Sleeker and more high-tech Volkswagen Tharu debuts in China
Remember when Volkswagen Philippines released a teaser image of an upcoming crossover? At the time, we thought the automaker was preparing to reveal the Tharu or the facelifted T-Cross. After doing some digging and editing the teaser image, we debunked that Volkswagen Philippines actually is preparing to launch the latter.
Fast forward to today, and we can further confirm that Volkswagen will not be launching the Tharu. That's because the automaker has just revealed the 2023 Tharu facelift in China, and it looks sleeker and more dynamic than ever. Also called the Taos in the US market, the 2023 Tharu serves as the brand's compact crossover that slots above the slightly smaller T-Cross.
UPDATE 08/01/23: Volkswagen Philippines has released another teaser image, and this time we can confirm the facelifted Volkswagen Tharu is coming to local showrooms.
Starting with the visual changes first, the 2023 Tharu dons a more modern design that does away with the Atlas-derived face. It gets bolder LED headlights, a new honeycomb-style grille with an illuminated centerpiece, and redesigned air vents on the front bumper. The rear, meanwhile, gets a high-tech update courtesy of new stylish LED taillights. The bumper was also restyled as it now comes with rear reflectors and a more prominent faux skid plate that replaces the dual fake exhaust finishers.
Aside from the exterior, Volkswagen was also busy changing up the interior of the Tharu. For starters, it gets a bigger 12-inch touchscreen infotainment that is complemented by a 10-inch digital instrument cluster. There's also a redesigned three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel while the automatic climate control gets a new interface that replaces the dial controls.
Other interior features present in the 2023 Tharu include LED ambient lighting, a two-tone cabin finish, leather seats with contrast stitching, gloss black trim pieces, a large panoramic sunroof, and touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel.
Under the hood, the 2023 Tharu is available with two engine choices. First is the new 1.5-liter TSI EVO II turbocharged four-cylinder that replaces the previous 1.4-liter turbo. It produces 160 PS with 250 Nm of torque and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Next is the more powerful 2.0-liter TSI that cranks out 186 PS and 320 Nm of pull. This one is only available with the 7-speed dual-clutch and comes with the 4Motion AWD system.
The 2023 Volkswagen Tharu will soon be available in Chinese dealerships, with other markets likely to follow. With Volkswagen also apparently planning to bring it to the Philippines soon, it looks like the Tharu that we'll be getting will be based on the recently facelifted version. Here's to hoping we won't have to wait long.