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GWM, the Chinese brand that entered our market quietly over a decade ago, has evolved in leaps and bounds. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t particularly interested in the brand. I was aloof and thought of it as a rogue entrant into the market. Well, as the world is rapidly changing, so too has this brand. Their JOLION, which is part of their HAVAL sub-brand that focuses on SUVs and Crossovers, is a compact SUV designed for singles, couples and young families who want a stylish, safe and secure vehicle that is loaded with technology. Being a GWM Haval, value is vital.
It is all very well saying something but living up to they hype is another thing. The JOLION is a very pleasant surprise for me.
The all-new JOLION which means “First Love” is indicative of the passion that went into developing this all-new model. At first glance, the futuristic expressive design catches your eye. As a Phil Simmonds design, you can see the artistic and fashionable statement. The overall look is further accentuated by the front and rear LED-vison tail lamps extending into the styling lines, giving the JOLION a sporty yet elegant look whilst keeping a wide body stance. The split design daytime running lamps add to the futuristic appeal. Chrome finished accents from the diffuser to the branded side garnish add to the overall elegance.
The interior feel is premium and sporty, a combination rarely felt in small to mid-sized SUVs. Every element, much like that of a fighter pilots’ cockpit, is ergonomically interconnected and easily within the driver’s reach. There’s even a place under the gear shifter for your handbag if you are a bag person. The attention to detail inside the cabin is class-leading, with soft touch materials and personalized Haval branding welcoming you everywhere, while white stitching on the steering wheel, the dash and luxurious seats extends the feeling of opulence and elegance. The feeling of space is what’s most astounding when entering the vehicle but what catches your eye most is the high level of technology packed into the vehicle.
The centre console houses a beautiful and innovative Rotary Dial shifter in Auto models. This design mimics a similar design feature as seen in current Jaguar vehicles. This progressive design saves space in the cabin. This, together with the Electronic parking brake, wireless charging station, floating 12.3” infotainment and smart touch panel, add to the harmonious cabin ergonomics. Looking into the dash, the Virtual Instrument Cluster has three visual modes personalising the driver experience, while the heads-up display shows your relevant speed and driver assist information whilst keeping your eyes safely on the road ahead. Push-button starting as well as keyless entry is standard fitment across the range. To stay connected, JOLION also features charging ports for the driver and front passenger as well as for two rear passengers. If travel is your thing, JOLION is for you with vast boot space. Whether you want a fuel-saving eco warrior or an adrenaline-fuelled sport mode, there’s a mode for every mood.
Not just an imposing design that is rich in features, the JOLION puts safety at the top of its priorities. You will find features like EPB, Cruise Control, dual and front airbags, child locks, ABS and EBD as well as electronic stability control and traction control. Anti-Roll, Secondary Collision Mitigation, Hill Assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, rear park sensors and Bluetooth as standard on all variants. That’s huge! This shopping list on some premium German and British rivals can cost thousands of rands on top of their lofty price tags.
The JOLION comes in five variants, namely a manual transmission on the City and Luxury models, while the Premium, Luxury and Super Luxury models come with a seven-speed DCT auto gearbox. The JOLION is available in 6 colour options.
My lasting impression left me a bit dumfounded – why was I stuck in such a silly mindset? How is it possible that a car like this has evolved so quickly from a relatively unknown brand in South Africa?
What I’m not in question about is the fact that the JOLION punches a knockout within its class and well above its weight to compete with cars like the VOLVO XC40, Audi Q2 and BMW X2, all of which are far more expensive if only subjectively better in but a marginal way. The JOILION deserves huge success. I’m officially a fan!
HAVAL JOLION 1,5T MT 2WD CITY R299 900,00
HAVAL JOLION 1,5T MT 2WD LUXURY R332 900,00
HAVAL JOLION 1,5T 7DCT 2WD PREMIUM R339 900,00
HAVAL JOLION 1,5T 7DCT 2WD LUXURY R367 900,00
HAVAL JOLION 1,5T 7DCT 2WD SUPER LUXURY R398 900,00
Service and warranty
The JOLION is available with a 5-Year 100 000KM warranty and a 5-year 60 000KM service plan.
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