Volkswagen’s Amarok has all it takes to take on the established players in the pick-up market. The first-generation models may have been held back by their 2.0-litre engines – economical but perhaps lacking that extra oomph for heavyweight towing duties. Now Volkswagen has rectified this, with a range of 3.0 V6 diesels. Coupled to the excellent build quality and appealing interior, that could tip the balance for a lot of customers.
The Amarok is available in one body format only – a four-door, five-seat double cab with an impressive 2.52m² cargo box. This offers a loading width of 1,222 mm that accommodates Euro pallets crosswise. Sill load height is just 780mm and the side panels are 508mm high. It can carry payloads of up to 1,154kg and haul 3,100kg (3,000kg for the manual).
Inside, the cabin is typically Volkswagen, with an equipment-rich, well-appointed interior that bridges the gap between working tool and recreational vehicle. The exterior is well-proportioned and assertive in design, with the signature Volkswagen grille and strongly-defined wheel arches.
The new generation Amarok comes with a choice of threesix-cylinder turbodiesel engines, developing 163PS, 204PS and 224PS respectively. The entry-level 163PS Trendline comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard and this is also optional with the 204PS engine, but many customers will prefer the new 8-speed automatic gearbox, claimed by VW to be the only one in its class. First is a low gear for off-road and starting off when fully-laden, while 8th gear is ideal for fuel-saving motorway cruising. The 224PS version has a boost function that briefly raises power to 237bhp, bringing the 0-62mph sprint time down to just eight seconds. Both the 204PS and 224PS engines can return 34.9mpg economy with the 8-speed auto, while the six-speed manual delivers a little less at 32.5mpg. All models feature 4Motion 4x4 drive system with a self-locking Torsen middle differential providing 40:60 front to rear power distribution.
pick-up and features electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, front foglights, manually adjustable front seats, air conditioning and electric windows. Volkswagen's Composition infotainment system includes a 6.3in touchscreen display, DAB radio, smartphone integration and USB connectivity. Move up to Highline or the special edition Dark Label and you’ll enjoy parking sensors, a reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights, 18in alloy wheels, leather upholstery and heated front seats as standard.
Clearly, the Amarok is more than a simple workhorse, though it’s more than capable of doing a tough day’s duties at a construction site or landscaping project. The powerful 3.0-litre engines make light work of towing and motorway cruising while the comfortable, well-equipped interior can make it a realistic alternative to a family SUV.
|Vehicle Length||5,254 mm / 206.9 in|
|Vehicle Width||1944 mm / 76.5 in|
|Vehicle Height||(unladen) 1834 mm / 72.2 in|
|Unladen Wright (DIN)||1882 kg / 4149 lb|
|Engine / Cylinders||2.0-litre/4|
|Engine Capacity||1968 cc|
|Max Torque||340 nm|
|Max Power||90 kW|
|Top Speed||119 mph|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph / 8.0 sec|
|Combined Cycle||34.9 mpg|
|Urban Cycle||37.2 mpg|