2024 Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid

Andrea Matthews

Posted May 02, 2024

Does the budget-friendly Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid have what it takes to become one of the best medium SUVs for Australian families?

The most popular car for Australian buyers is a medium SUV, with this segment dominated by Toyota RAV4, the all-electric Tesla Model Y and the new Mitsubishi Outlander. Each of these SUVs offers a way for drivers to save on fuel costs, too. The RAV4 has a petrol hybrid option, the Tesla Model Y is purely offered as a battery electric vehicle, while the Mitsubishi Outlander offers both petrol and electric driving modes with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant.

One of the more recent arrivals to the medium SUV segment is the Haval H6, a Chinese-built SUV from parent company GWM, a brand which you may know better as Great Wall Motors.

The GWM Haval H6 range includes a petrol hybrid variant, promising fuel economy of up to 5.2L/100km thanks to its combination of a 1.5-litre petrol engine, 130kW electric motor and 1.8kWh battery. In addition to a fuel economy saving, the Haval H6 also offers notable savings in driveaway price and ongoing maintenance.

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2024 Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid

The Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid is a robust SUV for the modern family . Image: Ben Weinstein.


How much does a Haval H6 cost?

On paper, the Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid on test here represents great value for money and compared to the main protagonists in this segment, the H6 is significantly more affordable. The Haval H6 range starts at just $33,990 driveaway and tops out at the Ultra Hybrid on test here at $45,990 driveaway.

That compares with the Toyota RAV4 that offers driveaway pricing between $44,382 and $61,540 and the Mitsubishi Outlander priced from $42,250 to $79,810. All of that said, it’s worth pointing out that Haval H6 hybrid models are only available in front-wheel drive and both the top of the range RAV4 and Outlander variants are all-wheel drive.

Haval also offers a competitive aftersales program. It isn’t quite as extensive as Mitsubishi’s 10 year conditional warranty, but does offer a seven year unlimited kilometre warranty on the vehicle, eight-year warranty on the hybrid battery, five years roadside assistance and five years capped price servicing with pricing from $210 to $580 a service, depending on which service is required.

For its price, the Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid is comprehensively equipped with a long list of standard inclusions such as electric tailgate with hands-free opening, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, head up display, 360 degree camera, auto parking assist and a full range of driver assistance technologies.

Most functions are managed via the touchscreen which can be distracting. Image: Ben Weinstein
Mercedes-Benz owners will see more than a slight familiarity in the H6 speakers. Image: Ben Weinstein.
The GWM Ora shifter is vague in its operation. Image: Ben Weinstein.

What is the Haval H6 like inside?

The Haval H6 is a comfortable five-seater mid-size SUV, designed for family life, with two ISOFIX points in the rear seat, and three top tethers. There’s plenty of room in the spacious second row, which can easily accommodate adult passengers with no concerns for head or legroom.

A telltale sign that a new vehicle is from an emerging Chinese brand is its increased level of attention on the interior quality. Think quilted seats, blinged up interior finishes, a diverse range of materials, plastics and synthetic upholstery and extra levels of detail.

While materials in the Haval H6 don’t extend to leather finished upholstery, the Comfort-tek synthetic trim does a pretty good job of pretending, and stops short of feeling cheap.

There are some nods to Euro prestige in the Haval H6 including the perforated audio speakers which are reminiscent of the Burmester speakers found in Mercedes-Benz SUVs, but the audio quality is not that of a prestige vehicle, despite the eight speaker system.

The large colour touchscreen controls many of the vehicle functions, including the heating and cooling, causing some frustration in operation – it’s a classic exercise in form over function. It’s the same with the location of the front seat USB chargers – the one you need to connect for Apple CarPlay is located on the passenger side of the front console so anyone who doesn’t leave a second cable in the car is constantly required to reach around to plug it in. The socket on the driver’s side is located in such a spot that any cable plugged into it comes into contact with the driver’s left leg.

The tech usability is at odds with the overall practical feel of the Haval H6, which has plenty of storage throughout its cabin.


Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid bootspace

Space inside the Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid is excellent, with a wide boot opening. Image: Ben Weinstein


How much boot space does the Haval H6 have?

Boot space is decent at 600-litres with the rear seats in play, extended to 1485-litres with the second row folded almost flat. The Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid is the only vehicle in the range to come with a hands-free boot, and it works well.

As with a lot of hybrid vehicles, to accommodate the extra space required for the battery and to reduce weight, the spare wheel is replaced with a tyre inflator kit in the Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid.

How much can you tow with the Haval H6?

The Haval H6 hybrid has a braked towing capacity of 1500kg, a reduction of 400kg over the non-hybrid variants. This is sufficient to tow a small caravan or camper trailer and also on a par with both the Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander.

Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid

The Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid is conservative in its styling, but still stands out on the road Image: Ben Weinstein.


Is the Haval H6 good to drive?

The Haval H6 is an accessible car to drive for those new to mid-size SUVs. It’s easy to get up and running quickly and the ride is largely comfortable, but it lacks finesse, so drivers looking for a dynamic experience will be underwhelmed by the Haval H6’s road handling.

The H6's hybrid system is relatively quiet in its operation, and the powertrain maximises the electric propulsion system which results in speedy pick up and a quiet initial take of as it holds onto electric power for longer than Toyota's hybrid system. Accelerate quickly and the front axle can get twitchy as all the power is delivered to the front wheels.

The Haval H6 promises fuel economy of 5.2L/100km - and that seems to be close-to-achievable while driving around town, but we saw figures closer to 7L/100km after a week of predominantly freeway driving.

The drive is also significantly hampered by Haval’s poorly calibrated driver assistance systems which fail to deliver a guiding hand to the driver, and instead confound with their sensitivity. The worst transgression is the system’s inability to sustain a decent driving speed around a gradual curve, instead opting to slow the car rapidly from 110km/h to 90km/h, causing you to sharply accelerate to avoid inconvenient encounters with following vehicles.

2024 Haval H6 Wheel

The Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid doesn't have a spare wheel but has an inflator kit instead. Image: Ben Weinstein.

How safe is the Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid?

The Haval H6 has all of the required safety components to earn a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and adds ISOFIX child seat mounting points in the second row.

Onboard technology includes a full suite of driver assistance systems, although they do not function as well as in other vehicles, and cause more of a distraction that they should.

The driver assistance features that function at low speed are better. The 360-degree camera makes parking this 4.6metre long SUV easy, while the Ultra Hybrid, like its petrol Ultra equivalents also offers the convenience of auto parking assist and reverse assist.

Rear Cross Traffic Braking works well and is useful while reversing out of tight spots, or into traffic, applying the brake should a vehicle approach suddenly.

Should I buy a Haval H6 Hybrid?

For its price, the Haval H6 Hybrid does have plenty to offer as a budget friendly mid-size SUV that will appeal to families. However, the sharp pricing is offset by technology concerns and a lack of driving polish, which make it hard to recommend if your budget can stretch a bit further.

With so many accomplished vehicles in the medium SUV segment, you might be better off test driving the Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage before the Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid.

The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.