Volkswagen Amarok (2016-present)

A pick-up truck with a more premium feel, the VW Amarok will be familiar to any Volkswagen car driver

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Passenger car quality
Good of-road ability
Well-equipped

Weaknesses 

Less economical than rivals
No single cab option
More expensive than other pick-ups

The humble pick-up has always been a commercial vehicle, a tool for farmers, builders and the like, workers who need a rugged, go-anywhere vehicle for lugging easily accessible loads.

That has changed slightly in recent years, as pick-ups have started to become more popular among owners who want a vehicle that will enable them to carry equipment for adventure and extreme sports. This is still very much a minority, but Volkswagen launching the Amarok in 2011 showed that it was a market that is important to manufacturers of pick-ups.

The Amarok’s unique selling proposition is that it brings passenger car quality and standards to the pick-up segment, while still retaining the rugged robustness that commercial vehicle users require. This enables it to stand out for rivals such as the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200 and Isuzu D-Max, giving it a more premium, aspirational identity – an important point of difference when those rivals all have their own strengths.

Another important aspect of the Amarok’s appeal is the exterior design, with its combination of ruggedness and style, taking Volkswagen design cues from the passenger car line-up and incorporating them seamlessly into a pick-up.
The cabin certainly has an upmarket feel, especially at upper trim levels and as special editions with extra equipment. Some of the dashboard trim elements, along with leather seats, are on a par with family cars – and are arguably over-specified for many of the paint-spattered, dusty and muddy users.

The layout of the interior is also practical, with room for five adults, plus plenty of storage and stowage areas. The practicality continues in the load bed – vitally important to commercial users – which is one of the biggest in its class at 2.5 square meters and 1.22m across, making it large enough to fit a Europallet sideways.

The engines are starting to show their vintage , now, falling behind in the economy stakes compared to recently introduced Hilux and Navara new-generation models: however, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel set to be introduced at the end of 2016/start of 2017 will be the only six-cylinder in the segment and will add greater appeal and slight improvements in economy (although not enough to compete with the aforementioned newer rivals).

On the road, the Amarok is undoubtedly a pick-up and commercial vehicle, but it does handle well for what it is, cruises relatively quietly with decent refinement and rides as well as any vehicle with basic rear suspension can.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 14:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years / 100,000 miles
Load area: 
2.5 sq m
Width: 
1944mm
Length: 
5254mm
Height: 
1834mm
Tax: 
K (£650 in first year and £295 thereafter)

Best Volkswagen Amarok for... 

Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 TDI 140PS 4Motion
The lower-powered turbocharged 2.0-litre TDI has an official fuel economy figure of 36.2mpg and emits 205g/km – neither of which is low by passenger car standards, but not unusual for commercial vehicles.
Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 BiTDI 180PS 4Motion
The addition of an extra turbocharger on the 2.0 TDI engine results in improved performance, shaving 2.5 seconds off the 0-62mph time (taking it down to 11 seconds), and with an only marginal worsening of fuel economy (to 35.3mpg) and CO2 emissions (211g/km)

Volkswagen Amarok History 

  • 2011 The Amarok is launched in the UK.
  • 2012 The twin-turbo 2.0 BiTDI has a power upgrade to 180PS in late 2012.
  • 2014 The Amarok Canyon special edition is introduced, limited to 350 units.
  • 2015 The Amarok Atacama special edition is added to the range.

Understanding Volkswagen Amarok car names 

  • Amarok
  • Trim level
    Trendline
  • Engine
    2.0 TDI 140PS
  • Four-wheel drive
    4Motion
  • Trim level
    There are three trim levels (Startline, Trendline and Highline), rising in price and adding additional equipment.
  • Engine
    The side of the engine is given in litres and its horsepower is also provided. This can also be written as PS. The standard diesel engine on the Amarok is badged TDI. The version, with two turbochargers to boost power is labelled BiTDI.
  • Four-wheel drive
    All Amaroks are fitted with Volkswagen’s four-wheel drive system, called 4Motion.

