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Haval H6 2025 review: facelift first drive


A 2025 facelift appears imminent for Haval’s H6 medium SUV, and signs are good for improved styling, cabin apointment and drivability.

Good points

  • Clean design, well-appointed cabin
  • Spacious rear seats and boot
  • Excellent large central touchscreen
  • Appreciated jump in power and torque
  • More mature front-end styling
  • Seven-year warranty, decent value

Needs work

  • Ride and handling still unproven
  • Climate controls through the screen
  • Rear seats don’t slide or recline
  • Cheap feeling rear seat plastics
  • Unknown arrival date or price
  • Non hybrid engine’s thirst

Haval’s increasingly popular H6 medium SUV is being gifted a facelift for 2025, bringing fresh styling, more power and a significantly smarter interior.

We were given a brief taste of the enhanced Toyota RAV4-rival at GWM’s Chinese proving ground, ahead of the new car going on display at the Beijing Motor Show.

GWM Haval H6 2024 thumbnail

While the facelifted H6 isn’t definitely locked in for Australia, there’s little doubt we’ll receive this new car, likely by year’s end or very early 2025. The current H6 has been in our market for three years, and with the investment gone in to this facelift, it’d be daft to not introduce it.

The H6 is the Haval range’s shining star. Last year over 13,000 sold here, if we combine figures for the traditional H6 SUV with the sportier coupe-like H6 GT. That bettered the Nissan X-Trail’s 2023 sales in the highly competitive medium SUV class.

The current H6 is priced from $33,900 for an entry-level Premium, up to $45,990 for an Ultra Hybrid grade. The sleeker H6 GT starts from $40,990 for a Lux model, peaking at $46,490 for an AWD Ultra. All Haval prices are drive-away.

GWM Haval H6 2024 rear

We can assume these prices will jump a few grand when the facelift arrives to reflect the improved kit. We didn’t spy a facelifted H6 GT at GWM’s HQ, but it’d be likely to receive the same refreshing treatment.

Our time test driving the 2025 H6 was severely limited, but we were able to paw over the exterior changes and the impressively luxe cabin of what was likely the flagship Ultra grade.

Visually, the 2025 H6’s front end looks a dash more flash, with cascading LED daytime running lights emerging from the headlights’ edges. I can’t decide if they look more like giant tears or warpaint.

GWM Haval H6 2024 badge

Haval says the face adopts the brand’s Star River Aesthetics design language, using ‘starlight’ headlights and star shield grille. Lovely. Compared to the current model with its plasticky chrome grille, the more subtle, intricate grille is a marked improvement.

The back end has lost its full-length light bar and gained new design LED taillights – if anything it looks a bit more homogenised. We saw some H6s with subtle GWM badge between its rear lights, rather than the too-bold HAVAL script. Hopefully that’ll come with the 2025 car.

Reports suggest the 2025 H6 is a slither larger than the current one at 4703mm – over 100mm longer than Toyota’s RAV4.

GWM Haval H6 2024 tail-light

A key reason the H6 sells so well is its showroom appeal. It presents well with brace of 10.25-inch widescreens, faux leather and soft plastics. But the 2025 car expands on these positives with an even more impressive cabin.

Yes, our tester was the range-topper, but the white faux leather felt solid quality over well-sculpted seats, the two-tiered dash design borrows from premium players, plastics generally feel good and the steering wheel’s new and pleasing in its simplicity.

The centre console area is ultra clean as the rotary gear selector’s gone, replaced by a Mercedes-Benz-like gear selector stalk.

GWM Haval H6 2024 interior
GWM Haval H6 2024 interior storage

This leaves the centre console free to concentrate on offering a well-angled wireless phone charger, two cup holders and an oddments bin. There’s large additional storage underneath the centre console, and there’s not a button or switch to be found.

That’s because the centrepiece is a giant touchscreen, likely a 14- or 15-inch effort. Haval’s put all controls through here, including the climate.

This has the potential to be a frustration, but fair play, the screen is of excellent definition, and on brief trial, proved incredibly quick to respond. As expected, the 12.3-inch digital driver display is retained.

Hop in the back and it’s as you were as the wheelbase is unchanged. It’s spacious and with centre arm rest, a USB-A and USB-C port plus family-required air vents, and it’s pleasingly light under a panoramic glass roof.

GWM Haval H6 2024 touchscreen

Sadly, rear seats still don’t recline nor slide on runners, and rear door plastics remain too cheap-feeling. The boot looks to remain at 600L or thereabouts – large for the class.

Where the Haval H6 needs to up its game with this facelift is drive experience, and signs are positive. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol has been retained, but figures jump from 150kW/320Nm to a healthier 175kW and 385Nm.

Power’s sent through the front wheels via a new nine-speed DCT auto in the 2025 H6, offering two extra cogs over the current model.

GWM Haval H6 2024 stopping

The seven-speed DCT I found to be jerky and lazy on test, but on initial (very brief) drive test of the 2025 car, the nine-speed seemed smoother from low speed.

The extra power and torque meant the 2025 H6 pulled away with some zest too, albeit with some lag and a fair bit of noise. I’m sure playing with drive modes would solve the former.

At first sample, Haval seems to have improved the H6’s body control too. The current car suffers a lot of body roll, understeers too much if pushed and gets uncomfortably bouncy when cornering over anything but mirror-smooth roads.

Our test was, I’m afraid, over a mirror smooth proving ground, so I can’t report if the latter’s been solved, but certainly the 2025 H6 seemed to manage tighter corners and direction changes better than my experience of the current car.

GWM Haval H6 2024 driving

Active safety kit looks to be generous – as it is in the current H6 – and we can only hope it’s calibrated better than the current generation. The radar cruise control, in particular, needs its bugs sorted out to be user-friendly.

GWM Australia’s Steve Maciver told Chasing Cars there’s currently an approximate 50-50 split of turbo-petrol and hybrid H6 sales. Whether this 2025 facelift will be offered as a 1.5-litre hybrid remains to be seen, or if it’ll be a separate model with its own styling.

A plug-in hybrid version of the (current) 2024 Haval H6 is already on sale in China, so could a PHEV version of the 2025 car be on the cards? It would seem a natural time to introduce one with a facelifted car, not least with the NVES regulations starting in 2025.

Xialong Max (new Haval H6) 2024
Xialong Max (new Haval H6) 2024 2

Pictured: the Xiaolong Max, which is likely to be the next-generation H6

No confirmed data could be found regarding fuel economy. The current H6 uses 7.4L/100km in front-wheel-drive guise; 8.3L/100km in AWD (GT model), and 5.2L/100km as a hybrid.
Just while I’ve thoroughly confused you with all things H6, there’s the question of how long the 2025 model would be on sale in Australia.

It may potentially only see about 12-18 months service, as the already revealed Haval Xiaolong Max is GWM’s new global mid-size SUV, and a dead cert to be the new generation H6 in 2026.

The sticking point with that car is it’s currently only been seen as a plug-in hybrid, in two arrangements. One is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo the other a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre, and available with either 9.4kWh battery or longer range 19.3kWh battery.

GWM Haval H6 2024 front 2

Should it be PHEV only, that would bring yet another H6 price rise. But Australian buyers have increasingly warmed to GWM and Haval – helped by its seven-year warranty – meaning we accept higher prices.

“We’ve gone from an average selling price around about $25,000 four years ago (for GWM products) to sitting around north of $40,000 today,” said Steve Maciver. “That’s been a fairly big turnaround, and it’s been driven by the quality of the product.”

We look forward to properly testing the 2025 Haval H6 as and when it arrives on our shores, hopefully before year’s end.

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