The Chinese sibling of the Skoda Karoq benefits from a redesigned exterior, more tech and a new 1.5 TSI base engine
5 hours ago
by Thanos Pappas
VW is offering countless SUVs in the Chinese market but that doesn’t mean it neglects to update them. The VW Tharu – the Chinese sibling of Europe’s Skoda Karoq – just got a rather extensive facelift including a number of visual tweaks, updated tech features, and a new engine for the base-spec trim.
For those not familiar with the model, the VW Tharu was originally introduced in 2018, being locally produced in China by SAIC-Volkswagen. Five years later the design language and the technology of the German brand has progressed, so it was time for its mid-lifecycle update.
Read: VW’s New Tavendor Is Yet Another MQB-Based SUV For China
Visually, the most noticeable change is at the front, where the Atlas-style face of the pre-facelifted model has been replaced by a more modern design. The new LED headlights are connected through an illuminated strip on the new honeycomb grille, while the bumper received sportier side inlets and an aluminum-style treatment around the lower intake.
The profile remains largely unchanged, sharing most of the body panels with the Skoda Karoq and the Seat Ateca. At the back, the new LED taillights are connected in a similar way to models from the ID range, and the redesigned bumper exchanged the faux exhaust pipes with decorative intakes. SAIC Volkswagen showed two different trims of the Tharu, with chrome or gloss black accents. The alloy wheels are also new, featuring colorful touches.
Moving inside, the facelifted VW Tharu benefits from a new 12-inch infotainment touchscreen on the center console, combined with the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. The upper portion of the dashboard has been redesigned with a different shape for the climate vents, there are newly available trims, a large panoramic sunroof, and the widely used three-spoke steering wheel with touch-sensitive buttons. Finally, the SUV comes equipped with Volkswagen’s IQ. technologies, including an upgraded ADAS suite and more connectivity / remote control features.
advertisement scroll to continue
The VW Tharu measures 4,458mm (175.5 inches) long, 1,841mm (72.5 inches) wide, and 1,632mm (64.2 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,680 mm (105.5 inches). This makes it 5 mm (0.2 inches) longer than its predecessor, with the rest of the dimensions remaining identical. In the SAIC Volkswagen range, the Tharu slots between the smaller T-Cross and the larger Tiguan.
As with most ICE-powered SUVs from the Volkswagen Group, the Tharu is based on the MQB platform. The powertrain lineup has been updated with the addition of the new and more efficient 1.5 TSI EVO II which replaces the old 1.4 TSI, producing 158 hp (118 kW / 160 PS) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. It is also available with the 2.0 TSI producing 184 hp (137 kW / 186 PS) and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque. The larger displacement engine (330 TSI) is the only one combined with the 4MOTION system, as the entry-level motor (280 TSI) is FWD-only.
The facelifted VW Tharu will soon become available in the Chinese market. Pricing has yet to be announced but the outgoing model is priced between ¥158,600,000 ($23,363) and ¥216,600,000 ($31,907).