GWM H6 heralds new era
The H6 sports modest 1.5 and 2.0 litre turbo charged diesel and petrol engines, is housed in an array of chrome trimmings, elegantly fitted and nicely styled. The H6 is nice to look at and is a stark deviation from many nimble Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), carving out an image for itself, enough to compete with worthy stalwarts like the Kia Sportage, Hyundai IX-35, Toyota Rav-4 as well as the recently face lifted Ford EcoSport. While it is the most recent of all the flagship SUV’s, it is bears an ageing design with the Ford and Kia pushing the dimensions with a futuristic look and feel. Neatly dressed in a wide spectrum of chrome fittings, I would assume it was not designed for our gravel roads in mind, in a country where trips away from the Windhoek’s hustle and bustle is a normality. Much like the average SUV, its glossy, and pretty looking, engineered for the normal morning and afternoon school runs and shopping trips to the nearest Woermann and Brock. I would assume you would not buy an H6 to take it off the beaten track on occasion. Its wonderfully put together, is ergonomically appealing, and well rounded off to give it a quality finish. It comfortably sits five, leaving ample leg and head room but feels small from the inside. It sits on 17 inch alloys, bearing a sporty image, but for the better part can be construed as mature and boring looking sports utility vehicle.
It features a full-size spare wheel, hidden under the boot floor. The front wheel driven H6 is supported by ventilated disc brakes with solid brakes fitted in the rear. It measures 4,640 by 1,825 by 1,690 millimetres and ground clearance comes in at 180 millimetres. Steering is facilitated by rack and pinion. The Economist tested the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, delivering a satisfactory 105 kW of power while its 310N.m of torque come out to play as soon as they accelerator was floored. For the majority of the trip, the vehicle averaged an impressive 7.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, not far off the mark of its claimed 6.7 litres/100 km. The test vehicle had just under 1000 kilometres on the dial and it showed, with no apparent signs of wear and tear. The 1.5 turbo-petrol engine boasts 210 N.m with both vehicles equipped with a six speed manual transmission gearbox.
The majority of the test was merely to determine how the car would perform in day to day Windhoek driving conditions. Road noise was satisfactory and the ride quality was comfortable.
The C26 proved the perfect backdrop to give it some breathing space and it held well, sticking to the road as if it was designed to never roll off despite being pushed. Both models of the H6 currently retail for N$371,000 and would in my opinion be slightly over-priced. The GWM in my opinion has some way to go before it will make serious in-roads but is one to look at for the future.