SA’s New Favourite? The Haval Jolion
The Haval Jolion exploded onto the local scene and captured the hearts and minds of buyers.
The winds of change are blowing and they've brought with them the Haval Jolion! Cast your mind back 10 or even fives years ago, would you have thought that a relatively unknown brand would be climbing up the sales charts and competing with the established brands that South Africans love?
This is exactly what Haval has been doing, the Chinese SUV maker who landed on our shores in 2017, and their latest offering, the Jolion, has taken the local market by storm. Launched less than a year ago, the Jolion entered one of the most hotly contested market segments, and from the get-go, the new kid on the block found itself competing against the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross, Peugeot 2008, Kia Seltos and Hyundai Venue. By June of 2021, low and behold, Haval had sold 708 units, beating all four of the models mentioned!
That kind of success in roughly 6 months is remarkably impressive, especially for a relatively new brand and it's all thanks to price, you can find yourself in a Jolion starting from R299,900.
So what do you get for your R299,900 before you tick the option boxes? Well, starting on the outside, you get a very well-sized SUV, the Jolion’s wheelbase measures 2700mm while the overall length comes in at 4472mm and the width comes in at 1841mm. This makes the Jolion a pretty compact player, meaning that getting around tight parking spaces is much easier.
Styling-wise, the Jolion has left many observers divided. I for one am not taken with the Jolion’s looks, thanks mainly to the bumper vents which run below the headlights. The headlights themselves however are stunning and feature LED with DRL’s (Daytime Running lights).
At the back, it is a similar story, I am not particularly fond of the shape of the rear taillights and believe that the piece which is attached to the tailgate could have been omitted from the final design. Like the headlights, the taillights also feature LEDs and despite their shape, the style with which they light up is reminiscent of much larger, high-end vehicles, and to put it simply, it looks freaking cool!
The inside of the Jolion cannot be faltered at all, and the design is both practical and stylish with several touches that you would expect inside a car much higher up on the luxury ladder. The steering wheel features multi-function controls that are in easy reach of the driver while the overall design feels very light and open, thanks to the pass-through design along the bottom of the wheel.
My favourite part of the switchgear however is the gear-selector in the auto models, a knurled rotary knob that looks more akin to something one would find in a Jaguar or Land Rover, while just ahead of that, there is a wireless charging pad.
At the top of the dashboard, the Jolion has been fitted with a 12.3” infotainment screen and touch panel which makes controlling the radio and navigation functions a breeze.
Seating accommodation in the Jolion is a joy to behold and I love the look of the front seats, the pattern just below the shoulder line echoes the design of the steering wheel and you can enjoy up to 6-way adjustment.
The same design is replicated at the back where rear occupants can enjoy ample leg and headroom, but keep in mind this is a compact SUV so taller folks won’t enjoy it as much. Apart from comfort, the interior also offers loads of practicality, with 337 litres of boot space which can be increased to a whopping 1133 litres when the seats are folded down, this makes the Jolion ideal for weekend trips to a garden or DIY centre and trips where you need to load up passengers and luggage.
Getting those passengers and their luggage moving is Haval’s popular GW4B15A 1.5 litre turbocharged motor that produces 105kW and 240Nm of torque coupled to either a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission) driving the front wheels. This endows the Jolion with more than enough power to keep up with highway traffic while still enjoying admiral fuel consumption figures. The overall drive is also smooth and comfortable, and thanks to the high profiles tyres fitted to both the standard 17-inch wheels or optional 18-inch wheels, and you don't get the jarring ride usually associated with the fitment of big alloys.
Overall, looking at the specs, equipment and price of the Jolion, it’s easy to see why this car has become so popular in such a short time. It's extremely well appointed and despite the few design elements which I am not fond of, it's a brilliant purchase. So, if you have a family and you are looking to get as much bang for your buck, the Jolion simply makes sense.
Need to get your hands on a Haval? Check out the ClickaCar Virtual Showroom and find yours.