The eye-catching Jolion is Haval's most ambitious offering yet and represents the future of the brand in many ways. Not only does the name depart from the H variants that were rooted in its parent company GWM (South Africa's first experience of the manufacturer's premium SUVs was the Hover that morphed into the H5 nameplate), but the car is also built on a new, future-facing platform.
South Africans are understandably smitten with the sensibly priced premium SUV designed by Phil Simmons (who also penned the Range Rover Evoque). Model sales have lifted Haval into a comfortable position in the naamsa list of South Africa's top 10 best-selling cars for most of 2022.
Building on its reputation for a relentless pursuit of quality, Haval replaced its popular compact crossover H2 with the Jolion (called "Chulian", or "first love", in its homeland) in 2020 to offer customers a generational improvement. The new model also debuted the brand's L.E.M.O.N. architecture platform that embraces high tensile steel in its cockpit design for increased occupant safety, surpassing the stellar ratings of the preceding H2.
This new platform also lays the foundation for the company's hybrid future with four-wheel drive variants of the Jolion only offered in electrified models. To date, South Africa has only received shipments of the 1.5L turbo petrol models, which offer front-wheel drive. You can choose between a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual clutch (aka gears are shifted automatically without a clutch pedal), which have a combined fuel consumption rate of 7.5-litres/100km.
Haval has no local manufacturing capabilities, and all models are imported and subject to the price fluctuations that come with exchange rates. But that doesn't impact the value that South Africans are finding in the Haval Jolion price tag.
A R327 400 starting price gets you behind the wheel of a new Jolion in the City trim level with a six-speed manual transmission. While this entry-level specification may seem modest, it is the best representation of the Haval value offering. Not only do you get disc brakes on all four wheels, but also cruise control, keyless entry and start, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Add R40 000 for the cheapest model with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and you get bumped up to the Premium trim with roof rails, paddle shift, a reverse camera and dual zone air-conditioning that can vent to the rear seats.
Spend R100 000 more for the top trim level – Super Luxury – and Haval includes its full suite of level 2 autonomous driving features with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, forward collision detection, traffic sign recognition and lane change assist.
Book a test drive at a Haval dealer near you to experience the value for yourself.
The standard factory warranty covers all new models for five years/100 000 km with a specified service interval of 15 000 km or 12 months to maintain coverage. Haval allows a 1 500 km or one-month grace period for owners to get this maintenance done. Various services plans are available as well.
If you take the optional maintenance plan you get 24/7 roadside assistance included in your cover with value adds like battery services and ADT armed support to wait alongside you if you are stranded near major centres.
While the right to repair regulations allow vehicle owners to do scheduled maintenance at the workshop of their choosing, the software that controls the autonomous features requires regular updating.
The Jolion had the second-cheapest parts basket in its segment in the recent AA market study. The full list of spares totals just over a third of the initial purchase price of the car. That parts bill and modest vehicle-replacement cost combine to form a favourable environment for insurance pricing.
Quotes for comprehensive car insurance for private use and parking on a residential property behind locked gates can average below R2 000 depending on your personal risk profile, but you can get one for yourself here Car Insurance Quotes, Compare & Save On Car Insurance With Hippo