Meet The Tarek: Volkswagen’s Baby Tiguan Is Coming To North America In 2021

It's based on the Chinese-market 'Tharu'

Volkswagen Tarek

Volkswagen let this (secret?) news slip in a recent presentation.

With the small crossover game heating up year after year, it’s no wonder Volkswagen wants to get in on the action. Right now, the smallest offering they sell in the U.S. is the Tiguan. That competes against the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, but VW offers nothing if you look one segment lower until now. Meet the Volkswagen Tarek, which is already sold in China as the ‘Tharu’.

Autoblog Argentina showed images from a product presentation, including a curious product strategy for the Tarek. We expect these sort of small cars to go on sale in global markets — like Argentina, for example. Here, though, Volkswagen shows a North American model is coming, and the company will build it in Mexico. The presentation also showed that production would start in 2021.

Volkswagen Tarek

The Chinese version of the Volkswagen Tarek is 175.3 inches long, 72.5 inches wide and 64.3 inches tall. That’s about 10 inches shorter in length, 2 inches narrower and 2 inches shorter in height than a Tiguan.

There are also three engine options in the current production model. Most likely, we will see either a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with 150 horsepower, or a 2.0-liter turbo with 186 horsepower. Chinese models use a seven-speed DSG transmission and are front-wheel drive only. It’s not clear whether all those powertrain options will translate to the U.S. market, but we should learn more in the coming months.

If and when the Volkswagen Tarek does make it to market, it will compete against tiny crossovers like the Hyundai Venue, Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V.