard wind noise around the windscreen at 100km/h on the freeway and the tyres drop into potholes with a resounding thud.

Haval doesn’t give a detailed explanation on how its two-speed ‘Dedicated Hybrid Transmission’ sends drive to the front wheels (and copes with two power sources), but in practice it feels much the same as a continuously variable automatic transmission. Prod the throttle and the engine wakes up to serve appropriate power and torque. It’s not the quickest-responding thing when it comes to low-speed manoeuvres. There were times when the car rolled back slightly on hills and changes between drive and reverse took a bit of time before engaging properly.

Combine that with a surprisingly large 12-metre turning circle, and you’ll have a newfound hatred for three-point turns.

Luckily the steering itself is light and the vision out of the cabin is simple.

GWM’s suspension tune for the Haval H6 Hybrid is not a hallmark aspect of the car. While it can deal with imperfections like speed humps and train tracks without upsetting the cabin ambience, the ride quality over sustained undulations isn’t settled. It can also exhibit a sharp thud if a wheel drops into a pothole.

Key details 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid
Engine 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 110kW @ 5500–6000rpm petrol
130kW electric
179kW combined
Torque 230Nm @ 1500–4000rpm petrol
300Nm electric
530Nm combined
Drive type Front-wheel drive
Transmission Two-speed Dedicated Hybrid Transmission
Power-to-weight ratio 106.2kW/t
Weight (tare) 1685kg
Spare tyre type Tyre repair kit
Tow rating 1500kg braked
750kg unbraked

Should I buy a GWM Haval H6 Hybird?

It seems like not that long ago we first looked at the H6 Hybrid at its launch nearly two years ago. At the time we remarked what a great-value thing it was. It looks good, it feels good, and it goes pretty well too. 

But there are downsides – even though it’s more affordable than a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, it can’t come close to the Toyota’s real-world fuel efficiency. While presenting well, its cabin doesn’t feature the nicest in materials, and there are some ride-quality issues too.

On the whole it’s a good, affordable car – especially with the current discount offer. However, we’d argue the buying is better with petrol options in the range, especially with how thirsty the H6 Hybrid is in comparison to its rivals.

How do I buy a GWM Haval H6 – next steps?

In this review we’ve discussed the Haval H6 Hybrid in Ultra specification. Having driven a petrol Haval H6 Lux already, I stand by that as the pick of the range for its balance of price and features.

We asked GWM about stock availability and found the brand has “good supply of petrol and H6 hybrids currently”.

The availability of certain model grades and colours may differ between dealers, but on the whole, customers should be able to get into a new H6 relatively quickly.

The next steps on the purchase journey are to check the Haval website for stock of your preferred H6 variant. You can also find GWM cars for sale at Drive.com.au/cars-for-sale.

We strongly recommend taking a test drive at a dealership before committing because personal needs and tastes can differ. Find your nearest GWM dealer via this link. We’d also recommend test-driving the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid as a back-to-back.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

Ratings Breakdown

2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid Wagon

7.5/ 10

Infotainment & Connectivity

Interior Comfort & Packaging


Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned journalists got the better end of the deal. With tenures at CarAdvice, Wheels Media, and now Drive, Tom’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge informs a strong opinion on all things automotive. At Drive, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories.

Read more about Tom FraserLinkIcon


Source link

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock