We seem to have had an onslaught of Chinese-built cars lately, with more waiting for review as well. There is the view that no longer are Chinese brands seen as outliers, as budget models that are built to a price.

You only have to look at the success of brands like MG and its popular MG4, the 2023 Car of the Year, and also the ever-popular BYD Atto3 – the 2022 Car of the Year and its excellent Dolphin stablemate. We’re reviewing the BYD Seal right now and so far, that car is looking pretty damn good.

Of course, before those two brands arrived, we had Haval working away, selling cars in New Zealand. And not just a model or two; currently in the GWM line-up there is the GWM Ora, GWM Haval Jolion, GWM Tank GWM 300, GWM Tank 500, GWM Ute, and soon-to-come the GWM Cannon Alpha ute. Most of these seem to be great value, so they can’t be any good, right? After reviewing the Ora and most recently the Jolion, that view needs to change. For the money asked, these cars are great options instead of something Japanese or Korean.

That brings us to the GWM Haval H6. We’ve never managed to get our hands on one to review before today, but at last, we can tell you what this medium SUV is like after driving it 500km over a week.

What We Like and Dislike About The 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Ease of driving
Long feature list
Fantastic value
Some driver-assist systems
Door unlock issues in our test car
Audio quality

What’s In The 2024 GWM Haval H6 Range?

There is a range of 5 models of H6 to choose from, although two of those are simply hybrid-powered models of existing versions.

The non-hybrid H6s use a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine that is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. The motor manages 150kW of power and 320Nm of torque – reasonable numbers.

Either of the two hybrid models use a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol motor that is turbocharged and the transmission is a “DHT”, or Dedicated Hybrid Transmission. The combined power output of the petrol and electric motors is 179kW with torque is listed at an excellent 530Nm. Both hybrid and non-hybrid are front-wheel drive.

The models are:

  • Premium $35,990
  • Lux $38,990
  • Lux Hybrid $42,990
  • Ultra $40,990
  • Ultra Hybrid $46,990

2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid – Standard Equipment Highlights


  • Automatic wipers
  • Paddle Shifters
  • Cloth seats
  • 10.25” instrument cluster
  • 10.25” centre touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with stop/go
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Centre Keeping
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Lane Change Assist
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • LED headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Automatic Headlights with Follow Me Home
  • LED rear fog lights
  • Six-speaker audio
  • Four rear parking sensors

Lux model adds:

  • Two front parking sensors
  • Roof Rails
  • Faux leather trim
  • Eight-way electric driver’s seat with 2-way electric lumbar adjust
  • Heated front seats
  • 8-speaker audio
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Power folding exterior mirrors
  • 360-degree camera
  • LED front fog lights
  • Dual-zone AC

Ultra model adds:

  • Six front and six rear parking sensors
  • Electric tailgate with hands-free
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Four-way electric passenger’s seat
  • Ventilated front seats
  • 12.3” centre touchscreen
  • Heated door mirrors
  • Reverse Assist
  • Automatic parking
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Mood lighting

2024 GWM Haval H6 Colour Range

There is no charge for extra colours on any Haval.

  • Hamilton White
  • Golden Black
  • Energy Green
  • Burgundy Red
  • Ayers Grey
  • Sapphire Blue
  • Crayon Grey

For a full list of specs and options available for the 2024 Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid, head on over to GWM Haval New Zealand’s website.

How Does The 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid Compare To Its Competition?

It’s a hotly contested segment, but one where the H6 shines in the value-for-money department and that’s one reason I struggled to find comparable models in size or price.

I’ve included the S-Cross hybrid as well, although it’s smaller than the H6, it’s at least comparable in price – but not in features.

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
SeatsFuel L/100kmTowing
Honda CR-V S2.0-litre e:HEV 4-cylinder petrol hybrid135/33556.4700/750581$67,000
Nissan X-Trail e-Power (AWD)1.5-litre, 3-cylinder -hybrid150 front, 100 rear/19556.8750/1,650585$64,990
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol-hybrid131/22155.3750/1,500580$59,990
MG HS +EV Essence1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-plug-in hybrid189/37051.7750/1,500451$55,990
Kia Sportage Earth Hybrid1.6-litre, 4-cylinder hybrid132/26555.4750/1,650543$55,390
GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-hybrid179/53055.2750/1,500600$46,990
Suzuki S-Cross Hybrid JLX 2WD1.4-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-hybrid95/23555.9600/1,500430$42,990

Please note that DriveLife does its best to ensure the information above is correct at the time of publication, however, prices, specifications and models can change over time. Please bear that in mind when comparing models in the comparison table.

