The recipient of a number of awards in its domestic market, including the annual CCTV SUV of the Year trophy, GWM’s H6 has been a phenomenal sales success for the brand in China, selling around 20 000 units per month regularly. Now South Africans can discover its numerous talents for themselves.
“We are very confident that the H6 can be similarly successful in South Africa,” says GWM SA Chairman, Tony Pinfold. “As proven in its domestic market, against the very same rivals it will face here in South Africa, the H6’s allure is not difficult to grasp; it offers class-leading spaciousness and comfort in a stylish, upmarket design, along with turbocharged power and excellent fuel economy.”
With its smooth contours, chiselled flanks and exquisite detailing, the H6 provides a distinctive and upmarket new alternative in the fiercely contested compact SUV/crossover segment. All South African-specification H6 models feature premium trim and, as such, boast 17-inch alloy wheels, full colour-coding with chrome detailing, roof rails, fog lamps front and rear and privacy glass.
Under its elegant bodywork the H6 features an all-new unibody platform that ensures superb rigidity and low levels of NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Suspension is via MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. The H6’s underpinnings have been tuned to deliver maximum occupant comfort. With a ground clearance of 180 mm when fully laden, the H6 can also confidently traverse rougher roads and those middelmannetjies so typical of South African adventures.
The colour palette includes Titanium White, Sky Silver, blue, red, Noble Grey and Pearl Black.
Comfort and Entertainment
The H6 measures 4 640 mm in length and rides on a 2 680 mm wheelbase. These generous dimensions endow the H6 with class-leading spaciousness. In fact, closer inspection of the H6’s measurements reveals that it fits into a segment between so-called compact crossovers, as typified by the Hyundai ix35, Kia Sportage and others, and larger offerings such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. Price-wise, however, the more spacious, better-equipped H6 competes with entry level variants of compact crossovers.
The driver’s seat features manual height adjustment, while the rear bench boasts a reclining backrest. The rear seats are split 60:40 and can tumble forward to transform the already spacious boot into a truly cavernous utility area. The boot itself features a handy secondary shelf (removable) to help organise luggage. A full-size spare wheel is located underneath the boot floor.
From the driver’s seat, the emphasis on maximum ergonomic efficiency is obvious. The leather-trimmed steering wheel is adjustable for both rake and reach, the facia-mounted gearlever falls easily to hand and there are fold-out armrests for both front seats. The H6’s interior is finished in upmarket black, with satin silver accents further contributing to the sophisticated ambience. Leather and soft-touch surfaces also appear on the doors.
The crowning jewel of the H6’s standard features list is its comprehensive info-tainment system. A full-colour touch-screen system is mounted in the centre of the facia within easy reach, and features radio/CD/DVD/MP3 playback. It is further supported by a mini-SD slot (below the screen), and USB and auxiliary ports mounted in the storage box between the seats. The system features Bluetooth integration, and can be remotely controlled via buttons mounted on the steering wheel. When reverse gear is selected, the screen displays a feed from the rear-mounted camera, aiding in parking manoeuvres. An audible warning system is also activated when reversing.
Other standard features include climate control, power steering, cruise control, electric windows all-round, electric mirror adjustment, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights with manual levelling, among others.
Power and Economy
GWM is introducing two engine options in South Africa, with the 2,0-litre turbodiesel-equipped flagship arriving first, and a 1,5-litre turbopetrol following soon after.
GWM’s in-house designed 4D20 turbodiesel engine develops 105 kW at 4 000 rpm and a meaty 310 Nm of torque from 1 800 to 2 800 rpm. It powers the flagship 2,0 TCI model. This super-efficient four-cylinder engine meets stringent Europe IV emission standards and carries EU certification. It features dual overhead camshafts, high-pressure common rail injection, NVH noise control, an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and an automatic valve clearance compensator. In the H6 it is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission transmitting power to the front wheels. This powertrain delivers a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 6,7 L/100 km.
Due within weeks is the brand’s new GW4G15B 1,5-litre turbopetrol engine. Perfectly aligned with the current trend of engine downsizing, this powerplant promises the performance of a larger, naturally aspirated engine, but without the accompanying fuel consumption penalty. The engine delivers 105 kW at 5 600 rpm and 210 Nm of torque from 2 200 to 4 500 rpm. This engine is also mated with a six-speed manual transmission and delivers a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 8,5 L/100 km.
Safety and Security
The H6’s high-strength body has been designed to meet global safety requirements. The H6 achieved a maximum five-star rating in China’s stringent C-NCAP crash testing regime, which is aligned with Euro NCAP in terms of procedures. South African vehicles feature dual front SRS airbags, disc brakes all-round, ABS with EBD (electronic brake force distribution) and BAS (brake assist). The front seatbelts are height-adjustable and feature load limiters and pre-tensioners. At the rear, Isofix child seat mounts provide the safest possible anchorage points for child seats. Tyre pressure monitors are also standard on both models.
Fog lights front and rear boost visibility in poor weather conditions. The rear park sensors (with camera view) limit the chances of parking scrapes.
Security is provided by a standard alarm and immobiliser, with the further convenience of remote central locking.
Model line-up and Pricing
The H6 is available through GWM’s extensive dealership network, currently boasting more than 70 outlets and service centres.
- H6 2,0 TCI 4×2 manual R329 900
- H6 1,5T 4×2 manual R294 900
Both H6 models are backed by GWM’s comprehensive 3 year/100 000 km warranty and come with 2-years AA roadside assistance.
- Please note that prices and specifications are subject to change without prior notice. Prices include VAT and environmental levy.