There’s a lot of competition in South Africa’s popular crossover vehicle market, especially in the entry-level market.
For just over R300,000, you can get a top-end Mahindra XUV300, the vehicle rated as one of the safest cars in Africa. Or you could have a base-model Haval Jolion, one of the best-selling small SUVs in the country.
We looked at both vehicles to see what each one offers, as detailed below.
Take a look under the hood of each car and you will find both have a 1.5-litre, turbo engine. The crucial difference being that the Mahindra runs diesel while the Haval runs petrol.
The Mahindra’s drivetrain delivers 86kW and 300Nm, while the Haval produces 105kW and 210Nm – nicely illustrating the difference in power versus torque between diesel and petrol units.
As a result of these figures, the Mahindra has a top speed of 175km/h.
Haval has not revealed the top speed of the Jolion, but according to auto-data.net, the crossover can reach up to 185km/h.
Fuel consumption is then averaged at 7.5l/100km for the Jolion, and 4.8l/100km for the XUV300, thanks to its micro-hybrid technology.
Both cars are front-wheel-drive, and both have a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Haval and Mahindra both have a distinctive crossover profile, with the main differences coming down to the finer details.
The Haval has dimensions of 4,472mm x 1,814mm x 1,619mm, giving the boot a load volume of 337 litres and a ground clearance of 190mm.
In contrast, the Mahindra’s dimensions are 3,995mm x 1,821mm x 1,627mm, making it 47mm shorter than the Haval, with a ground clearance of 155mm.
The trade-off is that the Mahindra’s luggage space is substantially smaller, at 249 litres.
Visually, the XUV300 boasts a floating roof design, silver skid plates, an electric sunroof, 16-inch alloys, a split upper and lower chrome grille, and a range of four colour options – white, red, silver, and aquamarine.
The entry-level Jolion’s visual trim is modest by comparison, with a single, larger front grille and 17-inch alloys, but it is offered in a wider array of colours – including blue, white, black, red, grey, and green.
Both vehicles have daytime-running lights, too, with the entry-level Haval using halogen headlights. The top-end Mahindra employs light-sensing, LED projector headlights.
Follow-me-home functionality is equipped on both SUVs to improve safety and visibility, while the Mahindra has front and rear fog lights – compared to the Haval only having fog lights at the rear.
Features and interior
It’s in the interior, however, where the differences between these vehicles become more pronounced.
Starting with the Mahindra, the top-end XUV300 includes:
- Black leatherette upholstery
- Stop-start functionality
- A 9-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Four speakers and two tweeters
- A multifunctional steering wheel with cruise control
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Rearview camera with guidelines
- Dual-zone climate control
- Rain-sensing wipers
Other notable features include Mahindra’s smart-steering technology, and three driving modes: comfort, normal, and sports.
On the other hand, the entry-level Jolion offers the following:
- Fabric upholstery
- A 10.25-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth and hands-free functionality
- Four speakers
- Cruise control
- Park distance control
- Manual air-conditioning
With a five-star global NCAP rating, the XUV300 offers several safety features – including seven airbags, corner braking control, impact-sensing door unlock, passenger airbag deactivation, and a collapsible steering column.
In contrast, the Jolion’s safety offerings comprise four airbags, traction control, and driver’s fatigue detection.
Standard features on both vehicles include an electronic stability programme, hill assist, ABS, and disc brakes on all four wheels.
Pricing and warranty
The South African pricing for the new Mahindra XUV300 1.5TD W8 is R336,999.
This includes a 5-year/150,000km warranty, and a 5-year/90,000km service plan.
The South African pricing for the new Haval Jolion 1.5T City is R309,900.
Along with this, buyers get a 5-year/100,000km warranty, 5-year/unlimited kilometre roadside assistance, and a 5-year/60,000km service plan.
It is worth mentioning that the first model up from the Jolion City, the Luxury, is only R5,900 more expensive than the XUV300 W8 at R342,900 – and does substantially improve what the Jolion offers.