First Impressions Of The 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid

Like the Jolion we just handed back, our test H6 was in exactly the same Ayers Grey colour. While I generally dislike cars in grey or silver, it certainly suited the design of the H6. But, we need to talk about that grille. It felt quite overpowering and a bit garish, but then I compared it to any Lexus or even the all-new Omoda C5, and suddenly the H6 looked quite restrained at the front. I guess this is where the silver colour of our test car makes the front look a bit more subdued.

Side-on, there are hints of Mazda CX-5 and also pretty much any Lexus SUV, with that little kick-up at the C pillar. There are splatters of chrome trim on the sides and rear, lifting the car in perceived quality somewhat. It actually looks pretty damn stylish and almost executive. 

At the rear, that full-width light bar reminds me of the Audi e-Tron and at night, looks superb. A cool touch is the different high-level brake lights; they extend above and below the roof spoiler and add a real point of difference to the rear of the car. Throw in some stylish alloys and you end up with a good-looking SUV.

What’s The Interior Like In The 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid?

Honestly, I thought I was getting back into a Jolion. Other than having more space, the two cars are extremely similar on the inside.

That’s no bad thing – there is nothing wrong with the Jolion’s interior. In the H6 that means more space, with very good rear legroom and headroom, even with that huge panoramic tilt/slide electric sunroof (with electric blind). Front-seat passengers are well-catered for in the roominess department, and there is a nice sense of space throughout the cabin, helped along by the use of beige-coloured pillars and headlining.

Probably the only thing that feels a little cramped is the very high centre console, finished in piano black – as are parts of the door cards. The high console has a large cubby at the rear, and right at the front is a flat Qi wireless phone charging pad. Below that console is another storage area, one that borders on huge. Storage space is not really an issue in this car, with a reasonably sized glovebox and another smaller cubby on the right-hand side of the steering wheel.

Sitting in the driver’s seat, the faux leather wheel feels nice to hold. It’s not the chunkiest of steering wheels but feels good all the same. There’s some contrasting white stitching on the steering wheel, and this is carried over to the doors, dash, and centre console. All very upmarket.

Those doors are finished very well, in fact, the finish on all the materials inside the car is spot-on. There’s a really nice use of materials too, and touch points are generally soft fabrics. Some interior designers have actually put some thought into the cabin design of the H6. For example, the tweeter covers on the doors resemble a certain European brand.

Connection-wise, those in front have access to two USB-A ports as well as a 12-volt socket. The H6 comes with a USB-A port up by the mirror, so I quickly switched my dashcam to plug in there. I wish all brands had this, but it’s still a rarity.

Since we’re testing the top-spec Ultra, that means 3-stage seat heating in the front, along with 3-stage seat ventilation. You can only access seat heating by either swiping down on the infotainment screen or by going through the menus to get to the seats, and you can only turn on seat ventilation in the menus. This is where a dual-function physical switch or knob would be a much better idea. You can swipe right on the main screen to adjust seat heat/cool as well.

The Ultra model has a heated steering wheel as well; just single-stage heating this time, unlike the seats. To turn this feature on, it’s again in through the menu system – a bit painful. The steering wheel has a single customisable button, and I set this to turn on or off the steering wheel heater. 

In the back, as well as ample leg and headroom there are a couple of USB-A ports and two air vents. There’s also a 12-volt socket in the boot, which is always handy to have.

At 600 litres, that boot is far bigger than the Jolion hybrid’s 390 litres and is certainly at the top-end in size for a medium SUV – it’s 200 litres bigger than the CX-5, for example. Being a hybrid, there’s no storage under the floor since this is taken up by the drive battery.

What’s The 2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid Like To Drive?

With a 1.5-litre, turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor that outputs 300Nm of torque, Haval claims the H6 in hybrid form has access to an astounding 530Nm of torque. While in a ute that number is pretty much the norm now, in a medium SUV that’s a lot of torque. I was expecting great things in performance from this car.

