- Cheap to run
- Great handling
- Lots of space
- Only available as double-cab(currently)
- Price of top model
Volkswagen Amarok makes it mark
It may only be available in double-cab form but the Volkswagen Amarok pick-up is a cracking vehicle with strong engines helping to power it onto great performance.
Buyers can expect to find a pick-up that’s not only strong and practical but also one’s that cheap to run too.
And that’s in addition to being a decent alternative for what’s already on the pick-up market.
However, the VW Amorak line-up divides neatly between those wanting a reliable workhorse and those wanting a ‘lifestyle truck’.
Most manufacturers are quick to describe their offering as being ‘car-like’ but that really is true of the VW Amarok which has high levels of comfort and performance to make it a pleasant place to be, especially on long journeys. The more expensive ‘lifestyle’ models offer the best ride and equipment levels.
Reasons to buy
There may be only one engine to choose from but it is a powerful 2.0litre diesel that is fairly frugal.
Off-road performance is assured with the Volkswagen Amarok’s selectable or permanent four-wheel drive function which helps the pick-up go through water up to 50cm deep.
It’s also one of the biggest pick-ups available and it’s packed with kit and sets new standards for the quality of its cabin.
Another major attraction is that the residuals for the Amarok should be very impressive which will help ownership costs.
The bottom line is that the VW Amarok is an impressive all-rounder – it’s great to drive, it’s a workhorse and it’s a great family vehicle too. Flexibility is its middle name which sort of makes up for the price being charged but then it is different and VW have obviously found a market for a pick-up that deserves to dominate the sector.
If you like the Volkswagen Amarok then have a look at the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200 or the Toyota Hilux.
One of the biggest attractions for buying the Volkswagen Amarok is that it is available with the firm’s impressive BlueMotion set-up which helps to reduce exhaust emissions and boost economy.
The running costs are impressive because of the VW Amarok’s size – it’s one of the biggest load beds on the market (it’s also a wide truck).
There’s only the one 2.0litre diesel engine but it has two power outputs. The 138bhp turbo should return around 36mpg and the 178bhp twin-turbo should return 35mpg. In the real world, owners should also find they achieve similar economy figures. There’s an also automatic transmission option for the bi-turbo and it has similar economy figures to the manual gearbox versions.
CO2 emissions for the engines are 205g/km and 211g/km respectively.
Opt for the BlueMotion models and the Amarok comes with cruise control, stop-start technology and low rolling resistance tyres as well as regenerative braking. Economy rises to 37mpg while CO2 emissions drop to 199g/km.
Service intervals are set at an impressive 25,000 miles though this depends on driving style and the onboard computer will alert owners that a service is necessary.
There’s also a two year unlimited mileage warranty which extends to three years and 100,000 miles, which is soonest.
If you’re looking for a pick-up with style and great performance and one of the biggest load beds around then the Volkswagen Amarok is for you.
Owners will find they have a useful 2.5 square metres though when the single cab Volkswagen Amarok is introduced that will increase.
There’s room on board for a Europallet to fit (sideways) between the wheelarches, they measure 1.22 metres between them.
Some models in the VW Amarok range can carry more than one tonne – which also means that owners can reclaim VAT against these versions – and all models can tow a 3,000kg trailer.
Options for the load bay include hard and soft top covers and there are four load lashing rings too.
Technology & Safety
The Volkswagen Amarok comes with electronic stability control fitted as standard along with ABS and an anti-skid system. The Amarok also has a trailer stabilisation system to help keep towing safe.
In addition, VW have added hill start assist, a boon with a full load on a hill, and hill descent assist.
There’s also electronic differential lock to help keep things under control, especially on slippery surfaces.
These safety aids help keep the vehicle under control on- and off-road to help deliver an impressive, and safe, driving experience.
The Volkswagen Amarok is a great all-round performer and the two engine outputs are punchy and responsive. The 138bhp variant offers decent performance with a full load and is an excellent cruiser at speed. That comes with plenty of torque though obviously the 178bhp unit has more and offers better performance. Indeed, it offers more than is needed by most owners.
This means that the smaller output engine is not only more economical, it’s also suitable for most needs with lots of pulling power.
One of the first things to notice is that there is some road noise, mainly down to the huge wing mirrors, but the truck doesn’t bounce or roll when unloaded – like some trucks are renowned for doing – which makes it a pleasant vehicle to drive.
The driver’s position is excellent and there’s plenty of space for everyone onboard – especially in the rear seats.
Also, the automatic transmission is VW’s eight-speed DSG box and it’s a solid performer – it feels excellent in the Amarok.
There’s a lot of kit of the Volkswagen Amarok though the models aimed at the ‘lifestyle’ market have more (and a hefty price tag too).
Standard kit includes air con, electric windows and heated door mirrors. Other models come with cruise control, two-zone automatic air con and a trip computer.
Opt for a top model and the standard kit includes heated front seats, parking sensors, leather upholstery and privacy glass.
There’s a good range of options for the VW Amarok such as sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity and rain sensing wipers but they are pricey.