Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Haval Jolion 2023 review: Ultra Hybrid

  • DrivetrainPetrol-electric hybrid
  • Battery capacity1.6kWh
  • Battery typeLi-ion
  • Electric rangeN/A
  • Combined RangeN/A
  • Plug TypeN/A
  • DC charge rateN/A
  • AC charge rateN/A
  • Electric motor output110kW/250Nm
  • Combustion engine output70kW/125Nm
  • Combined output139kW/375Nm
  • Petrol efficiency5.0L/100km
  • Electric efficiencyN/A
Complete Guide to GWM Haval Jolion

Have you seen the price of fuel? Of course you have. It's ridiculously expensive and it's only jumping higher. It doesn't help that the cost of groceries and interest rates are going up, too. So could the new Haval Jolion Hybrid be a smart way to save money on fuel or is the extra cost for this car over the petrol version just not worth it?

That question will be answered almost straight away in this review, before I even get to how practical the Jolion Hybrid is and what it's like to drive.

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

The regular petrol Jolion comes in three grades: Premium, Lux and Ultra, but this hybrid version is only available in that top-of-the-range Ultra. The thing is, you'll pay $7000 more for the Jolion Ultra Hybrid than the Jolion Ultra petrol variant - this Jolion HEV has a price tag of $40,990 drive-away.

Does it make financial sense to choose the hybrid? Well, you'll save money on fuel by driving the hybrid and I've done the number crunching in the Efficiency section further along in this review.

But for now, all you need to know is that if we say petrol costs $2 per litre, then you'll have to travel 112,903km in your Jolion Hybrid to make $7000 in fuel savings.

It comes with18-inch alloy wheels as standard. It comes with18-inch alloy wheels as standard.

Really, before you buy a brand new Jolion Hybrid, you need to ask yourself if you plan to own it for at least 113,000km. That's not far on an interplanetary scale, but the average Aussie covers about 10,000km a year, so you may be looking at more than a decade of ownership before you break even.

There are exceptions. Some Australians cover way more than 10,000km in a year, especially if you do big road trips or use the car for work.

Rideshare drivers can easily cover 100,000km in a year and will break even relatively quickly, so in that case the Haval Jolion Hybrid could be a great choice.

It has a 12.3-inch media screen, a digital instrument cluster and a head-up display. It has a 12.3-inch media screen, a digital instrument cluster and a head-up display.

Even if you don't cover any more than 10,000km in a year fuel prices are going up, too, and you could make your money back sooner.

Still, to me, the Jolion Hybrid is a bit overpriced, especially when you consider that Toyota generally makes its hybrids only a couple of grand or so more than the petrol variants.

The Jolion Ultra Hybrid comes with identical standard features to the petrol version - and there are a lot.

Coming standard is a 12.3-inch media screen, a digital instrument cluster and a head-up display, there's dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, wireless phone charging, a panoramic sunroof. LED headlights and DRLs, and 18-inch alloy wheels. There's also a proximity key, but it only works for the driver's door handle.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

The last few years has seen Haval crack the code to designing really good looking SUVs. We first saw this with the H6 medium-sized SUV and then the petrol-powered Jolion, which arrived last year.

The Jolion Hybrid's design is almost identical to its petrol sibling with its prestige look, just with a slightly different face. There's the studded grille with a different shape, while the headlights and DRLs have a unique design with blue elements to identify this as the hybrid.

  • The Jolion Hybrid's design is almost identical to its petrol sibling with its prestige look, just with a slightly different face. (image: Richard Berry) The Jolion Hybrid's design is almost identical to its petrol sibling with its prestige look, just with a slightly different face. (image: Richard Berry)
  • The last few years has seen Haval crack the code to designing really good looking SUVs. (image: Richard Berry) The last few years has seen Haval crack the code to designing really good looking SUVs. (image: Richard Berry)
  • The Jolion Hybrid scores well for practicality with a roomy interior, excellent cabin storage and power outlets. (image: Richard Berry) The Jolion Hybrid scores well for practicality with a roomy interior, excellent cabin storage and power outlets. (image: Richard Berry)

The Jolion Hybrid's cabin is almost impossible to tell apart from the petrol variant's cockpit with its minimalist design, large screens for media and driver controls, and sporty looking seats.

