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January 21, 2024

Review: 2024 GWM Haval H6 HEV Supreme

Chinese carmakers, pay attention. This is your gold standard. The past five years or so, we’ve seen brands sprout up like mushrooms all from the Middle Kingdom. And like fungi that thrive in dark, damp places, none of them deserve to be in the limelight. They’d be great for a couple of days or so, but something always throws you off. Until now. The GWM Haval H6 shows us that when they get their act together, they could make pretty compelling cars.

Measuring in at 4,653 mm in length and sporting a 2,738 mm wheelbase, the Haval H6 is on the bigger scale what I consider traditional compact SUVs. By comparison, the Honda CR-V is a tad longer, but has a shorter wheelbase. At the same time, it’s longer in both dimensions compared to the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.

The tale of the tape aside, GWM has managed to imbue the Haval H6 with a proper sense of style. It’s devoid of any chintzy design detail that’s plaguing Chinese cars of late. There are no animated lighting bits, no vestigial aero kits, or fake exhaust tips. Instead, it’s down to simple, clean lines. The front grille does have some shades of Peugeot to it, and I’m not a huge fan of that four-point third brake lamp design, but those are just the small stuff. Besides, in this shade of Storm Gray with the high-gloss black elements, it’s a certified head turner. Once, a Lexus RX owner did a triple take just to check out it out from all angles.

Inside, the Haval H6 is equally impressive. On looks alone, it’s an impressive, tech-filled space. There are two screens—one 10.25-inch and one 12.3-inch—the former situated in front of the driver and the other jutting out the center. I’ll get to the subject of the infotainment later, but for now, I’d like to point out that the areas surrounding the screens are fitted with soft-touch materials. There are still hard, hallow plastics, but they’ve been relegated mostly to the lower part of the dashboard and center console—areas you don’t usually touch. Plus, the two-tone tan and black finish does serve as a nice visual distraction. The buttons and switchgear are great too, but take note that, like in the Jolion HEV, the rotary shifter rotates endlessly making for ambiguous gear selections.

Like the dashboard, the seats are also covered in a two-tone finish and are comfy enough even for longer driving stints. In combination with the tilt/telescopic steering wheel, the ergonomics are sound. The seats are mounted high and this affords you a commanding view of the road ahead. As a backup there are a multitude of sensors and a high-res 360-degree camera that keep a watch out from the front, rear, and flanks. They may be a bit intrusive at times, but they can be muted at the touch of a physical button, or turned off completely via the menu.

There’s so much space in the first or second rows. The latter, in some ways, can even match up to a mid-sized SUV. At the back, the cargo hold’s rated at 600 liters—one of the largest in the segment. It even expands to 1,485 liters with all seats down. For storing smaller items, there’s a shelf underneath the “floating” center console. The cup holder’s divider can also be folded away as a space for wallets and keys. There’s even a dedicated alcove for the wireless charger with notches that can secure an iPhone (non-Max size) perfectly. Turning the charger on or off requires you to fiddle through the touchscreen interface.

At this point, you’d notice that I spoke about the onscreen menus a couple of times—how it can switch the parking system on or off, or even activate the wireless charger function. Like most modern Chinese cars, the Haval H6 relies heavily on its touchscreen for access to even its most basic features like the climate control, entertainment, and vehicle settings. Thankfully, the interface here is much better thought-of than in in the Jolion HEV. Not only is the menu structure flatter, but it’s also highly customizable. You can add shortcuts not just to the main menu, but to a handy pull-down menu too. This means most used commands can be as little as a one or two-step affair. Sadly, the shortcut or pull-down menu doesn’t work when you’re using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Like the Jolion HEV, the Haval H6 is powered by a 1.5-liter engine paired with an electric motor. It’s also paired to a Dedicated Hybrid Transmission or DHT with two forward gears connected to the combustion engine and one for the electric drive. Unlike its application in the smaller GWM though, this one adds a turbocharger to the gas part. As a result, it makes a total of 240 horsepower and 530 Nm of torque—easily one of the highest outputs in the compact SUV segment.

While typical strong hybrids start silently and run on electric power at low speeds, the Haval H6 cuts in and out of EV mode. There are some instances where it’ll even fire up the combustion engine during startup. On the other hand, it’s got enough electrons to coast up to 80 km/h without the gas engine being turned over. This leads me to believe that GWM hasn’t really sorted out the energy management part as well as its rivals. As a result, you’ll find it hard to match the quoted 19.23 km/L. Instead, in my week’s work of driving, I managed just 12.82 km/L. Worth noting that it requires a diet of 92 octane, minimum so by default, you will have to refill with 95 octane fuel like Petron XCS.

The Haval H6’s outputs are impressive leading to a 7-second 0 to 100 km/h time. However, because it’s solely a front-driver, the platform will be worked, hard. If you’re not careful with your throttle engagement, there will be noticeable chirping from the front tires. Feathering the throttle is a must, especially when the steering wheel’s turned at an angle. Dip down the accelerator in a straight line though, and this thing is effortless. Highway driving and quick overtaking is one of its greatest strengths.

Working through the displays and the Haval H6 can tell you if it’s running on EV, tandem, or parallel mode. But even the dullest of senses will feel the switchover between the gas engine and electric motor. Still, the overall levels of NVH is similar to the RAV4 Hybrid. In fact, it can be argued that it’s even better.

