Experiencing the Haval Jolion: A Journey of Discovery and Adjustment


The introduction of the Haval Jolion to the automotive landscape has garnered both excitement and intrigue. As with any new relationship, the initial getting-to-know-each-other period might be a bit bumpy, but positive connections can eventually emerge. My personal experience with the Jolion falls into this category, where initial challenges gradually transformed into an appreciation for its unique attributes.

Considering the Jolion’s significant popularity and its consistent presence in the Top 20 best-sellers list, I anticipated that GWM’s SUV would excel in simplicity, comfort, and ease of operation. However, the early days with the top-spec Ultra hybrid model, priced at $40,990 drive-away, presented a few unexpected hurdles in these areas.

One of the initial hurdles was finding a comfortable driving position, which proved to be a bit of a challenge due to the steering wheel’s lack of reach adjustment. This compromise, compounded by ample seat travel, raised concerns about effectively reaching the steering wheel. This led to an amusing mental image of the test subjects who contributed to the development process.

Additionally, the absence of under-thigh support from the seat presented some discomfort, particularly for taller individuals. While addressing these initial discomforts, it became evident that the Jolion’s right-hand drive adaptation could have been improved, as the multimedia screen angle and placement of certain controls created a less-than-ideal experience for the driver.

The user experience of the multimedia system also left room for improvement. While there are hard keys for specific functions, such as front and rear screen demisting, the absence of a conventional volume control seemed unnecessary. Adjusting the volume either requires using the steering wheel buttons or navigating a slightly cumbersome on-screen slider.

Nonetheless, the Jolion’s value proposition remains strong. The Ultra specification boasts features like matrix LED headlights, a head-up display, comprehensive safety systems, a sunroof, an electric driver’s seat, wireless phone charging, and heated front seats. While lacking a powered tailgate and built-in navigation, the Jolion’s generous accommodation, bridging the gap between small and mid-size SUVs, provides ample space for passengers and cargo alike.

Driving dynamics also surpassed expectations, with responsive steering, effective damping, and a comfortable ride quality. The hybrid powertrain emerged as the Jolion’s main highlight, offering a unique driving experience with extended electric-only operation, especially in urban settings.

Despite the initial challenges and ergonomic issues, my journey with the Haval Jolion showcased its ability to grow on its driver. The process of familiarization and embracing certain quirks unveiled the Jolion’s hidden virtues, transforming it into a rewarding and appreciated choice in the automotive market.