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Haval just named its new SUV the "Big Dog": Chinese take on a Land Cruiser Prado scores what could be the world's strangest name

If we've learned nothing else from the Boaty McBoatface debacle, it's that the public can't always be trusted to come up with the best name for something. And so it is with the new Haval DaGou, with the Chinese brand's new mid-size SUV set to receive a weird (and more than a little bit wonderful) name courtesy of public poll. 

The DaGou translates literally to "Big Dog", or the Haval Big Dog to be more specific. The name was chosen among a list of equally curious monikers, including Battle Axe, Wolf and Reactor.

But Big Dog has taken the big prize, and by some margin, though it must be said, whether Haval sticks with that name in international markets remains to be seen.

The Big Dog (to be honest, we just like writing that), is a cool-looking, retro-themes SUV designed, according to Haval, to land somewhere between an "urban SUV and a hardcore off-road vehicle". A little like a Toyota LandCruiser Prado, then.

Details are a little thin on the ground for now, but we do now the Big Dog will sit on a 2738mm wheelbase, which is just shy of the Prado's 2790mm wheelbase. The Chinese SUV will also serve up some 200mm of ground clearance - more than the Prado's 195mm.

Engine spec detail is sparse, but international reports have the Big Dog rocking a 1.5-litre engine good for 125kW and 285Nm, with a bigger 2.0-litre engine pumping out 165kW and 385Nm.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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