The Chinese automobile maker GWM Haval has spiced up its popular small petrol sports
utility vehicle segment with the addition of a Jolion S, as well as doubling up on the hybrid
models to two.

With the Jolion Premium acting as the entry-level, at $28,490 drive-away, the ‘S’ variant
($36,990), slots in the six-model range between the Ultra and the two hybrids, the lesser
with Lux trim and priced the same as the S. The Jolion Ultra Hybrid ($40,990) tops off the

The new Jolion S, on test here, stands alone from the rest of the model range with a
pepped-up power plant, fresh multi-link rear suspension and various unique black exterior
features for a sportier appearance.

Inside the cabin, only on the ‘S’, is a new layout of buttons directly under the centre dash
infotainment screen, preventing their accidental operation.

Owners benefit from GWM’s seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty and economical
capped price servicing costs for five years.

Setting the Jolion S apart from other models are black 18-inch wheels, black door mirror
caps, black roof rails, black side garnish, and blacked-out lower front and rear bumpers.

Jolians in general, feature a multi-faceted pattern of daytime running lights bookending
LED headlamps and foglights. The grille adds to the shine with sparkling finish and
horizontal accents to create a bold, if flashy, show.

The car’s profile is standard SUV lines with a coupe-like roof curve approaching the C-
pillar. Except having more badges than a Scout jamboree, the rear is as plain as the front
is glitzy.

The general occupant opinion was that heated front seats were some of the most
comfortable in this class of car, while faux leather with contrast stitching and Haval logo
was good enough to give the impression of the luxury of the real thing.

That as maybe, but the lack of angling the driver’s seat base for added comfort and the
absence of lumbar support shaved off some of the shine. The leather-clad steering misses
out on reach adjustment. It’s angle only.

Thanks to a long wheelbase the bench-like back seat accommodates three across with
generous legroom. In addition are air vents, USB charge ports behind the centre console,
rear map pockets, bottle holders in the doors, and a fold-down centre armrest with extra cup

Headroom is compromised by the sloping roofline and sunroof, as is the rear view is
restricted by the angled window. Storage is taken care of by a central bin and a pair of cup
holders in two sizes in the centre console, while door pockets can fit bottles.

Boot space checks in at 430 litres (enough to take a couple of big suitcases) and 1133
litres with the 60:40 second row stowed. There’s room only for an under-floor space-saver

A 12.3-inch touchscreen crowns the central dashboard and a 7-inch digital display sits
directly in front of the driver. Topping this off is a head-up windscreen display featuring
digital speedo, speed limits and lane discipline diagram.

Connectivity consists of the 12.3-inch colour multimedia touchscreen linked to Apple
CarPlay or Android Auto. Audio is handled by a six-speaker system, which misses out on a
volume knob or toggle, other than on the steering wheel. The front passenger is left out,
limited only to using the audio menu via the touchscreen.

The Jolion S continues the quirky driver focused camera constantly checking whether he
or she is paying attention to matters at hand. A camera fixed to the A-pillar serves up an
audible ding and the admonishment ‘Hey, don’t stray!’ on the touchscreen on catching
what it thinks is concentration wavering. Chinese checkers? It’s all a bit naff to me.

The Haval Jolion S is powered by an upgraded 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
engine hitched up to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission driving through the
front wheels.

This is enough to come up with a maximum 130 kW and 270 Nm, 20 kW and 50 Nm
above the trio below it in the line-up.

Standard safety features include seven airbags including front-centre, autonomous
emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

There’s lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, rear cross-traffic
alert, adaptive cruise control with stop / go and safe exit warning. Unfortunately, some of
the assistance is a tad too keen comfortably to help out.

Cameras create an all-round plan view of the vehicle, while Haval’s A-pillar-mounted spy
camera keeps a check of the driver’s behaviour behind the wheel. All Jolians are rated five
stars for safety on 2022 testing.

Despite upgrades to the powerplant, the turbo turned out to be a little hesitant to connect,
especially on inclines. This was even more pronounced in reverse gear, when power came
in annoying bursts.
Once on the move, however, the Jolion S put on a boisterous (some would say harsh)
performance, especially when wound up. Ragged edges did appear in stop / start city

As stated by the maker, expect a combined urban / highway fuel consumption of around
7.5 litres per 100km, compared to the standard 1.5’s 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres. A 55-
litre tank takes 91 RON unleaded petrol.

The Jolion S is the only model in the line-up to be fitted with a multi-link independent rear
suspension, in place of the standard torsion beam set-up, which the maker claims offers
‘enhanced ride and handling’.

The test car took to sweeping around fast bends with the tail fixed firmly to the road.
However, the suspension was susceptible to a bang or two from behind on bumpy roads.

The rotary gearshift is wayward in selecting (D)rive or (M)anual mode and spins without
any transmission connection if not careful. On the other hand, new push-button climate
control switches on the centre dash have alleviated the previous faults with the touch
controls, which were easy to catch accidentally while resting the palm when working the
touch screen.

While the price of the Haval Jolion S is $3000 up on the past petrol flagship, the Ultra,
there is more in the newbie’s performance and packaging to more than justify the financial

Looks: 7/10
Performance: 6/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10


Haval Jolion Premium: $28,490
Haval Jolion Lux: $30,990
Haval Jolion Ultra: $33,990
Haval Jolion S $36,990
Haval Jolion Lux Hybrid $36,990
Haval Jolion Ultra Hybrid: $40,990
Note: These prices are drive-away.

SPECIFICATIONS (Haval Jolion Civic Ultra 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol, electric
motor, 1.76 kWh battery, 2sp automatic, FWD)

Capacity: 1.497 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Combined Maximum Power: 130 kW
Combined Maximum Torque: 270 Nm
Fuel Type: Regular unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.5 L/100km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic, front-wheel drive

Length: 4472 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Width: 1841 mm
Height: 1574 mm
Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
Mass (tare): 1530 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres

Front: Disc
Rear: Disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres


About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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