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Dargo 4WD brings Big Dog concept to life

GWM Haval launches new 4WD model in Jeddah with global name Dargo


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8 Dec 2021

HAVAL pulled the covers off its Dargo SUV at the Jeddah Motor Show in Saudi Arabia this week and, in doing so, the Chinese brand announced the global name of its H6-based newcomer.


The four-wheel drive model, which premiered as the Big Dog concept at the 2020 Chengdu Auto Show, showcases what its maker says is a “hardcore and stylish exterior” and an interior that resembles past and present rivals, like the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler. 


The Haval’s front-end is distinguished by round headlights and a large, squared-off grille, which lend the Dargo a retro look, while exaggerated wheel arch mouldings, practical side steps and substantial roof rails add to the model’s go-anywhere appeal.


Great Wall Motors (GWM) said the Dargo name was based on the Chinese word for “big dog”. Fittingly for a four-wheel drive model, it also shares its names with an historic Australian pub that is the last stop for many four-wheel drivers as they head into the Victorian High Country.


“The Dargo looks very off-road (focused) and it is well suited to the Saudi terrain, with great potential for market development,” a GWM spokesperson said at the model’s unveiling.


GWM added that the “three-quarter scale” car – more commonly referred to as a C-segment SUV – combined the advantages of a city SUV with the capabilities of an off-road model. 


The firm said the Dargo would create a “brand new category” by combining a high seating position, wagon-like practicality and four-wheel drive all-terrain ability “for driving in the wild”.


Lending support for the model’s availability in Australia, the GWM spokesperson said the Dargo would go on sale in Saudi Arabia in the “very near future” before becoming available in “Iraq, Chile, Russia and other countries to accompany more… users in the global market”. 


GWM told GoAuto previously that the model could be in Australia by as early as next year. The Haval Big Dog has already amassed over 100,000 sales in its home market and recently won the title of 2021 Most Popular SUV in the China Automotive Industry Customer Satisfaction Index.


In its home market, the Big Dog is priced from 119,900 Yuan (A$26,425) and powered by a direct injection 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 126kW and 285Nm. The engine is paired with a seven-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and is claimed to consume 6.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle. There is no turbo-diesel option listed.


There is also a four-wheel-drive version of the Big Dog. It is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that develops 155kW/325Nm and is mated with a seven-speed automatic DCT.


The five-seat Dargo measures 4620mm in length, 1890mm in width, 1780mm in height and has a 2738mm wheelbase. By way of comparison, it is 262mm shorter, 4mm narrower and 48mm lower than the current Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

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