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5 awesome features in the new Haval Jolion Pro

The Haval Jolion Pro has finally arrived in South Africa and is ready to shake up the popular family crossover scene.

The Pro is arguably the most important new car to come from the GWM Group this year, as it is a sportier addition to what is already one of the best-selling models in the country.

I recently attended the Pro’s South African launch where I got to spend a day in the driver’s seat experiencing everything it has to offer, and was impressed by these five things that are likely to win over both new and existing fans of the brand.

Enhanced exterior

The biggest change to the crossover’s package are the visual enhancements brought about by the Pro badge.

This includes a new vertical grille with chrome highlights, an aerodynamic package with a front and rear splitter, flared wheel arches, gloss black roof rails and mirrors, and redesigned LED headlights with separate daytime running lights.

It looks just as good at the back, too, as the taillights have been merged into a singular light bar with a more intimidating aura, and there’s a gloss black rear wing that helps to complete the silhouette.

Rounding out the appearance is one of three 18-inch alloy wheel designs, depending on the trim level, with the gloss black rims on the “S” derivative being particularly appealing.

Solid performance

The Jolion is available with one of three returning powertrains, including a hybrid-electric (HEV) unit.

Sadly, the HEV was not at the launch, but we have tested the hybrid in the past and were impressed by its substantial fuel savings.

As for the other two drivetrains, you can expect a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol plant producing either 105kW and 210Nm, or 130kW and 270Nm if you grab the higher-tier S specification.

The power of the S can be felt immediately thanks to a sensitive throttle that doesn’t need much pressure to pick up the revs, but even the base-spec car can provide a good time as the 105kW on tap is still above average relative to many of its competitors.

Great gearbox

The Jolion Pro is sold with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which is rather unusual for this segment.

Most entry-level to mid-range crossovers are sold with a CVT as they tend to be cheaper and performance is not much of a concern in this bracket, but Haval has clearly not compromised on this front, providing motorists with a more coveted shifter.

Even better is that the Pro comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel for snappy changes, which sells the sporty angle of the crossover that much more.

Extra technology

Even before the Pro came onto the scene, the Jolion was seen as one of the more feature-rich vehicles in its price bracket, as is common to see from Chinese brands like Haval and Chery.

Now that the sporty models have arrived, you can expect even more kit like the aforementioned paddle shifters, a panoramic sunroof, and ventilated seats.

There are also three different screens, including a larger infotainment system, an updated digital instrument cluster, and a heads-up display on the windscreen.

Affordable price tag

There has been a trend over the last few years of automakers bringing out flashier versions of their most sought-after products, with Toyota rolling out the GR-Sport treatment for the Corolla Cross while Chery has introduced the Max nameplate to its Tiggo 7 and 8 Pro ranges.

Both of these cars clock in at a minimum of R500,000, while the cheapest Jolion Pro can be had for just R391,150, lowering the cost of entry to this more exclusive club by a substantial margin.

The Chery may have more power, but when it’s R110,000 more expensive, it’s hard not to argue that Haval has a very price-competitive model on its hands.

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