Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Haval Jolion 2021 review

Powering all Jolions is a 110kW/210Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine.
EXPERT RATING
7.3
Haval is making a play at being a big player in Australia, and spearheading its ambitions is the new Jolion SUV. Replacing the H2, the Jolion has now grown in size and sophistication to try and rival the Kia Seltos, Nissan Qashqai, SsangYong Korando and more, but is it any good?

Haval wants to be a top 10 brand in Australia within a few years, and it believes it has the product to do so with the new Jolion being important to its ambitions.

Growing significantly in size compared to its H2 predecessor, the Jolion now compares in size against the likes of the SsangYong Korando, Mazda CX-5 and even Toyota RAV4, but is priced much more like a Nissan Qashqai, Kia Seltos or MG ZST.

It’s not just practicality that Haval has focussed on though, as the Jolion also sports new technology and advanced safety equipment to round out its value-focused package.

Is the 2021 Haval Jolion worth a look?

Haval wants to be a top 10 brand in Australia within a few years. Haval wants to be a top 10 brand in Australia within a few years.

GWM Haval Jolion 2021: LUX LE (launch Edition)
Safety rating
Engine Type1.5L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency—L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$27,990

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

The 2021 Haval Jolion line-up kicks off at $25,490 drive-away for the base Premium grade, moves up to $27,990 for the mid-tier Lux and tops out at $30,990 for the flagship-for-now Ultra.

Though prices are up on the H2 small SUV it replaces (which was available from $22,990), the Jolion justifies its price increase by adding much more standard equipment, technology and safety.

At the cheapest end of the range, standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, fabric interior and roof rails.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels.

Handling multimedia duties is a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, USB input and Bluetooth capabilities.

Stepping up to the Lux adds LED exterior lighting all round, a 7.0-inch driver display, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable driver’s seat, six-speaker sound system, synthetic leather interior and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The top-grade Ultra scores 18-inch wheels, head-up display, wireless smartphone charger and larger 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen.

Featuring Apply CarPlay and Android Auto. Featuring Apply CarPlay and Android Auto.

Targeting the value end of the market, even the most affordable Jolion comes loaded with a bevy of equipment you wouldn’t normally see in a price-leading variant.

Haval has to be commended for putting together a package that doesn’t skimp on equipment or safety (more on that below) at an attractive price point that is certainly cheaper than rivals from mainstream brands like Toyota, Nissan and Ford.

Even stacked up against more budget offerings likes of the MG ZST and SsangYong Korando, the Haval Jolion is still more affordable.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   5/10

From the outside, the Jolion looks a bit like a mish-mash of other cars.

That grille? It’s almost like Audi’s signature Singleframe front grille. Those teardrop-style daytime running lights? Almost the same shape as Mitsubishi’s dynamic shield front fascia. And looking at it in profile, there is more than an element of Kia Sportage about it.

The grille is almost like Audi’s signature Singleframe front grille. The grille is almost like Audi’s signature Singleframe front grille.

Having said that, there are elements that are undoubtedly Haval about it, such as the swathes of chrome accents and a fairly flat bonnet.

Is it the best-looking small SUV? Not to our eye, but Haval has done enough to stand the Jolion apart in a crowd, helped by some bold exterior colours like the blue on our test car.

Step inside and you are presented with a nice, simple and clean cabin, with Haval obviously making a conscientious effort to lift the interior ambience of its entry-level model.

And while the Jolion, for the most part, looks good enough on the surface, scratch a bit deeper and you can find some flaws.

For starters, the rotary control gear selector looks and feels nice enough, but the moment you turn it to put the Jolion into drive or reverse, you’ll find that the turning action is too lightweight, doesn’t offer enough feedback for when you change gears and will spin infinitely in one direction instead of stopping after two turns.The rotary control gear selector looks and feel nice enough. The rotary control gear selector looks and feel nice enough.

The centre stack is kept clean of extra buttons and controls, but that means that Haval has decided to bury the drive-mode selector in the touchscreen multimedia system, and you have to go hunting for it if you want to change from Eco, Normal or Sport.

This is made especially difficult, and maybe even dangerous, while on the move.

Similarly, the controls for seat heating are also buried in the menu, making it cumbersome and annoying to find when a simple button or switch would suffice.