How does it perform? Very well, but perhaps it doesn’t feel like 530Nm when you are driving it. Sure, you can spin the front wheels from a standing start pretty easily, but it never really felt like I had that much torque on hand. Still, in everyday driving the power and torque are more than adequate, and the car can feel quite sprightly when you need to move it. In the wet and with front-wheel drive only, you need to watch that right foot as you can easily lose traction with just a little too much eagerness in your acceleration. 

At low speeds, the engine is very quiet (if it’s running, that is) and other sounds like road noise are well managed. Up Wellington’s steep hills, the engine can get a little vocal but it’s never too intrusive. I did feel some vibration in the cabin at times, but again, never that bad that it’s a deal breaker. 

The hybrid side of things in the Ultra H6 is very simple; get in and drive. You don’t get any options to control the hybrid side of the drive, so you are bound by the car’s ECU brain and which motive power it thinks you need at any time. Thankfully, the car gets it right every time, and you barely notice anything happening. That’s good on many fronts; the transition from hybrid to petrol and back is smooth and easy. If you need power, the car will start the petrol engine if it deems it necessary. It’s foolproof and you needn’t worry about the car being a hybrid, if you are at all concerned – just get in and drive it.

This is no plug-in hybrid (PHEV), so the petrol engine will charge the drive battery up. You’ll also get some brake regeneration (regen) when going down a hill, although there are no steering wheel paddles to be able to adjust brake regen. You can however select the E-Pedal mode, which is supposed to be like one-pedal driving. It’s actually very good and while it isn’t true one-pedal driving, I left it on the entire time I had the car. It’s a shame you have to use the infotainment system and dig down a number of levels to get to the E-Pedal setting, but thankfully it does stay on when you return to the car. It’s also intelligent in use, so it will apply more regen if there is a car in front of you, and less if there is not. I love that more car companies are doing this, as it makes for a much easier drive, and has the benefit of getting more (free) regen power back into the battery bank.

Running the air conditioning will generally make the petrol engine start, so avoid that if you can and if you want to save the maximum amount of fuel. After my week and 500km though, I felt the hybrid system in the H6 was perfect. Just forget about it, and let it do its thing. 

So while you can’t adjust the hybrid side of the drivetrain, you do get some drive modes to pick from. These are Normal, Sport, Eco, Snow, and Wading. Keep in mind the H6 is two-wheel drive only, so don’t get your hopes up in the snow or deep water.

Selecting Eco mode means trolling through yet more menus, and for me this was one of the painful aspects of the H6. It felt like anything you wanted to change or turn on/off meant going into the infotainment system, and it’s not as intuitive as I would have liked. Still, Eco mode did just fine and to be honest, felt much the same as Normal drive mode. Obviously, Sport mode will make the car give its all, and if you want to access that 530Nm this is the place to start. 

Strangely, while you have to go into the menu system to adjust your drive mode, you can adjust the steering feel via a pull-down on the main screen. Your options here are Sport, Light, or Normal. I couldn’t feel much difference between these modes, so left it in Sport to get what I hoped was the maximum weighting on the steering; it’s pretty light otherwise.

Selecting a gear on the H6 means using the gear selector dial; the one in the H6 has no stops, so you can simply spin it left (for Reverse) or right (for Drive) as much as you want. Some drivers don’t like this, but it doesn’t worry me. For me, it means if you have reversed out of a park (for example), you can just spin the dial to the right 3 or 4 clicks and you’ll know you’ve got Drive. Too easy.

Using the H6 to commute each day was easier than some other cars. Visibility out is top of the class, and the heads-up display (HUD) on the Ultra model means you can keep a constant eye on your speed. That HUD shows you the current speed limit, and it also shows you your H6 in its lane and then other traffic around you. I haven’t seen this functionality on any other HUDs and while it was cool to watch, I’m not sure how it helps your driving. One positive aspect of the HUD was a red warning when you are too close to the car in front – that’s a far more handy feature. Another bonus of the HUD in this car is Snow Mode. Turn it on, and the digits on the HUD go blue – better for driving in the snow. But that blue is also easier to see in general use, and I left it on all the time. Another benefit of the blue digits is that the HUD’s output is not as affected by polarising sunglasses, as they normally are. The HUD stays in Snow Mode even when you get back into the car later, so that’s a bonus.

