AC Motors, the automotive arm of Ayala, has finally launched the new 2024 Volkswagen Tharu in the Philippines. As the German automaker adds a new member to its range of crossover SUVs, with the last one being the T-Cross, is the Tharu worth a look?
For starters, the 2024 Volkswagen Tharu is a compact crossover SUV, though measuring in at 4,453 mm long, 1,841 mm wide, and 1,602 mm tall, it’s actually on the smaller end of the segment, in line with the Peugeot 3008. If the name is unfamiliar, that’s because this crossover SUV is sold in two different nameplates, depending on the market.
In China, this is called the Tharu, and that’s enough of a sign to let you know that it’s built by Volkswagen and one of its joint venture partners, SAIC Motor. In North America, this crossover SUV is called the Taos, and it also gets a slightly different design from the Tharu. This crossover SUV rides on the MQB A1 platform that’s shared with the Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca that’s both sold in Europe exclusively.
There are two variants to choose: SE and SEL. Whichever variant you choose, the Tharu features a straightforward but modern design that isn’t exactly what you’d call groundbreaking, but the classic lines and shapes will mean that it’s a design that will last various automotive trends. Stuff like LED headlights, full-width LED taillights with an illuminated VW logo, and 18-inch wheels come as standard. What the range-topping SEL gets is an LED light bar at the front grille, adaptive matrix LED technology for the headlights, and red trims for the alloy wheels.
As for the interior, all models come with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment and digital gauges, a powered tailgate, a panoramic sunroof, and fabric upholstery. Stepping up to the SEL increases the sizes of the digital gauges and main infotainment to 10.25 inches and 12 inches, respectively, whilst adding leather upholstery, and a power-adjustable front passenger’s seat, just to name a few. Speaking of the infotainment, while this comes with Apple CarPlay, it doesn’t come with Android Auto.
The 2024 Volkswagen Tharu comes with the “300” designation, which means that it comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 160 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. This drives the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. A multi-link independent rear suspension is fitted in the Tharu, unlike in the Taos where this is exclusive to the all-wheel drive models.
Whichever variant of the Tharu you choose, a blind spot warning radar with rear cross traffic alert is offered as standard, while unique to the SEL are features such as an Active Park Assist self-parking feature, a 360-degree camera, and the addition of front parking sensors.
With these specs, Volkswagen has also slightly adjusted the price since the time it was initially revealed. With that said, the 2024 Volkswagen Tharu we think, is on the expensive side. This may not be the global Volkswagen you were probably hoping for when AC Motors initially announced the plan in 2021 to bring back the company’s iconic nameplates, but actually, it’s a model that’s sold globally but with two distinct nameplates. We’re hoping to get our hands on one soon, but as of the moment, what do you think of the Volkswagen Tharu?