Oh, and good luck using that touchscreen without messing with the climate controls, as the touch panel for the latter is positioned right where you would rest your palm to use the former.

How about changing the information on the driver’s display? Just hit the button to change pages on the steering wheel, right? Well, that actually does nothing because you have to press and hold to cycle through vehicle data, music, phonebook, etc.

Finally, some menus are also poorly translated, such as turning on/off the wireless smartphone charger labelled as ‘open/close’.

Look, none of these shortcomings are dealbreakers by themselves, but they do add up and take away from the polish of an otherwise accomplished small SUV.

Let’s hope some, or all, of these concerns are addressed in an update because with a little more time baking in the oven, the Haval Jolion could emerge as a true gem.

How practical is the space inside?   10/10

Measuring 4472mm long, 1841mm wide, 1574mm tall and with a 2700mm wheelbase, the Haval Jolion skews to the larger end of the small SUV class.

The Jolion is larger in all aspects barring height than its H2 predecessor, and its wheelbase is even longer than the one-size-up Toyota RAV4 mid-size SUV.

The Haval Jolion skews to the larger end of the small SUV class. The Haval Jolion skews to the larger end of the small SUV class.

Expanded exterior dimensions should mean increased interior space, right? And it’s here where the Haval Jolion really excels.

The two front seats are plenty capacious, and the large glasshouse adds to the light and airy feeling while up front.

The two front seats are plenty capacious. The two front seats are plenty capacious.

Storage options include door pockets, two cupholders, under-armrest cubby and tray for your smartphone, but the Jolion also ekes out another space underneath the tray similar to the Honda HR-V.

In the undertray, you’ll find a charging outlet and two USB ports so your cables can be tucked away out of view.

Another great and practical feature is the inclusion of a USB port in the base of the rearview mirror, which will make installing a forward-facing dashcam an absolute breeze.

This is absolutely something more carmakers should include as the security technology becomes more popular, and does away with the hassle of popping up interior trim to run the long cabling required to provide the camera power.

In the second row, the Jolion’s growth spurt is most apparent, with acres of head-, shoulder- and legroom available to occupants.

In the second row, the Jolion’s growth spurt is most apparent. In the second row, the Jolion’s growth spurt is most apparent.

What is especially apparent, and hugely appreciated, is a completely flat floor, meaning passengers in the middle seat don’t have to feel second class and have just as much room as those in the outboard positions.

Rear occupants are treated to air vents, two charging ports, a fold-down armrest with cupholders and small door pockets.

Opening the boot reveals a cavity capable of swallowing 430 litres with all seats up, and is able to expand to 1133L with the rear seats folded.

The boot offers 430 litres with all seats up. The boot offers 430 litres with all seats up.

Of note is the fact the rear seats don’t fold down completely flat, so it might be tricky transporting longer items, but amenities in the boot include a space-saver spare, bag hooks and a cargo cover.

The boot expands to 1133L with the rear seats folded down. The boot expands to 1133L with the rear seats folded down.

The Jolion’s size is undoubtedly its strongest asset, offering the practicality and space of a mid-size SUV at the price of a small crossover.

Amenities in the boot include a space-saver spare. Amenities in the boot include a space-saver spare.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

All variants of the 2021 Haval Jolion are powered by a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, outputting 110kW/220Nm.

Peak power is available at 6000rpm, while maximum torque is on tap from 2000-4400rpm.

The Jolion has a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine. The Jolion has a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine.

Drive is also fed to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox in all grades.

Power and torque are about bang on what you’d expect out of a sub-$40,000 small SUV, with most rivals falling just below or above the Jolion’s outputs.

How much fuel does it consume?   6/10

Officially, the Haval Jolion will consume 8.1 litres per 100km.

Our brief time at with the car during the Jolion’s launch event did not yield an accurate fuel consumption figure as driving was relegated mainly to high-speed freeway driving and some short bursts on dirt paths.

In the context of other small SUVs like the SsangYong Korando (7.7L/100km), MG ZST (6.9L/100km) and Nissan Qashqai (6.9L/100km), the Jolion is thirster.

The Haval Jolion will consume 8.1 litres per 100km. The Haval Jolion will consume 8.1 litres per 100km.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   7/10

At the time of writing, the Haval Jolion is yet to be handed a crash-test result by either the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) or Euro NCAP, and therefore does not have an official safety rating.

