2021 Haval H6: Australian debut draws nearer

Haval's new-generation H6 looks set for an Australian debut, giving the brand some fresh metal at last

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An Australian debut for the new 2021 Haval H6 has come one step closer after surfacing in the Australian government’s Road Vehicle Certification System.

Revealed in Beijing last year, the new-generation rival to models like the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4 could go on sale in Australia this year, giving the Chinese brand some long overdue fresh product.

Haval arrived here in 2015 with the stated goal of becoming Australia’s number-one SUV brand – no small task in a market that has quickly become obsessed with SUVs, and with no shortage of options from established legacy brands.

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Since then, the brand has been left with ageing product while impressive new models – albeit exclusively left-hand-drive –  go on sale in its home market of China.

In COVID-cursed 2020, the brand shifted just 957 examples of the H6 SUV in Australia, representing a tiny proportion of the 179,722 medium SUVs sold for the year.

At last, an all-new model is on the way in the form of the latest H6, drawing power from a competitive 150kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

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Front- and all-wheel drive configurations are also expected, bettering the FWD-only offering of the outgoing H6.

The new H6 will replace the current first-generation model that went on sale here in 2016, but has actually been on sale in China – in various looks and configurations – since 2011.

Astonishingly, and as an example of the sometimes unfortunate complexities of international interpretations, the H6’s new modular architecture is called LEMON – Lightweight, Electrification, Multi-purpose, Omni-protection and Network.

Don’t expect the local arm to make a song and dance about that particular detail when the new model arrives.

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To its credit, the new H6 appears to be anything but a lemon, with advanced safety systems integrated in its Chinese-market form – including 14 radars, six cameras and a raft of driver assist features.

Specifications for home-market models include a 9.0-inch main screen and a 12.3-inch driver display, leather trim throughout, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof and 5G connectivity with over-the-air updates. Nothing that pushes the boundaries of the segment, but enough to make the H6 competitive – especially if priced to undercut rivals.

Watch for a local debut to occur in the coming months.

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