If Haval doesn’t tell you anything, we will reveal that it is a brand that is part of the Great Wall Motor group. And this group, originally from the 80s, is one of the strongest in the Chinese car market, selling its cars all over the world and expanding more and more every year.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The Haval brand (pronounced Havel) falls under Great Wall Motor.

The tested second-generation Haval H6 had about 50,000 km at the time of the test, but it was not noticeable on the car. Just by looking at it, it is clear that this car was not made by bushmen fed on vodka and bread, but by regular workers in a modern factory.

The design shows that the manufacturer did not want to venture into wild creations. The front mask following the full diode lamps looks rather conservative, as do the bumpers. The shape of the car is round, not at all aggressive in appearance. Maybe if you put Hyundai or Kia logos on the car and claim that it is imported from Korea, everyone would believe you.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Would you say at first glance that it is a Chinese car?

Also, the rear is not at all wild, but hosts the Haval inscription instead of the logo. More and more manufacturers are switching to this trend, so Haval has been successful in this direction. The overall impression from the outside is so solid, and we also like that the car does not play tricks with its design. At most, it says something in the sense that it wants to be a normal SUV.

Welcome to the modern car

However, stepping inside will surprise you, and certainly not unpleasantly. We usually associate Chinese brands with cheap design and many compromises, but here we practically came across only two, which are the audio system and the info system.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

In terms of the interior, the H6 has a weakness mostly only in the audio system and the info system.

The touch screen of the 2020 model doesn’t do much yet. So it starts the radio for you, projects the image of the parking camera, connects the mobile phone via bluetooth and allows you to solve a few settings, but that’s the end of it. More advanced functions and mobile connectivity only appear in younger models. Furthermore, the audio is weaker and of lower listening quality, but that’s the end of our list of serious complaints.

On the contrary, we have to place the overall processing and matching of materials on the “I like it” sheet, with the fact that the car is not cracked even in this run. The plastics are solid, the leather upholstery is decent, the multifunctional steering wheel, which fits perfectly in the hand, shows no signs of noticeable wear.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The leather steering wheel fits well in the hand and is also heated.

We also like the ergonomics, where the display and control buttons, including the start button, are turned towards the driver. The main functions used, apart from setting the temperature/air conditioning blowing direction, are still controlled by buttons and there is no need to climb into the info system.

Slightly smiling is the center tunnel, where you’ll find another set of controllers. Striking inspiration from older Bavarian models is obvious here, on the other hand, it is a functional layout that even the Chinese SWM G01F has preserved to this day.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The center console probably found inspiration in older BMWs.

The overall impression of the interior is not that luxurious, however, after sitting inside you simply feel that you are in a grown-up car, the design of which someone thought. This way, the placement of the various selectors usually makes sense from a usage point of view, and you don’t feel like frequently used elements should fall apart with just the wrong look. No aushus, but a nice modern cabin, in addition with good safety, which is also proven by domestic crash tests including a rollover test.

Safety checked by the test

The vehicle rollover test was excellent for the crew (dummies) of the Haval H6 with panaromatic roof. The initial rollover speed was 49.8 km/h, two people (dummies) were in the car, and the risk of serious injuries in this case was below 10%. The car doors could then be opened without the use of rescue techniques, the A and B pillars without visible dents or bends. The test was carried out at the China Automotive Technology and Research Center, which is a state-run car safety research institution similar to Euro NCAP.

Photo: Great Wall Motor, collage: Jan M.

2017 Haval H6 second generation rollover test.

It is also worth mentioning the equipment, which is solidly rich. The domestic import of Great Wall Motor to the Czech Republic carries more or less only inflated specifications. In addition to the above, the piece we tested has, for example, adaptive cruise control, semi-autonomous steering, parking sensors, electronic stabilization, tire pressure monitoring, automatic climate control, heated seats, heated steering wheel, electrically controlled seats, keyless entry and start, rain and light sensors, digital instrument panel and more.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Used H6s are mainly sold here in higher to top trims.

In short, apart from more advanced multimedia, better audio and maybe even ventilated seats, you will miss little inside. Objectively, in this direction, the Chinese from the Great Wall are simply trying, and you can tell. If we were to globally compare the H6 with the competing Dongfeng T5 Evo or MG HS, the Haval comes out as a slightly better car. Just because of the engine…

Comfort with two handles

A direct-injection turbocharged two-liter petrol engine with an output of 190 hp (340 Nm) is brought to the Czech Republic, which exclusively drives the front wheels (4 × 4 is available in the first and third generations) through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. If you fear consumption, hold back. We offer a Landi Renzo version with conversion to LPG as standard.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

LPG is standard, i.e. already included in the price. However, a version without gas can also be supplied.

