Haval confirms new SUV for New Zealand, more on the way

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Words: Matthew Hansen
7 Apr 2021

Chinese car maker Haval has confirmed a new SUV nameplate for New Zealand; the Jolion.

The all-new model will replace the outgoing H2, sitting underneath the mid-size H6 while being armed with a 1.5-litre turbofour producing 110kW of power and 210Nm of torque. This is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, with drivers able to choose between four different drive modes.

The Jolion is similar in size to a Toyota RAV4, boasting a 4472mm outright length, a 2700mm wheelbase, and a 1841mm width. But, it’s expected to undercut the RAV4 and other mainstream opposition.

While pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, the firm’s press release stated that the model brings “the flexibility and feature set of a larger SUV but at a small SUV price point”. Expect pricing to therefore start in the ballpark of $30,000.

Two models will be offered locally; the Lux and the Ultra. Specifics in regards to features are to be confirmed, but at the very least the Ultra will come with a digital cluster for the driver, a heads-up display, fatigue monitoring, and wireless phone charging.

Haval has also confirmed that both models will get a fairly comprehensive suite of safety technology as standard. This includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, radar cruise control, sign recognition, and more.

Safety has been a big talking point for Haval ever since it launched in New Zealand several years ago. Its H2 and H6 SUVs have both been awarded 5-star safety ratings with ANCAP, while the larger three-row H9 has a 4-star rating.

One of the stranger things about the Jolion may well be its name. Apparently, the name is an anglicised version of ‘chulian’, which is Chinese for ‘first love’. The architecture is also named curiously, known as the light-weight, high-strength and scalable transverse platform dubbed by Haval as ‘LEMON’.

While the gags about naming conventions probably write themselves, Chinese cars are becoming increasingly serious business in New Zealand.

The GWM Cannon just scooped the NZ Autocar 2020 Ute of the Year gong, and the MG ZS EV also won our EV of the Year crown. BYD, another Chinese marque, is poised to set up shop in New Zealand in the coming months, too. There’s also an all-new Haval H6 on the way, too.

“There’s certainly a lot happening at GWM at the moment. To now confirm the imminent arrival of the All-New Haval Jolion, followed closely by the All-New H6, is indicative of the progress that our brand is making,” said GWM marketing and communications head Steve Maciver.

“With two brand new SUV options that are loaded with technology, safety and value, there has never been a better time for buyers to consider Haval.”

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