Of course, you can use the H6’s adaptive cruise control to maintain your distance from the car in front. It’s a reasonable system, and mostly very smooth in operation. The adaptive cruise system is controlled by a stalk on the left-hand side of the steering wheel. Not my favourite way of operating cruise control – prefer steering wheel buttons any day – but still works. You have to pull the stalk towards you to engage cruise control and pull it again to engage cruise control and steering assist together. Weirdly, if you are using adaptive cruise control and then pull the stalk again to engage steering assist, cruise control turns off. This caught me time and again, and I’m not sure of the reasoning behind the system.

When using adaptive cruise control, you can also turn on Smart Cornering via the infotainment system. We’ve seen variations of this before, mainly on Euro cars, but they are generally too nanny-like and slow down too much for any given corner. The H6 does this too, so it didn’t take long for me to turn off Smart Cornering, and leave it off. There’s also a Smart Dodge feature in the infotainment; it says this is to keep you away from large trucks and the like that are in the adjacent lane. I’m not sure of its effectiveness, but it’s there if you want it.

On the motorway with the sunroof open, there is some buffeting coming into the cabin, although the H6 Ultra does have a pop-up wind deflector. Lane Keep Assist is a little too aggressive, but this is a common complaint for Chinese-built cars, for some reason. One day, they will work it out. Road noise in general use is excellent, as is tyre noise – except for the kryptonite for most tyres, coarse chip seal. This is when the tyres will be heard the most.

Still talking about noise, I was disappointed by the audio system in the H6 Ultra. The audio quality is very low, with weak bass, midrange and treble. The system has a DTS option but that sounded even worse. I hate to award the H6 the title, but it’s the worst audio I’ve heard in any new car for quite some time.

There were a few other niggles with the H6; the fuel economy computer would reset all the time, so I couldn’t get an accurate gauge of how much fuel this hybrid was using. Like Peter experienced in the Haval Jolion, the keyless unlocking of the H6 was very hit-and-miss, and mostly it was a miss. I resorted to using the key most days as I simply couldn’t rely on the keyless unlock function to actually work.

My last whine and a problem we found on the GWM Ora is that Lane Departure Prevention. When indicating, this feature should turn off – there’s no need for it as you are turning. Simple, huh? But on the H6, there were times when I was moving into a turn bay with my indicator on, and the car would try and force me back in the lane. I expect this is something to do with the way roads are designed in China, and so allowance has not been made. It was bordering on dangerous in the Ora, and I sure hope Haval and GWM sort this out soon.

Enough complaining from me, as I really enjoyed my time in the H6. What about fuel economy? As mentioned, there’s no real way of determining this as the trip computer side of things in the H6 doesn’t allow for it. But working out as best I can, the car returned 6.7L/100km, a saving of 1.3L/100km over the 2.0-litre non-hybrid. After my 500km of commuting and general use, I still had a half tank of gas left, giving a theoretical maximum of 1,000km from the 61-litre tank. That’s not something that can be denied – 6.7L/100km isn’t astounding but perhaps our actual use was less than that – who can tell!

Handling and braking are just fine, and actually, the drive itself is relatively refined. This was an easy car to live with day-to-day. This isn’t a car you punt around too much, but for your average H6 buyer, it feels safe and secure on the road. Keep in mind if you floor it too hard coming out of a bend, it’s pretty easy to spin the inside front wheel, but there are no dramatics involved. Overall, the H6 drives and behaves well and would please most buyers.

2024 GWM Haval H6 Ultra Hybrid – Specifications

Vehicle TypeMedium-SUV
Starting Price$46,990
Price as Tested$46,990
Engine1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol with hybrid assistance
Power, Torque
Combined 179/530
TransmissionDedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT)
Spare WheelTyre repair kit
Kerb Weight, Kg2,140
Length x Width x Height
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
Fuel tank capacity,
Fuel Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 5.2
Real-World Test – Combined – 6.7
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
Turning circle
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty7 years unlimited kilometres
5 years Roadside Assistance
8 years unlimited kilometres for battery pack
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – QKW376

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.
2024-haval-h6-ultra-hybrid-hybrid-car-reviewIf I were in the market for a medium-sized SUV and I didn’t need all-wheel drive, I don’t think I could pass on the Haval H6. If you are working to a budget and can’t afford something like the Mazda CX-5, the H6 is a competent, well-equipped, spacious and well-built medium SUV. <br><br> Add in a 7-year warranty and honestly, Haval should be selling a lot more H6 models.


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