While the seats aren't real leather, and neither is the dashboard, nor the door trims, and there is a lot of plastic used, the build quality appears to be excellent and the feel of the materials and construction seems good, too.

Fussy badging on the tailgate, with too many names - GWM, Haval, Jolion and BEV - detracts from the good looks and so do the holes for the Chinese number plate which have been covered by sticky fabric that peels off way too easily.

Fussy badging on the tailgate, with too many names detracts from the good looks. Fussy badging on the tailgate, with too many names detracts from the good looks.

How practical is the space inside?

The Jolion Hybrid scores well for practicality with a roomy interior, excellent cabin storage and power outlets.

This is a five-seat, small SUV with excellent rear legroom, even for me at 191cm tall, sitting behind my driving position with hectares of space for my ridiculously long legs.

The flat floor in the second row makes the middle seat more comfortable, although the roof height gets close to my head due to the large sunroof… and my large head.

  • While the seats aren’t real leather, and neither is the dashboard, nor the door trims, and there is a lot of plastic used, the build quality appears to be excellent. (image: Richard Berry) While the seats aren’t real leather, and neither is the dashboard, nor the door trims, and there is a lot of plastic used, the build quality appears to be excellent. (image: Richard Berry)
  • This is a five-seat, small SUV with excellent rear legroom, even for me at 191cm tall, sitting behind my driving position. (image: Richard Berry) This is a five-seat, small SUV with excellent rear legroom, even for me at 191cm tall, sitting behind my driving position. (image: Richard Berry)

There are two cupholders in the second row, along with directional air vents and two USB ports. Up front there are another two cupholders, a wireless phone charging pad, two USB ports and a 12V outlet.

The 'floating' centre console provides a storage bin in the centre armrest and a stowaway area underneath between the footwells for small bags.

The only area where the hybrid isn't as practical as the petrol version is the boot. The hybrid's 390L cargo capacity is 40L less than the petrol's. That's thanks to the location of the battery pack under the boot floor which eats into the cargo room.

  • The only area where the hybrid isn’t as practical as the petrol version is the boot. (image: Richard Berry) The only area where the hybrid isn’t as practical as the petrol version is the boot. (image: Richard Berry)
  • The hybrid’s 390L cargo capacity is 40L less than the petrol’s. (image: Richard Berry) The hybrid’s 390L cargo capacity is 40L less than the petrol’s. (image: Richard Berry)

What are the key stats for the drivetrain?

The Jolion Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor.

The engine produces 70kW of power and 125Nm of torque, while the motor makes 110kW/250Nm. Combined they make 139kW and 375Nm.

This isn't a plug-in hybrid. Nope, you don't need to worry about charging the battery for the motor. That happens automatically through regenerative braking.

The Jolion Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor. The Jolion Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor.

How much does it consume? What's the range like, and what it's like to recharge/refuel?

Haval says that after a combination of open and urban roads the Jolion Hybrid will use 5.0L/100km of petrol. As expected, that's more fuel efficient than the petrol version of the Jolion which uses 8.1L/100km.

This is how I calculated the distance a Jolion Hybrid owner would need to drive to make back the $7000 premium they had to pay over the petrol version.

If 3.1L/100km of petrol is saved in the Jolion Hybrid compared to the petrol version and with petrol costing say $2.00 per litre, then at this rate you'd need to travel 112,903km before you saved $7000 and broke even.

Let's call it 113,000km - as I mentioned earlier on, that's more than 10 years of driving for the average Aussie.

In my own testing I found that after more than 200km of country roads, motorways and a CBD commute into Sydney my Jolion Hybrid used 7.0L/100km which I measured at the petrol pump.

Haval says that after a combination of open and urban roads the Jolion Hybrid will use 5.0L/100km of petrol. Haval says that after a combination of open and urban roads the Jolion Hybrid will use 5.0L/100km of petrol.

As a comparison the petrol version of the Jolion I tested used 9.2L/100km.

