From £32,5038
VW's Amarok pick-up combines 428lb ft of muscle with a luxury specification

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Amarok

Can this double cab pick-up compete with established competitors in its class?

16 April 2018

What is it?

This Amarok is now the most powerful series-production pick-up truck available in the UK.

With 255bhp, its 3.0-litre V6 diesel just edges out its nearest competitor, the forthcoming, similarly V6-engined 253bhp Mercedes-Benz X-Class, and there’s an overboost function that adds an additional 13bhp for as much as 20 seconds. Permanent all-wheel drive is standard, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The final-phase pre-production vehicle we drove in Oman was in Aventura trim, which is a special edition launch model closely based on the otherwise top-ranking Highline.

What's it like?

In addition to Highline specification, Aventura adds swathes of black in the interior, including the headlining, and nappa leather seats. On the outside are 20in wheels and the choice of a new limited-edition colour – metallic Peacock Green.

Our test car had an air intake snorkel to stop the engine suffocating on the dust from the unsealed roads and dirt tracks of Oman (rather than to improve the 500mm wading depth) and the sucking and whooshing of the pipe was accompanied by a pleasant engine roar.

Under heavy acceleration, the engine noise seeps into the cabin, but as you ease off, it settles to a genteel thrum. It’s refined and smooth; every inch an SUV impersonator. The abundance of torque and the quick-responding transmission mean that making effortless progress is always possible despite the gearbox’s tendency to race through the ratios.

Handling, meanwhile, is sharp, with weightier steering than is usually found in VW commercial vehicles, but the steering rack is quite slow, so you have to work hard on twistier roads. Uprated rear suspension also improves roadholding. This is about as cultured as a leaf-sprung rear axle can be. Off-road or on a gravel track, the Amarok is supple and capable.

Should I buy one?

Back in the UK, this car’s torque surplus over other models in the range will be of benefit for towing at the permitted 3.1 tonnes maximum weight, but rivals can tow more (up to 3.5 tonnes) with less.

A modest price increase of less than £1000 over the now discontinued 221bhp Amarok does, however, make the UK’s most powerful pick-up a competitively priced machine, and that’s even before Mercedes enters the market with that V6-powered X-Class, which is sure to command a hefty premium.

George Barrow

Volkswagen Amarok 3.8 V6

Where Oman Price £40,000 (est); On sale Summer; Engine V6, 2967cc, diesel; Power 255bhp at 3250rpm; Torque 428lb ft at 1400-3000rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic; Kerb weight 2178kg; Top speed tbc; 0-62mph tbc; Fuel economy tbc; CO2 tbc; Rivals Mercedes-Benz X-Class

Join the debate

Comments
15

16 April 2018

have these been added for this model, or does VW still think your children are unimportant to fully protect in an accident if you drive an Amarok...

Before you say, ‘commercial vehicle, not required’ check if the equivalent Hilux, Navara, Triton and X class have them as standard (I’ll save you the time, they do)

 

16 April 2018
Ryan Bane wrote:

have these been added for this model, or does VW still think your children are unimportant to fully protect in an accident if you drive an Amarok...

Before you say, ‘commercial vehicle, not required’ check if the equivalent Hilux, Navara, Triton and X class have them as standard (I’ll save you the time, they do)

 

Neither Audi nor Porsche offer rear airbags as standard either. Seems a VAG thing.

16 April 2018
Interesting that Nissan left the 'premium' v6 diesel market when it introduced the current model navara. Indeed just about every other manufacturer is down sizing their pick up engines, I believe even the Ford ranger is going to a 2.0l twin turbo as opposed to the 3.2L I5. Vw going the other way. I would imagine most Japanese pickups ups are still used as work trucks whereas the vw is bought by private lifestyle folk believing they are buying a 'premium' badge. Pointless having the extra torque and falling short of the class leading towing capabilities of the competition.

16 April 2018

Diesel is dead, it's in the first three letters.  Why isn't this a V6 petrol?  It's out of date immediately it leaves the dealer's and will be hard to sell on.  Can't manufacturers see (or perhaps that should be the buyers) that when you come to sell on (if you don't lease) you're going to have serious trouble trying to shift it.  In 3-4 years there's going to be so many taxes against diesel.  We've just managed to sell our last diesel van where I work, and now we're looking for petrol only.  Seriously people, if you have a diesel, get rid of it, pronto.

16 April 2018

Diesel still has a place in commercial vehicles and is still relevant for drivers who do long distances.

Unless you actually use the utility of this, and I think most pick-ups I see arent used commercially, the rexton being long term tested seems a lot preferable to me.

16 April 2018

In surprising news, Mercedes made more diesels last year thsn ever before.

16 April 2018

The market is getting complicate ddue to scarmongering and tecknology being not quite ther eyet on ev and hybrid. diesel will lose ground in the small capacity engines sub 2litre due to improved petrol efficiency and mainly costs ,way cheaper for a petrol engine than diesel.Suv and luxury will still in Europe have significant market share as it suits these vehicles.You do not see very many petrol premium cars they are virtualy all diesel.Ie Mercedes,BMW,Audi JLR.

16 April 2018

40 grand for a car with cart springs ! Lol only a fool would buy this.

XXXX just went POP.

16 April 2018

As said above why on earths name would you pay £40k for a Brazilian pick up truck like this? Surely far better options exsist than this? 

16 April 2018
Jimbbobw1977 wrote:

As said above why on earths name would you pay £40k for a Brazilian pick up truck like this? Surely far better options exsist than this? 

Because people want to. You can spend hundreds of thousands on a new car, or you can spend less than ten thousand. Is the one costing hundreds of thousands proportionally better?

Oh, and the Amarok isn't made in Brazil.

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