Haval Dargo Test Drive Review
The Haval Dargo is an SUV that does things discreetly by not providing a superfluous perception of an SUV in crossover’s haute-couture. Against a myriad of SUVs, the Dargo is a burly and brawny behemoth styled in such a way, as if it were your escape in case an apocalypse struck. However, does it live up to what it suggests?
You can get detailed information about the specs, features and powertrain options of the Haval Dargo here: https://uae.yallamotor.com/new-cars/haval/dargo
Upon a first glance, it might seem interesting to look at because of its girth which neither qualifies as too big, nor small. SUVs of this attitude are generally associated with mammoth proportions but the Dargo has dual personality: It can be bizarre for puny hatchbacks on the street while being well within the legitimate limits of a parking space.
Viewed from the front, the car looks meaty but angry with round head lamps where LED lights have been studded and a gigantic grille embellished in black plastic to arouse machismo. The bumper is also portly with cladding around the car’s borderline for sheer presence on the road. The exposed nut bolts on it and the fenders and side cladding are enough to evoke its rugged appeal. While there are multifarious shade options available, our tester carried a lemon yellow paint scheme which contrasts well with the black cladding.
That said, it is as we moved towards the side we realised that not all’s crystal clean. For instance, plastics mentioning ‘DARGO’ on the doors and the 4X4 sticker felt a bit cheesy. Also polarising, is the dual-tone yellow and black scheme for the side profile. The wheel rims meanwhile, do the job of bolstering the car’s presence efficiently. Other details revealing its utilitarian air are blacked-out door handles, wing mirrors and roof rails. All bode well with the car’s foreboding intentions. From certain angles, especially the rear portion of the side, it looked bizarrely identical to the Kia Telluride. Crikey! Hard to believe how certain things are still being facsimiled.
While the tailgate too, might radiate Kia Telluride vibes, it doesn’t look disproportionate with the raked windscreen and a roof-mounted antenna.
We appreciate the effort shelled out in designing the interior where a cavernous variety of elements and the yellow body colour shade mixed with the plastics create an occasion. However, we also realised how the car can be touted as a cross between the Land Rover Defender and the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon as the steering wheel has straight off been lifted from the former while the grab handle on the dashboard is reminiscent of the latter. Only if one remains oblivious to this, would he realise and spell approbations for the presence of a digital instrument binnacle, vertical rectangular AC vents, a large infotainment screen and certain switches and knobs on the centre console which look premium and elevate its ambience.
Where the car scores very high is in terms of equipment. It provides bells and whistles such as head-up display intimating the speed, speed limit, incoming phone calls and the lane in which the car is heading forward, 360° camera system, ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, wireless charging, 6 airbags, differential lock, creep mode to assist in climbing uphill, automatic emergency braking, off-road user interface, driving modes of snow, standard, sport and eco and automatic parking. However, in our conditions where the roads are well marked, automatic parking is an unnecessary aid and best for the newbie drivers.
Being an SUV, the car is pragmatic to use and gets generous centre storage for the knick-knacks. The seats are extremely comfy where ventilation is its major party trick which keeps one cool during the sweltering hot summers.
Ride and Handling
Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine, the Haval Dargo churns out 190 hp and a solid 325 Nm of torque. The power comes channelized through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and powers all wheels for better traction on the road and off the beaten path.
Due attention to quality has been given in its construction for civilised road manners and so that it can bear everything that comes in its stride. It features a high strength rigid body frame which can support the car’s heavy mass and abide by the strict safety regulations.
To overthrow even the harshest of terrains, it harangues a Central Limited Differential Lock system which transfers enough grunt to the wheels needing it severely. Despite the weight of a sumo fighter, the company claims the car can return a fuel efficiency average of 13.7 km/l to have the owner grinning.
The Haval Dargo has both the pans of a balance scale placed parallel to each other as it provides oodles of panache, comfort, luxury, features, space and power while being rugged and humongous in size. This is a combination which is very hard to match and only a few others like the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender and the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon have managed to pull it off well. However, the Dargo is in a segment of its own when its price is compared with the aforementioned heavyweights that are tremendously more expensive.
While we appreciate its ruggedness and everyday usability, its sibling, the H6 deserves a look too if you're considering the Dargo.
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