During an event in Argentina, Volkswagen announced to the gathered crowd that a new SUV, slotted below the Tiguan, would be built for worldwide consumption. According to Argentina Autoblog he car will be built in Russia and China under the Tharu name, as well as in Argentina and Mexico as the Tarek. The Mexican-built model is earmarked for Canada, Mexico, and U.S. distribution. As the Tiguan has gotten larger, this model will be a five-seat model to slot in at the entry level size.
The Tharu is already available in China, and it is ten inches shorter overall than the current three-row U.S. Tiguan. Chinese customers can option a Tharu with 1.2-liter, 1.4-liter, and2.0-liter engines ranging from 116 to 186 horsepower, each mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission routing power through the front wheels. There is no indication as to what powertrain options North American buyers might have, but the 2.0T and 1.4T are likely to make appearances in some variety.
The new Tarek is actually slightly larger than the original Tiguan, which was a bit too small for American tastes. Given the Mexican point of origin, small engine offerings, and FWD, this could be a properly inexpensive competitor for Toyota’s C-HR and Honda’s HR-V.