Jolion sounds like one of those decent chaps in a Billy Bunter or Tom Brown’s Schooldays
caper – a young toff in a starched collar and a top hat. It is, in fact, a compact sports utility
vehicle from a Chinese company generally known for its cheap-as-chips workhorse utes.

To add to the incongruity, we are told by the maker, Haval Great Wall Motors, Jolion is
Chinese for ‘first love’. I suppose with a price range in the mid $20k, what’s not to love
about the SUV.

The ‘school bell’ first rang for Jolion in Australia with two variants – mid-grade Lux and
range-topping Ultra, priced from $27,990 driveaway and $30,990 driveaway, respectively.
These were later joined by an entry-level Jolion Premium model from $25,490 driveaway.
The Lux was on test.

Haval GWM continues to offer one of the best after sales and customer care packages in
the industry with a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty, five years roadside assist and
an attractive capped price servicing program.

There is a touch of Hollywood about this ‘first love’. The spotlight falls brightly on a grille
with sparkling finish and horizontal accents to create a bold, if flashy, show.

The ‘main event’ is flanked by LED headlamps, foglamps and a most striking set-up of
daytime running lights. The car’s profile is standard SUV lines, while the back is plain, if a
little hunchbacked.

Soft touch surfaces, aluminium-style accents and leather wrapped steering wheel give a
premium look to the cabin on the surface, but hard plastic buts in to cheapen the image,
not to mention the rubber surround of the rear-view mirror coming adrift at a touch.

Seats, in Comfort-Tek material, are heated up front, the driver getting a six-way adjustable
spot. The rear has class-leading leg and shoulder space.

Storage is taken care of by a central bin and a pair of cupholders in two sizes in the centre
console, while door pockets can fit bottles.

Boot space is not left behind, checking in at 430 litres, expanding to 1133 litres with the
60:40 second row stowed. A space-saver spare nestles under the floor.

Connectivity is front and centre with a 10.25-inch colour multimedia touchscreen linked to
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 7-inch LCD instrument display carries range of system

The position of the touch screen on the centre dash of the test car had its problems, with
air-con controls underneath easy to catch accidentally while resting the palm on working
the screen.

Audio is handled by a six-speaker system, while dual-zone air-conditioning keeps
occupants in relative comfort.

Power is delivered to the front wheels by a re-engineered 1.5 litre turbo-petrol engine with
110 kW of power and 210 Nm of torque mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

Safety is expansive with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane
keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and rear
cross-traffic alert standard across the range.

New from the ground up like its larger sibling, the new H6, the Jolion, a replacement for
the H2, is underpinned by Haval’s new global lightweight modular platform to appeal to a
wide range of driving needs.

The 1.5 litre petrol engine, with the turbo slow to catch on at times when setting off,
delivered up to 110 kW and 210 Nm to the test car front wheels smoothly through a the
seven-speed dual clutch transmission once the vehicle was up to speed.

As far as fuel consumption is concerned the claimed combined urban / highway cycle of
8.1 litres of premium unleaded per 100 kilometres, compared with the 10 litres per 100
kilometres recorded on test in a range of driving conditions.

For those interested, four different drive modes – standard, eco, sport and snow – are
available on demand. With eco snail-like and sport highlighting the small engine
syndrome, standard was an acceptable all-rounder.
After a serious bout of gardening, my back was worse for wear. I don’t think I could have
enjoyed a long(ish) journey in the Jolion Lux. Despite looking good, the seats were hard
and generally unsupportive.

Loading from the rear had its problems with the tailgate not lifting enough to get the cargo
cover out of the way, making it a prime target for a whack on the head. The dim boot
surroundings did not help.

The keyless entry also had a mind of its own – at times not unlocking the driver’s door to
the touch of the handle. The key fob button was the back-up.

Don’t get me on about the ‘spy’ camera with its constant eye on the driver from its elevated
spot on the A-pillar. Whatever motivated the Chinese to come up with this Cyclops of a
driver fatigue monitoring system?

This one-eyed monster supposedly checks the driver’s concentration level and if it deems
it to have elapsed, flashes up the message on the multimedia screen “Hey, don’t stray”.
Other warnings included one about the position of the vehicle ahead (which wasn’t there).
It all became a niggling bore.

So, what’s not to love about the Jolion? Apart from the keen pricing, there is quite a bit,
actually. The Chinese compact SUV could best be described as a work in progress.


Haval Jolion Premium from $25,490 (driveaway)
Haval Jolion Lux from $27,990 (driveaway)
Haval Jolion Ultra from $30,990 (driveaway)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Haval dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Haval Jolion Lux 1.5L Turbo 4-cylinder petrol, 7sp automatic, FWD)

Capacity: 1.497 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 110 kW
Maximum Torque: 210 Nm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.1 L/100km
CO2 Emissions 188 g / km

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

Length: 4472 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Width: 1840 mm
Height: 1574 mm
Turning Circle: metres
Kerb Mass: 1400 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres

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


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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