With launches confirmed in countries such as China and Russia, the Great Wall Motor group is now preparing to debut the Haval Dargo in another key emerging market: India. In India, the model has just been registered with the local patent office and it won’t be long before it goes on sale.
Known as the Big Dog in China, the Haval Dargo has a front end with round headlights fully illuminated by LEDs, a trapezoidal grille and a bumper with a shape that suggests a lot of robustness. We see a lot of Jeep character and some Ford Bronco in the model. The sides are finished with plastic applications on the wheel arches and chrome strips on the window edges. On the back, the inverted L-shaped lights and the brand logo in large letters stand out.
Inside, the contrast between the robust design of the panel (with fixed handles and buttons available to the occupants) and the technology employed by the most varied means is striking. The highlights include the fully digital instrument panel with a 10.25-inch screen, the entertainment system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, the multifunction steering wheel, the rotary knob for gear selection and the leather interior.
Two engine choices are offered under the hood. The entry-level versions have a 171 hp 1.5 turbo petrol engine, while the more expensive ones have a 214 hp 2.0 turbo petrol engine. In both cases, the gearbox is a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. There is a choice of front or all-wheel drive.
The launch in India confirms that the brand’s global expansion plans are well underway. Haval is said to be the SUV division of the Great Wall Motor group, which recently acquired the Mercedes-Benz plant in Iracemápolis, Brazil.
In addition to the Dargo, the portfolio consists of crossover models with a more urban character. Some of them have great chances of coming to South America as well, where the brand plans to produce from 2023. If it gets a good price, it could be a cheaper option than the Ford Bronco Sport. However, the company still isn’t showing any signs of wanting to target those markets anytime soon.