Volkswagen Amarok Engines 

Diesel: 2.0 TDI 140PS, 2.0 BiTDI 180PS

The Amarok is powered by a 2.0-litre common rail turbodiesel engine, available in two versions. The base unit delivers 140PS, which results in a 13.5-second 0-62mph and a top speed of 101mph. Fuel consumption is 36.2mph, with CO2 emissions of 205g/km, which starts to show the Amarok’s age when you compare it to newer pick-ups such as the Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara that can manage in excess of 40mpg and emission below 180g/km.
The more powerful option – available at Trendline and Highline trim levels – has an extra turbocharger for better performance, so the output is increased to 180PS. This has the effect of reducing the 0-62mph time to 11 seconds and adding 10mph to the top speed. Fuel economy is marginally affected, lowering it to 35.3mpg, while CO2 emissions also increase to 211g/km. It’s an almost surprisingly powerful unit, considering the 2,108kg kerb weight of the Amarok, with lots of low-down urge. It’s also relatively refined for a commercial vehicle, cruising well at motorway speeds.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

2.0 TDI

Diesel

36.2mpg

140hp

13.5s

101mph

2.0 BiTDI

Diesel

35.3mpg

180hp

11.0s

111mph

Volkswagen Amarok Trims 

Startline, Trendline, Highline

There are three trim levels for Amarok buyers to choose from. Equipment fitted to the base Startline trim level includes 16-inch alloy wheels, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, CD/radio with Aux input and two speakers, air conditioning, electric windows, Isofix child seat anchors, rubbing flooring, 12V socket in the centre console, airbags, remote locking, alarm and immobiliser, plus safety features such as ESP electronic stabilisation, ABS anti-lock brakes, trailer stabilisation, hill hold and hill descent assist.
Opting for Trendline adds 17-inch alloys, a more advanced CD/radio with six speakers, cruise control, two-zone air con, leather steering wheel, silver trim elements in the cabin, centre armrest, three 12V sockets and underseat storage drawers.
The top grade Highline further adds features such as 18-inch alloys, privacy glass, parking sensors at the front and rear, leather seats (heated at the front), an upgraded dashboard trim and a multifunction Plus pack that includes navigation display and mobile phone preparation.
Volkswagen has also released some special editions over the life of the Amarok. The Canyon, for example (limited to 350 units in the UK and launched in 2014), was based on the Trndline trim, but added satellite navigation with a six-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth, styling bars, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, interior trim upgrades, front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass, a protective coating for the load area and a matt black roll cover.
The Atacama launched in August 2015 also featured a number of upgrades as standard, including include bi-xenon headlights, black rear styling bars, black rear bumper with integrated step, 19-inch alloy wheels, a ‘Durabed’ protective coating, leather upholstery, leather multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, two-zone air conditioning and satellite navigation.

Volkswagen Amarok Reliability and warranty 

All new Amaroks have an unlimited-mileage, three-year warranty. There are no mileage restrictions in the first two years, when the warranty is manufacturer operated, while the third year (and up to 100,000 miles) is the responsibility of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Van Centre. 

Used Volkswagen Amarok 

The Amarok has been on sale since 2011 and Volkswagen has been steadily shifting them (just under 4,000 were sold in 2015), so there are a few used examples around, with a wide spread of ages and mileages. Prices start at around £10,000, for cars from 2011 or 2012, with in excess of 100,000 miles on the clock. At the other end of the scale, nearly new cars with 4,000+ miles on them are on sale for £30,000 and above (depending on spec/trim level).
The popularity of the Amarok seems to indicate that while there are offers to be had, they aren’t abundant – and what offers there are often related to personal contract plans or leasing.

List price

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£25,419

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Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 TDI 140PS 4Motion

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£26,661

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Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 BiTDI 180PS 4Motion

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