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Driven: Haval H6 priced to compete

New kid: The Haval H6 will face stiff competition in the busy medium SUV segment, notably from heavy hitters such as the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson.

China’s top-selling Haval H6 stakes its price point claim in the SUV landscape


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8 Sep 2016

CHINESE SUV specialist Haval has launched its new H6 in Australia’s booming medium SUV segment, targeting established top-selling contenders such as the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4.

Leaving manual gearboxes, all-wheel drive and diesel engines to other markets, the H6 arrives in Australia with two petrol variants priced to make an impact, for the remainder of 2016 at least.

The entry-level Premium is priced from $29,990 driveaway and the Lux wears a driveaway pricetag of $33,990, until the deal runs out at the end of the year.

The official retail pricing stands at $31,990 for the Premium and $34,990 for the Lux, excluding on-road costs.

Haval Motors Australia public relations and product specialist Andrew Ellis said the fledgling brand was not expecting to take significant sales off its rivals in the medium SUV segment but would not rule out driveaway pricing continuing into next year.

“It's not about knocking anyone off,” he said at the launch in Victoria’s Yarra Valley this week. “We're here and establishing ourselves, there’s incremental volume from those looking for value for money.

“Everything is a negotiation, but for now we have the pricing until the end of December and that's plenty for us to look after now.”

Haval Motors Australia managing director Parker Shi said the H6 was the most exciting vehicle in the Haval range.

“It's almost one year since the Haval launch,” he said. “We have all worked so hard and sometimes it's difficult to recall how much has been achieve in such a short time … launching H6, it is one of the most important launches in our history.”

With a sales target of at least 250 units between its October on-sale date and the end of 2016, the car-maker said more vehicles – up to 500 – were available if demand exceeded supply through its single-digit but growing dealer network, with 1000 a month a feasible supply once production was in full swing in 2017.

Known in China as the H6 Coupe because of its low, Evoque-style roofline, the H6 introduced here is a completely new vehicle compared with the H6 wagon in China.

Haval Australia chief marketing officer Tim Smith said the older H6 had sold more than a million units in its home market and was the fifth biggest-selling SUV in the world.

He said the new coupe-style H6 represented the next generation of product for the brand.

“The H6 is perfectly positioned to build on the strong foundations we have created in our first year in the market,” he said.

“We now have a competitor that offers a fantastic proposition for Australian customers in the medium SUV segment – one of the biggest in the country.”

Haval Motors Australia national marketing manager Bill So said launching a new brand – particularly one from China – was not an easy task but Haval had “listened, learned and improved” by taking feedback on board.

“We firstly have to overcome any perceptions of a product made in China before we can talk about our product and our future,” he said.

“We've heard very loud and clear that the belief is that the pricing is too high for a new brand and the market is looking for sharper pricing.”

The SUV-maker is also boasting the competitive power and torque figures for its newest model, which has arrived with a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering peak power of 145kW at 5200rpm and 315Nm from 2000rpm.

Haval claims it beats its 2WD competitors in the price bracket, with between 15 and 36 per cent more power and between 34 and 68 per cent more torque than the sub-$40,000 competition.

The brand nominated Subaru’s 2.5-litre 126kW/235Nm Forester, the 126kW/226Nm Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai’s 121kW/203Nm Tucson, the 114kW/200Nm 2.0-litre versions of the Mazda CX-5, 114kW/190Nm Honda CR-V and the 107kW/187Nm Toyota RAV4 as primary competition.

It is delivered through a Getrag six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission driving the front wheels with an official combined cycle fuel figure of 9.8 litres per 100km.

Measuring 4549mm long, 1835mm wide and 1700mm tall, the H6 sits on a 2720mm wheelbase, and is 9mm longer, 5mm narrower and 10mm shorter than the segment-leading Mazda CX-5, but has an extra 20mm of wheelbase and approximately 250kg of extra weight.

The entry-level Premium variant – expected to grab 55 per cent of the sales mix – has paddle shifters as standard for the six-speed dual clutch and sits on 17-inch alloy wheels.

The features list also includes cloth seats, a reach and rake adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, Isofix child seat anchor points, keyless entry and ignition, a 7.0-inch colour LCD screen, a seven-speaker USB-equipped sound system, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, tinted privacy rear windows, an electric park brake, an auto-dimming centre mirror, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, heated power adjustable exterior mirrors and cruise control.

There’s no ANCAP crash test safety rating as yet but the safety features list includes automatic halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, front foglights, blind spot monitoring (which defaults off on ignition), six airbags, including full-length side curtain airbags, stability and traction control, hill start and descent (even though its FWD) assistance, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and tyre pressure monitoring system.

Stepping up to the Lux model ups the wheel size to 19 inches and adds a panoramic sunroof, Comfort-Tek man-made ‘eco-leather’ seat trim, heated seats front and outboard rear, power adjustable front seats, a sound system upgrade with the addition of a sub-woofer, Xenon head lights and a passenger side ‘curb-camera’.

The H6 – which is dubbed H6 Coupe in China – is offered with a five-year, 100,000km warranty with five years of roadside assistance, as well as a service menu package.

2016 Haval H6 pricing
Premium (a)$31,990$29,990
Lux (a)$34,990$33,990
*Driveaway pricing until December 31, 2016

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