The fuel efficiency of the Jolion Hybrid is good and about the same as its rivals, but it's nowhere near as efficient as a plug-in hybrid such as the Kia Niro PHEV.

If you're doing this to save fuel, then have you considered a fully electric car?  The BYD Atto 3 I reviewed lists for just under $45K and the MG ZS EV is about the same.

Both are electric vehicles, and with electricity far cheaper than petrol, it could be the way to go for you.

The advantage of the Jolion Hybrid is that you never need to plug it in to charge its batteries. Charging is automatically done through the electricity generated from braking.

Plus, as long as the petrol tank has enough fuel in it, you need not be anxious about getting stranded with an empty battery.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The Jolion, petrol and hybrid, is yet to be given an ANCAP crash test rating.

What we do know is the Jolion Hybrid Ultra has an impressive array of advanced safety technology including AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert with braking, lane keeping assistance and blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.

There's also a system which monitors the driver for signs of fatigue and distraction. When the sensor detects the driver looking away from the road there's a beep accompanied by a warning message on the media screen that says: "Hey, don't stray". That's distracting in itself.

As for airbags, there are seven, including a centre airbag between the two front seats.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

The Jolion Hybrid is covered by Haval's seven-year, unlimited km warranty. The battery is covered by an eight-year, unlimited km warranty.

That's excellent coverage, for the car and the battery. Many electric and hybrid cars have a 160,000km limit on the battery warranty.

Service pricing is capped for five years and while Haval had not finalised the costs at the time this review was published a spokesperson for the company told CarsGuide that buyers can expect them to be only slightly higher than the petrol variant's service pricing.

As a guide, the petrol Jolion needs to be serviced every 12 months and 15,000km with prices capped at about $1500 in total over five years.

Five years' roadside assistance completes an outstanding ownership package.

What's it like to drive?

If this section was a school report card it would read: WORKS HARD, BUT NEEDS TO IMPROVE. Probably in big, red letters. That's because while the Jolion is outstanding in some areas, this vehicle could be a lot better to drive.

After three days and 200km taking in everything from country roads to CBD traffic I felt the Jolion Hybrid performed adequately but not as well as most of its competitors.

The ride is comfortable enough and the handling is competent, but both could be so much better if Haval was to test this car in Australia and develop suspension and steering which would better suit our roads.

While the Jolion is outstanding in some areas, this vehicle could be a lot better to drive. While the Jolion is outstanding in some areas, this vehicle could be a lot better to drive.

The driving position could be better, too. There's no reach adjustment in the steering column and that left me feeling too far from the steering wheel.

The steering wheel itself has a hard-edged rim to it, which isn't comfortable, especially on twisty roads.

The brake pedal felt overly wooden and had an odd pulsing feel with pushed, no doubt due to the complexities of regenerative braking.

It's not unusual for hybrids to have strange feeling brake pedals, but other brands have managed to give them a more natural feel.

The hybrid system in the Jolion works well with good intuition as to when to drive in EV mode and then under petrol engine power, although the transition from motor to engine is a little rough and loud.

The ride is comfortable enough and the handling is competent. The ride is comfortable enough and the handling is competent.

  • DrivetrainPetrol-electric hybrid
  • Battery capacity1.6kWh
  • Battery typeLi-ion
  • Electric rangeN/A
  • Combined RangeN/A
  • Plug TypeN/A
  • DC charge rateN/A
  • AC charge rateN/A
  • Electric motor output110kW/250Nm
  • Combustion engine output70kW/125Nm
  • Combined output139kW/375Nm
  • Petrol efficiency5.0L/100km
  • Electric efficiencyN/A
Complete Guide to GWM Haval Jolion

The Jolion Hybrid has scored well overall thanks to its great practicality, outstanding ownership costs, safety tech, fuel efficiency and pleasing styling. If the Jolion Hybrid's price was lower and it was better to drive then that score would be far higher.    

There's a lot to like here, and if you can afford it, cover a lot of kays, and you're willing to forgive it for not being the best car to drive, you'll be happy for years to come.

$25,499 - $40,485

Based on 591 car listings in the last 6 months

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Score

3.9/5
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.