CarsGuide understands Haval has submitted cars for testing and a result will be announced in the coming months.

Regardless, standard safety in the Haval Jolion includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, driver attention alert, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring.

Stepping up to the Lux or Ultra grades will add a surround-view camera.

We noticed in our time with the car that the traffic sign recognition would refresh quickly and accurately every time we drove past a speed sign, while the lane-keep and blind-spot monitoring systems worked well without being too aggressive or intrusive.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

7 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   9/10

Like all new Haval models sold in 2021, the Jolion comes with a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, matching Kia’s assurance period but falling short of the 10-year conditional offering from Mitsubishi.

However, Haval’s warranty is longer than that offered by the likes of Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Nissan and Ford, who all sport five-year assurance periods.

The Jolion comes with a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, The Jolion comes with a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty,

Haval also throws in five-years/100,000km of roadside assist with a new Jolion purchase.

Scheduled service periods for the Haval Jolion are every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first and with the exception of the first service due at 10,000km.

Capped-price servicing is offered for the first five services or 70,000km, priced at $210, $250, $350, $450 and $290 respectively, for a total of just $1550 over the first half decade of ownership.

What's it like to drive?   6/10

Haval is promising a huge improvement in driveability for the Jolion compared with its H2 predecessor, and it soundly delivers in this regard.

The 110kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine handles itself well, while the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also a smooth shifter.

Power and torque are never enough to overwhelm the Jolion’s tyres, but performance is brisk enough around town thanks to the peak of the latter available from 2000-4400rpm.

Out on the highway though, the Jolion struggles a little more when the speedo starts to climb beyond around 70km/h.

Haval is promising a huge improvement in driveability for the Jolion. Haval is promising a huge improvement in driveability for the Jolion.

The seven-speed DCT also struggles when pinning the throttle, taking some time to kick down a gear and propelling the Jolion forward.

None of this hesitation ever strays into the dangerous territory, but it is something to be wary of when trying for an overtake manoeuvre.

The suspension also does a fantastic job of soaking up road imperfections and bumps, and even when we took the Jolion down a gravel path there was hardly any unwanted jitteriness.

Keep in mind that this was done in the top-spec Ultra grade fitted with 18-inch wheels, so we imagine in the base Premium or mid-tier Lux with 17-inch wheels might even be better in ride comfort.

Softer suspension tune does come at a cost. Softer suspension tune does come at a cost.

However, this softer suspension tune does come at a cost, and that is high-speed corner suffers severely.

Turn the Jolion’s wheel at speed and it seems like the wheels want to go one way, but the body wants to continue travelling forward.

This is exasperated by the light steering feel that makes the Jolion a breeze to steer around town at slower speeds, but gets numb and disconnected when driving enthusiastically.

And the ‘Sport’ driving mode only appears to sharpen up throttle response and hold gears for longer, so don’t expect it to all of a sudden make the Jolion a corner-carving machine.

To be fair, Haval never set out to build a small SUV that would be the last word in driving dynamics, but there are better handling and more confidence-inspiring yokes out there. 

Verdict

The Jolion is a glow up of epic proportions, with Haval turning the dorky, drab and dull H2 into something fun, fresh and funky.

Is it perfect? Not by a long shot, but the Haval Jolion certainly does more right than it does wrong, even if it still feels a little rough around the edges.

Customers looking for a value-focussed small SUV loaded with equipment and safety, and with room to rival cars a class above, shouldn’t sleep on the Haval Jolion.

And at the mid-tier Lux grade you get nice mod-con features like dual-zone climate control, heated seats and a surround-view monitor, you’ll still have change to spare from $28,000.

Pricing guides

$28,240
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$25,490
Highest Price
$30,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LUX 1.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $27,990 2021 GWM Haval Jolion 2021 LUX Pricing and Specs
LUX LE (launch Edition) 1.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $27,990 2021 GWM Haval Jolion 2021 LUX LE (launch Edition) Pricing and Specs
Premium 1.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $25,490 2021 GWM Haval Jolion 2021 Premium Pricing and Specs
Ultra 1.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $30,990 2021 GWM Haval Jolion 2021 Ultra Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.3
Price and features8
Design5
Practicality10
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption6
Safety7
Ownership9
Driving6
Tung Nguyen
News Editor

Share

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.