KIA Insider

Volkswagen to introduce compact SUV, Tarek, to North America

Volkswagen is apparently bringing another SUV to North America.

It’s called the Tarek; it’s slightly smaller than the Tiguan, so meant to challenge the likes of the Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V and Kia Soul; it’s already on sale in China as the Tharu (pictured above); and its new North American presence is probably not supposed to be public knowledge just yet.

The news was revealed by Volkswagen of Argentina, who outlined the Tarek’s future during a press announcement covering new investments at a local factory. Whether this was an intentional world-first announcement or not is a little hazy (probably not), but either way Autoblog Argentina was able to get its hands on this image of the distribution map, showing the Tarek’s migration from China where it exists as the Tharu, to Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Volkswagen has yet to announce any official information about the North American Tarek, including what powertrain it’ll get, but in China, the brand builds the front-wheel drive Tharu on its MQB architecture. It carries a 1.2-, 1.4- or 2.0-litre turbo engine making 116, 150 and 186 horsepower respectively, all of which are tied to a seven-speed DSG transmission.

The Tharu measures 175.3 inches long, 72.5 inches wide and 64.3 inches tall, with a 105.5-inch wheelbase. Comparatively, the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is 185.1 inches long, 72.4 inches wide and 66.3 inches tall, with a 109.8-inch wheelbase.

Will the Tarek look and behave like the Tharu, or will Volkswagen somehow distinguish it before its journey West? We promise you’ll know as soon as we do.