Well, that was quick! And what are we talking about?
The incredible uptake and enthusiasm the South African market has shown for Haval, which is not only one of the best-selling SUV brands in the world, but also a luxury sub-brand of GWM – a nameplate that, in turn, has a proud 10-year history in Mzansi.
Indeed, it's quite remarkable to consider that it was only a couple of months back that Haval debuted on our shores with a compact SUV in the guise of the H2. Since then customer demand has exceeded all expectations, while even the most critical motoring media has been positively rapturous about Haval.
But then Haval isn't just “pretty good for a Chinese vehicle” – rather it rivals and eclipses some of the world's top brands in the ride, refinement, reliability, and safety and sophistication stakes.
Now if the H2 impressed, the latest Haval to hit our market – the H6 C – has positively galvanised petrolheads, practical motorists, and pretty much everyone and anyone else who recognises a good thing.
In fact, unveiled as it was at the SA Festival of Motoring at Kyalami in the early part of September, the H6 C's reception surprised even Haval South Africa.
Tyrone Alberts, Haval's National Sales Manager, and something of a petrolhead himself, noted that, “This is our first year here at the Festival of Motoring, and the crowds have certainly embraced our products, including the H6 C.”
And all the more so as potential interested customers got to pilot the H6 C around Kyalami, and their feedback almost universally represented a great big thumbs up.
“The price is fantastic, it's really good value for money,” said one, and indeed it is with prices starting at an almost absurdly competitive R329 900 for the 2.0 City 4X2 manual.
“The performance was actually quite surprising for an SUV, and the way it handled was certainly not what you'd expect of an SUV, and yet at the same time it's very comfortable and safe,” exclaimed another highly impressed individual who got to sample the H6 C.
“What we’ve tested today has been quite brilliant,” said yet another of the Haval brand overall, while one lady remarked that she was “quite blown away” by the test around Kyalami.
But then again this is probably understandable from a brand that moved over a million units – yes, you read right, that's not a misprint – in its home market of China last year, and a brand that does everything right. From offering incredible levels of standard equipment to a five-star C NCAP rating on products like the H2 and H6 C.
The latter in fact, comes standard with the likes of dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, and keyless entry on even the most affordable models. Meanwhile, when you move from “City”-spec models to “Premium” and “Luxury” versions of the H6 C, the list of creature comforts and safety items becomes almost encyclopedic.
All models are driven by a high-tech, four-cylinder, turbopetrol, two-litre mill, making an effortless 140kW and 310Nm of torque between 2 000 and 3 600rpm. Power runs to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic (DCT) gearbox.
But here's the really good news: from the end of September, the H6 C will be available for test drives at selected Haval dealerships, and with that a free surprise gift will be given with all orders placed up to the 31 November.
And other than assuring you that the H6 C – like the H2 – is confidently backed by a five-year/100 000km warranty, a five-year/60 000km service plan, and five-year/unlimited km roadside assistance, that's quite enough talking!
The proof of the pudding is in the eating – or rather the driving. And once you get behind the wheel of any of the six H6 C models in the range, you too will be “quite blown away.”
2.0T MT City 4X2 – R329 900
2.0T MT Premium 4X2 – R339 900
2.0T MT Luxury 4X2 – R359 900
2.0T DCT City 4X2 – R359 900
2.0 DCT Premium 4x2 – R369 900
2.0 DCT Luxury 4X2 – R389 900