The vehicle we tested was certainly no exception, so we got about ten liters of gas per hundred, plus about a liter of gasoline. The design solution and the retrofitting of LPG do not allow the petrol injection to be shut down completely.

You can’t really complain about the ride comfort itself, given the independent suspension and the not-exaggerated size of the 235/55 R19 wheels. Ironing our roads to the car is going well, however, there are two ailments that we noticed during testing.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The chassis will offer independent wheel suspension and solid travel comfort.

The first one is related to the LPG drive, when, especially at higher revs, there is sometimes a transition when the car switches from gas to gasoline. You perceive it basically as such a small twitch, which, however, only manifests itself occasionally. In normal driving, this is typically when overtaking, when you go “full” and push forward.

This is followed by the second feature, namely the not so perfectly tuned work of the dual-clutch automatic. It pedals decently at normal operating speeds and during normal driving, but when you want it to drive more dynamically, the gear change is sometimes more noticeable, or even jerky.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The transmission sometimes works a little strangely in certain modes.

Fidgety shifting also awaits you in queues, typically in stop-start-stop-start mode. In short, it happens, albeit occasionally, but it happens, and according to the available information, it is a known problem of the Haval H6 series models.

Six known bugs

Since we are talking about a used car, which is already in its third generation on the market, we also encountered several typical defects that affect the two-wheel drive Haval H6.

The first ailment is the occasional jerky shifting, especially during sharp acceleration or in queues. However, the manufacturer commented on this problem by saying that there is nothing wrong with the car and that these characteristics are common for dual-clutch transmissions. After all, Volkswagen’s DSG can sometimes make it angry. Solution? Try changing the transmission oil.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Gear shifting sometimes gets angry, which according to the manufacturer is a characteristic. Sometimes, however, changing the oil in the transmission helps.

We also read about dying accumulators due to insufficient charging or lack of liquid in the accumulator itself. Some users have also complained of a sudden drop in energy even with newly replaced car batteries. However, if the H6’s 12-volt battery lasts at least four years, you’ve won.

Some H6 pieces may produce abnormal braking noise, but this does not affect safety. The culprit is supposed to be the brake connecting rod, which just needs to be lubricated or replaced for less than 3,000 CZK. If it’s not the rod, it’s the brake pedal switch spring, which also needs to be lubricated.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

Noise when braking? Lubricant or connecting rod replacement is usually sufficient.

The fourth factor is the already mentioned low-quality audio. It is not so much a defect, but rather a lack of equipment. Although the car has a flood of speakers, listening to music is simply below average. The solution here is to replace the factory speakers with better ones.

The fifth ailment applies only to models with a 1.5 liter engine. These engines suffer from an excessive delay between when the driver steps on the gas and when the car begins to pull noticeably. For the two-liter version, the turbo effect is acceptable.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The noticeable turbo effect is for the 1.5-liter engine, not the 2.0-liter.

The last unpleasant feature is high consumption, which makes the car worth running on gas. Although it has direct injection, it still drives on average about 10 liters of gasoline per hundred or more. The fuel cost per kilometer thus exceeds CZK 4, but for LPG it is a much more acceptable amount, practically half.

Chinese exotica

The Haval H6 is thus an interesting used car and an alternative to the Kodiaq, Tiguan or RAV4, which offers a royal space, modern design, rich equipment, practical ergonomics and solid driving comfort.

Photo: Jiří Cermák

The Haval H6’s closest rivals are Škoda Kodiaq, Toyota RAV4 and similar SUVs.

The level of acoustic noise reduction is also decent, the car feels confident on the road, it will offer the typical advantages of SUVs, but it will ask for a larger portion of gasoline, sometimes the gearshift is angry, and the multimedia together with the audio system are not quite adequate to the rest of the car.

Since it is a de facto exotic brand in Europe, you also have to count on a smaller number of service centers (7x in the Czech Republic) and a possible longer delay in the delivery of those spare parts that are not in stock.

Used Haval cars are imported to the Czech Republic by the long-standing car importer Great Wall Motor gwm-eu.cz/auta, which offers, for example, Poer or Steed pick-ups. A used Haval H6 from 2020 with a mileage of approximately 50,000 km will cost approximately 725,000 CZK, while pieces a year younger cost from 785,000 CZK. If you would like a brand new model, then prepare around 966,000 CZK.