Jolion is the smallest of Haval’s SUVs and by virtue of this fact it is also the cheapest.

The range was expanded with the addition of a sporty S model in late November that, with
a swag of black bits, sounds a lot like the earlier Vanta.

But this time around there’s a more powerful turbocharged engine together with a more
sophisticated rear suspension setup to justify the sporty persona — and it’s pretty good.
Jolion is not a bad looking bus either, with its short rump, long bonnet and aggressive

Jolion is surprisingly large and comfortable, with heated power-adjust front seats and a
good-sized boot with a space saver spare under the floor.

It’s 4472mm long, 1841mm wide, and 1619mm high, with a 2700mm wheelbase, with a
kerb weight of 1370kg, giving it an edge over competitors.

Boot space is a generous 430 litres with the rear seats in place, or 1133L with them folded
and the wagon has a 1500kg braked tow capacity.

Entry is keyless but only for the driver that is, with a thumb-operated button on the door
handle. A trip around to the other side of the car reveals the front passenger door lacks the
little activator.

Once you’re inside, there’s plenty of room, even in the back seat, together with air outlets
for rear seat passengers.

Although the driver’s seat is power adjustable, the steering wheel surprisingly lacks reach

Prices for Jolion start from $28,490 for the Premium, followed by Lux at $30,990, Ultra at
$33,990, S $36,990, then Lux Hybrid from $36,990 and Ultra Hybrid at $40,990. Metallic
paint adds $495 and all prices are driveaway, no more to pay.

Standard kit includes two-zone climate air, PM2.5 air filter, artificial leather upholstery, real
leather wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and six-way electrically adjustable
driver’s seat.

There’s also adaptive cruise control, LED head, fog and daytime running lights, auto lights
and wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror, rear park sensors and a panoramic sunroof.
Jolion is backed by a 7-year/unlimited km warranty, 5-years roadside assistance and 5-
years capped price servicing.

Infotainment consists of a 12.3-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio with DTS sound
processing, Bluetooth, AM/FM radio, wired Android Auto and Apple Carplay and wireless
phone charging.

There’s a front USB port for data and charging and another one in the rear for charging
only — plus a single 12-volt outlet in the front.

What you don’t get is DAB+ digital radio, nor is satellite navigation part of the deal, which
quite frankly we can’t believe. For Chinese cars to gain acceptance and ultimately cement
their place in the market, these two items should be a given.

You can hook up your phone through CarPlay or Android Auto, and use it to provide
navigation — but try getting it to work when you don’t have cellular access.

In the S, performance receives a boost courtesy of a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder
turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 130kW of power and 270Nm of torque, the latter
between 1500 and 4000 revs.

That’s 20kW and 50Nm more than the rest of the range.

The new engine is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch auto, with drive to the front wheels,
four drive modes and steering wheel-mounted change paddles for ultimate control.

Five-star safety extends to seven airbags, including a centre bag, reverse and 360-degree
camera and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and
crossroads detection.

There’s also Head-Up Display (HUD), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Departure Warning
(LDW), Blind Spot Detection & Lane Change Assist, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and
Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR).

Note however that the hybrid version of the car is yet to receive a rating.

We should make mention of the driver fatigue/attention camera fixed to the inside of the
driver side front door pillar.

Take your eyes off the road for a few seconds and it sounds a warning. Not a bad idea,
but it doesn’t take long to wear out its welcome. If you look carefully, you can switch it off
in settings — we did.

There are two Isofix anchors for the outer back seats and three top-tether points for child

Gear selection is via a space-saving rotary control located in the centre console. Anti
clockwise for reverse, clockwise for drive/manual with a centre button for park which
automatically engages the electric handbrake.

Fuel consumption from the 55-litre tank is a claimed 7.5L/100km and it takes standard 91

That’s an improvement of 0.6 litres per 100km compared to the standard 1.5-litre engine.
We were getting bang on 10.0L/100km after more than 600km.

As mentioned, ride and handling benefit from a new, independent, multi-link rear
suspension that replaces the torsion beam setup found on other models.

I’m starting to warm to this car. The basics are here but there are so many things I’d
change if I’d had input into the design process.

The extra power delivers a lively driving experience, but it is overshadowed by the twin
clutch transmission which makes throttle response erratic and the car difficult to control in
low-speed manoeuvres.

For example, nosing up a slope to park behind another vehicle, or backing out of a parking
spot slowly enough to ensure nothing coming is more difficult than it should be.

A touch on the accelerator produces nothing, while a second attempt is liable to send the
car shooting forward, or backwards as the case may be. It needs some adjustment and

The ride needs some refinement too. It’s okay on smooth roads, but get it off the good stuff
and it quickly becomes harsh and jarring — although it handles surprisingly well.
The brakes are first rate, as we discovered in a series of emergency stops.

To access the different drive modes it is necessary to drill down through the touchscreen
menu. No flicking between them. Seriously?

Ideally, put it in Sport mode, which is more preemptive and removes any lag between gear
changes, or switch to manual mode and change gears using the paddle shifts.

Meanwhile, in response to customer feedback, buttons have been added below the
touchscreen to make it easier to adjust cabin temperature. That’s a good idea, but the only
button we found was for on/off. On the move, you still need to play ‘pin the tail on the
donkey’ to adjust the temperature up or down using the screen.

Then there’s the trip computer that, like Aladdin’s cave, is accessed by a secret button, or
more specifically by holding down the OK button on the steering wheel for several

Then you have a few short seconds before the options disappear and the process needs
to be started over again.

And let’s not forget the reverse camera which lacks dynamic guidelines and cruise control
which can be adjusted only in 5km/h increments. For Pete’s sake!


Once again, the Haval Jolion has a lot to offer for the price.

But it is in desperate need of some refinement before it is ready to take its place as a family favourite.

Someone with cabin ergonomics experience would be invaluable, instead of the

geeks they let loose on the instruments and infotainment system.

Then we’ll talk.

Looks: 7.5
Performance: 7.5
Safety: 8
Thirst: 7
Practicality: 8
Comfort: 7.5
Tech: 7
Value: 8
Overall: 7.6


Premium, $28,490
Lux, $30,990
Ultra, $33,990
S, $36,990
Lux Hybrid, $36,990,
Ultra Hybrid, $40,990.
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Great Wall/Haval dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Haval Jolion S, 1.5-litre turbocharged four, 7-spd CVT, FWD)

Capacity: 1.5 litres
Configuration : Six-cylinder V6, turbocharged
Maximum Power: 130kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 270Nm @ 1500-4000 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard 91 unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.5 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 173 g/km

Continuously variable automatic transmission, front-wheel drive

Length: 1472 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Width: 1841 mm
Height: 1574 mm
Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
Kerb Mass: 1370 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Disc

7 years / unlimited kilometres

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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