Close, but no cigar
Haval’s mid-sized SUV is much improved on previous Chinese imports, but questions remain
Chinese cars shows they are underdone in quality and refinement, despite big promises and massive enthusiasm from a range of brands including Geely, Chery and Great Wall.
And let’s not get started on reliability problems at Great Wall, or the asbestos found in some Great Walls that arrived in Australia.
But the H6 is surprisingly unbad. It’s a huge step up from the Mahindra from India I drove last year, and even my experience with the Holden Captiva.
The car looks good, the paint finish is good, and the cabin quality — both the materials and how they fit together — is impressive. In a blind test without a badge the H6 cabin could easily pass for something from a Japanese maker.
The H6 also gets along well, is pretty quiet in all conditions, has great aircon and is roomy for my family.
Are you waiting for the but? Well, here it comes.
The tyres on the Haval are plain awful, which means a brittle ride, too much thumping over bumps, and poor cornering grip in all road conditions.
They are from Cooper, an American company with a solid reputation and a wide range of products. I’m wondering if Haval has gone cheap on the rubber or made the choice, so I contact the importer — Terry Smith, a long-time friend — to discover he is also not happy with what Haval has done. He’s even sent some of his people to talk direct to Haval.
Why make such a big deal about tyres? Because they show the Haval people still don’t know what they don’t know, and that’s always dangerous in the