Meet the Haval Big Dog (above) and Great Wall Motors (GWM) Tank 300 (below).
Both are box-shaped SUVs but one is a city slicker similar in size to a Toyota RAV4 or Nissan X-Trail, while the other is a heavy-duty four-wheel drive that appears to share some of its inspiration from the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Suzuki Jimny, with a dose of Jeep added for good measure.
For now, they are only available in left-hand-drive – but both have the technical capability to be factory-built in right-hand-drive.
The Haval Big Dog (it’s real name) is based on the underpinnings of the all-new Haval H6 mid-size SUV.
As with the SUV on which it’s based, it is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine (155kW/325Nm) paired to a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic paired to a front- or all-wheel-drive layout.
Although unique in its appearance, the Haval Big Dog does appear to draw some of its inspiration from the US-market Honda Element (2008), while the GWM Tank 300 appears to blend styling themes from the 2008 to 2012 Jeep Cherokee with today’s Mercedes G-Wagen and Suzuki Jimny.
The Tank 300 – a body-on-frame design – shares much of its underpinnings with the GWM Ute, though the example imported to Australia for customer research was powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine (167kW/387Nm) paired to an eight-speed conventional torque converter automatic.
Despite the modest engine capacity, the GWM Tank 300 has a claimed towing capacity of 3000kg.
It’s available in China as a five-seater only; there is no provision for a seven-seat option at this stage.
With its steep approach, departure, and clearance angles, the GWM Tank 300 has the ingredients of a serious off-roader, though it is yet to be tested locally (a brief preview drive based on a short four-wheel-drive course will be published next week).
If GWM Haval gets its way, both the Haval Big Dog SUV and GWM Tank 300 will be in Australian showrooms from next year.
Prices are yet to be announced as the vehicles are yet to be confirmed for Australia.
However, based on CarAdvice estimates, the Haval Big Dog (pictured above on the left) could be priced between $35,000 and $40,000 while the GWM Tank 300 (pictured above on the right) could be priced between $45,000 and $50,000.
GWM Haval marketing manager, Steve Maciver, told a media briefing this week: “The decision's going to come from head office in the coming months.”
Mr Maciver said GWM Haval had done local research with potential customers for both models.
Above: The interior of the Haval Big Dog.
“We've relayed the feedback to the head office team,” said Mr Maciver. “They’re doing the business case now to work out whether … they can they make the business case stack up.”
Do you think the Haval Big Dog or GWM Tank 300 would sell well in Australia if priced right? Let us know in the comments below.
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