The standard heads-up display is a welcome inclusion, and the adaptive cruise control works well. The lane center does a commendable job of keeping you between the while lines, but it’s a bit squirmy at times. Thankfully, these can be switched off and the car will even remember your preferred settings next time you start it up.

In the city, the Haval H6 is a capable commuter. It really doesn’t encourage overzealous driving with its softly sprung suspension, but in return, it smoothens out the rough stuff very well. On badly corrugated roads, it verges on being floaty and it takes a couple of moments to settle back down. Honestly, it’s not bothersome, but it could use more finessing. Among the settings, both the steering and brake regen levels can be selected. For the latter, the most aggressive “Boost” mode will trade pedal feel for maximum energy recovery.

The Haval H6’s multitude of cameras and sensors are put to good use with its semi-autonomous parking assist. The system works genuinely well in parallel, perpendicular, or diagonal spaces (I only tested it on parallel mode), and there’s no learning curve. There’s even a reverse assistant that saves the last 50 meters that the car traveled in order to track back when needed.

Chinese carmakers have certainly shaken up the local auto industry, but mostly due to their low price points. At P 1.883 million, the GWM Haval H6 certainly doesn’t fall in the cheap category. However, it is extremely good value for money. More than anything, it makes the strongest case of how far the Chinese have come. Finally, here’s an offering that doesn’t just offer flashy looks and tech, but does well in the area of mechanical refinement as well. It may still need a bit of fine tuning here and there, but overall, this compact SUV offers more than what other established makes can offer at this price point.

2024 GWM Haval H6 1.5T HEV DHT Supreme

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Bottom Line
Pros Punchy powertrain, excellent interior space, classic looks.
Cons Tendency to wheel spin at even partial throttle, fussy ride at times, expensive for a Chinese SUV.
TL;DR Finally, a Chinese SUV that manages to meet more established brands head on.
Year Introduced 2023
Warranty 5 years / 150,000 kilometers,
8 years / 160,000 kilometers (hybrid system + battery)
The Basics
Body Type Compact SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
Maximum Output (PS @ rpm) 150 @ 5,000-6,000 (240 combined)
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm) 230 @ 1,500-4,000 (530 combined)
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / ~92
Transmission DHT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy (km/L) @ Ave. Speed (km/h) 12.82 km/L @ 14 km/h,
16.12 km/L @ 20 km/h
(fueled with Petron XCS)
Fuel Tank Size (L) 61
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,653
Width (mm) 1,886
Height (mm) 1,730
Wheelbase (mm) 2,738
Curb Weight (kg) 1,690
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electric, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 SUV 225/55 R 19 V (f & r)
Recommended Tire Pressure (PSI) 35 all
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, 360-degree w/ Moving Object Detection
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Advanced Driver Assist System Forward Collision Warning
Automatic Emergency Braking w/ Pedestrian, Junction Support
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Center Keeping Assist
Emergency Lane Keeping Assist
Intelligent Dodge
Traffic Sign Recognition
Other Safety Features Hill Descent Control
Hill Start Assist
Blind Spot Detection
Rear Collision Warning
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Digital Video Recorder
Fire Extinguisher
First Aid Kit
Exterior Features
Headlights LED, w/ Cornering Lamps
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear (LED)
Light Operation Automatic
Wiper Operation Rain-Sensing
Tailgate Power
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic, Manual
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way, Ventilated
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 4-way, Ventilated
Seating Surface Leather
2nd Row 60/40 Split-Fold, w/ Armrest
3rd Row None
Sunroof Yes
Multi-Information Display / Size Yes, 10.25-inch
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Dual, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB Type A
Wireless Charger Front
Infotainment Display / Size 12.3-inch
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 8
Steering Controls Yes


  1. But Uly, you chose the Coolray as among your top picks of 2020. You definitely placed it in the 'limelight'..

    And how about your review of the Empow?

    1. I would say that both of those other Chinese cars were good, but this is even better. The Empow though tends to lose that luster after a couple of's great, but it tries too hard at times. The Coolray was alright, but there were still some small issues (lack of smartphone mirroring being the most glaring one).

  2. Uly, hope you can also review the GWM Cannon pickup...

  3. Remain to be seen if its reiable, durable, after sales support

  4. 530 Nm of torque is quite a lot, what's the maximum towing weight this can pull?

    1. Official figures are:

      750 kg (without brake), 1,500 kg (with brake)
      Payload is ~450 kg (including passengers)

    2. I have seen and scrutinised this in the mall.. looks and felt solid and well put together.

    3. That is approaching what is basically jetski towing capability. Impressive for a 1.5L. Thanks, Uly!

  5. Problem with Chinese cars is they have small engines. I still believe there's no replacement for displacement.

    1. Turbo is the replacement for displacement.
      A 1.6li yaris GR makes more than 320hp.. more than a v6 or v8NA can make.
      A 2.0 liter 4g63 can make north of 450hp

  6. The Dongfeng Aeolus Huge is a better vehicle in the 1.8M price point.
    Power output at 241hp and 540nm of torque.
    Better luxury features than this Haval.
    Better local distributor with deep pockets.

    1. I'd like to give it a go if they'd let me. Let's see.


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