Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date 12 Oct 2021

Many vehicles come to us for testing and are able to impress in their own unique ways. It always ends up being the story of the “underdog” which ends up impressing the most, particularly when it offers a full assault on all fronts, meet the Haval Jolion.

In Short:

  • Model Tested: Haval Jolion 1.5T Super Luxury
  • Price: R398 900 (October 2021)
  • Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol
  • Power/Torque: 105 kW/210 Nm
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
  • Fuel efficiency: 7.5 L/100 km (claimed)
  • Load capacity: 337 litres

The major point to focus on here is its pricing. The vehicle starts at just under R400,000 and that is in its top trim spec. So why is this important? Well, it’s important for a number of reasons.

Safety

The Jolion comes equipped with so many active and passive safety systems, you quickly tend to forget that you are in a sub R400,000 vehicle and one which competes against many others that simply can’t match its spec sheet. These systems include the likes of adaptive cruise control as standard, which includes Traffic Jam Assist (semi-autonomous drive in traffic). There is also traffic-sign recognition and pedestrian/cyclist detection with automated emergency braking functions. Add to this, blind-spot assist, airbags throughout the cabin, ISOFIX child seat mounting points and what you have here is a fully-loaded vehicle.

Technology

For starters, there is keyless entry and go. Then you get a digital dashboard that is customisable. Above the digital dash is a large HUD (heads-up-display) which too can be customised, then of course you get steering wheel-mounted controls, paddle shifters, electric windows and mirrors all around, a panoramic sunroof, climate-controlled air-conditioning and even an electronically adjustable driver’s seat. Featuring at the centre of the dash is a super high-definition 12.3” touchscreen display which offers an excellent UI, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and ease of access to all the driver-related and entertainment features.

Space

The seats are incredibly comfortable upfront. At the back, however, is just where the surprise starts. There is proper space for 3 adults in the back. Impressive headroom, knee room, two USB’s, air vents and large expansive windows make for what is truly a spacious family vehicle. The boot measures in at a healthy 337-litres of luggage load capacity and the seatbacks can drop flat for loading larger objects. The general idea here is true practicality.

The Drive

The Jolion is powered by a 1.5-litre turbopetrol unit which produces 105 kW and 210 Nm of torque all pushed through a 7-speed dual-clutch automated transmission. It’s the same motor we’ve seen previously in the likes of the Haval H2 and lacks some elements of refinement when compared to some of its European based counterparts. Haval claim fuel economy achievable at a combined 8.1/L per 100km, whereas I was only able to achieve 10.1/L per 100km. Perhaps the engine and gearbox are one of the few drawbacks of this new model, but this is being picky because the general offering is such exceptional value.

In Conclusion

It’s properly striking to look at. The bold LED lights, large proportion and simply unheard-of levels of luxury, technology and features at this price point are simply impossible to match. If the Haval Jolion, Mandarin for “First Love” is any indication of where the Chinese automaker is heading here in South Africa and globally, the competition better be worried because this brings out the heavy artillery.

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