Last month I drove the H2 for review and was suitably impressed; this month, Patty Taljaard, the Branch Manager (and true petrol-head) from Haval the Glen sent me off in the H6C with a smile I am now convinced was a knowing grin, hinting at the pure enjoyment that awaited me. Being an existing fan, I couldn’t wait to test drive the Big Daddy from Haval.

A few things caught my attention within the first few minutes with this gorgeous SUV, the first of which is how darn good-looking it is; featuring design elements from the same man responsible for the BMW X5, the H6C shape inside and outside is a nod to some of the German greats, which left me with a comforting feeling of solid familiarity and a twinge of anticipation.

Having arrived at Haval the Glen with my colleague Breche Peters (a Surf4Cars veteran of 12 years) who was sporting a moonboot for an injured foot, the second thing that caught my attention was the ease with which she was able to manoeuvre in and out of the vehicle, and still have enough space to rest her chunky foot-brace. This speaks volumes about the comfort level in the H6C, and is echoed in the fashionable cabin that is beautifully designed, conveniently spaced and highlighted with good quality finishes (including a lovely leather steering wheel and solid, supportive seats). Both the front, and the rear, are spacious and feel uncluttered.

In terms of features, the H6C comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, six airbags, parking sensors, rear-view camera, keyless start and the whole package for infotainment: 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth and USB. Added bonusses for those who want even more luxury include a huge panoramic sunroof, bigger sound system and rear-heating seats. Sounds delightful, yes, but the true test came when I turned down the main road, and hit the accelerator.

With a powerful 2 litre turbocharged direct injection engine (kicking out 140kW and 310 Nm), the H6C has all the get-up-and-go needed to charge ahead, and I had to remind myself a few times to stick to the speed limit. The vehicle itself feels smooth and sedan-like on the road, with great gravity and ground-holding ability. Rounding corners is easy and presents with minimal body roll, providing the driver with excellent control and ride comfort – ideal for busy urban roads. I enjoyed the fact that the cabin is relatively quiet, and – admittedly – I got some impressed glances from cars beside me at the stop lights.

What stands out most for me about the H6C is the stunning shape and design – it is eye-catching wherever it is, and got some great attention on the road, in my property and most especially at a Media Conference I attended. My firm belief about Haval’s H6C is echoed in the enthusiastic sentiments of Patty Taljaard and team from the Glen – Haval is not just drawing attention because it is new; it is drawing attention because it looks fantastic, and the quality of Haval vehicles is becoming more and more known. What a great ride!

By Desh Pillay Bechan