Haval recently launched a sportier version of the popular Jolion, the Jolion S, to the local market and we have just handed back the keys of a test unit after some extensive testing. Needless to say, we were left with a rather good impression of the Jolion S.
The Jolion was already a good-looking SUV however the Jolion S now benefits from enhancements to the exterior design which include a chrome honeycomb grille, blackened elements underneath the headlights, on the front and rear bumper garnish, side mirror caps, door beadings and roof rails. Rounding up the sportier look and feel are the 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels. Overall, we love the enhanced looks of the Jolion S.
Moving into the cabin of the Jolion S, one may not shake the feeling that it looks unchanged over some existing Jolion models. This is due to the fact that the interior is carried over from the Jolion Super Luxury model. Standard amenities include paddle shifters behind the eco-leather multi-functional steering wheel, a 7.0-inch color instrument cluster, wireless charging, a 12V power outlet, a dashcam power outlet and a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The infotainment touchscreen is bright, crisp and well within reach for operation however due to most functions being housed within the touchscreen, it tends to be quite distracting to operate whilst driving. Changing the temperature or fan speed of the climate control requires a number of actions via the touchscreen, which may not be the most ideal thing to do when driving on a fast flowing road.
Gripes aside, the integrated reverse camera boasts perhaps the highest image quality which we have come across in a vehicle. The 360-degree view ensures that all angles of the vehicle are possible to view from the cabin when manoeuvring in tight spaces.
Overall fit and finish in the cabin is quite commendable. Space in the rear seats particularly deserves a thumbs up, with more than sufficient head, leg and knee room. Thanks to a near flat floor at the rear, three passengers are able to be seated with ease.
Engine and Power
Perhaps the largest improvement in the Jolion S is the addition of a new-generation 1.5-litre engine which includes an upgraded turbocharger. This translates to an increase of 25kW and 60Nm of torque, bringing the total figures up to 130kW and 270Nm of torque. The Jolion S employs a 7-speed DCT which sees a Launch Control function now available for the first time.
The Jolion S sure feels brisk! Around urban areas, it boasts more than enough grunt to handle expected daily duties such as the school or grocery runs. Out on the national highway, overtaking is effortless. The 7-speed DCT is able to shift up and down the cogs as required without any hassles. At the national speed limit, the transmission settles quite well and very little wind or tyre noise penetrates the cabin. Noise, Vibration and Harshness levels (NVH) are also particularly low.
Noteworthy, the Jolion S also receives an independent multi-link system at the rear, which improves ride and handling performance.
The Haval Jolion S is priced at R479 950, and we believe it offers a great deal of value for money for consumers. With updated styling, more power and an impressive level of standard specification, we found the Jolion S to be quite appealing at this price point.