Saturday, 24 February, 2024

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Haval’s H6 HEV hybrid now available in the Lowveld

Haval announced the coming of their long-anticipated Haval H6 Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) late last year, and it is now available in the Lowveld.

While the development of hybrid drivetrains came about in the search for cleaner emissions, my guess is that South Africans looking at buying a hybrid do so more out of concern over fuel prices.

Haval say with the hybrid technology of a turbo-charged petrol engine and electric motor, the all-new Haval H6 HEV lets you enjoy less pollution with CO2 emissions at 121g/km, more performance, and a very low claimed fuel consumption of only 5,2l/100km in the combined cycle.

The 1,5-litre turbo-charged petrol engine delivers 113kW and 233Nm and the electric motor delivers 139kW and 300Nm. In the hybrid drive, the combined output is 179kW and 530Nm. And these are serious figures in anyone’s book.

What makes the hybrid technology interesting, is that the electric motor and the gearbox make one unit. And that makes for an unbelievably smoot driving experience. The advanced two-speed Dedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT) manages the impressive torque launch.

I recently had the opportunity to drive the H6 HEV over a short distance. My first impression was again the features of this car. It is very luxuriously appointed and once you are seated behind the steering wheel, the experience is of being in a premium car.

It takes some getting used to the car – with keyless entry and go – responding to the start button without the sound of an engine starting up. Reversing out of the showroom is easy thanks to the impressive camera system and the 12,3-inch colour screen.

Although I did not get to test it, the H6 HEV also has an automatic parking system. Yes, the car can park itself, there is no need for sweaty flashbacks to your driver’s licence test.

I drove from Haval Mbombela on the R40 and thereafter out of town on the R104, heading towards the stadium, and turned back on the bypass towards the R37. In peak traffic, the H6 HEV comes into its own. The petrol engine only starts up at speeds over 55km/h, depending on throttle load, so the irritating low-speed commute is done at zero fuel consumption. Of course, this won’t go on for a full morning, as the battery would have to recharge at some stage.

Once the traffic thinned out, I accelerated and at some stage the petrol engine started up and helped propel the car to higher speed. But I did not feel the change in the drivetrain. There was no “kick-in” from the petrol engine. It was only through the display in the instrument panel that I knew that we were not on battery power anymore.

Driving over the Crocodile River, I planted my foot on the accelerator and the immediate surge was almost a shock. The 179kW and 530Nm isn’t just impressive on paper – it really does it stuff.

The new H6’s design is more modern that its predecessor’s, from the futuristic LED headlights and gloss black accents to the rear spoiler and panoramic sunroof. Haval say the signature 225/55 R19 sports alloy wheels, a pronounced front grille, and confident curves set the tone for the start of a new era of innovation.

The car is rich in modern features such as a customisable head-up display, seven airbags, front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree camera with a panoramic view as mentioned earlier.

Other safety features include autonomous emergency braking (AEB), traffic-jam assist (TJA), rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA), door-open warning (DOW), lane-keep steering (LKS), electronic stability control (ESC), full-speed adaptive cruise control (ACC), and lane-departure warning (LDW)

The Haval H6 HEV costs R669 950 and comes with a comprehensive five-year / 60 000km service plan, five-year / 100 000km warranty, and an eight-year / 150 000km hybrid battery warranty.

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