April 28, 2017
When you think of Volkswagen vans, a pick-up truck is not the first thing that comes to mind. Traditionally dominated by the likes of Mitsubishi vans and Nissan vans, the pick-up market is currently enjoying increased demand.
These more-established rivals have not deterred Volkswagen vans however, with the VW Amarok being around for nearly ten years. When you consider the quality of their commercial vehicles – VW vans make the VW Caddy, the revered VW Transporter and International Van of the Year 2017, the VW Crafter – entering the pickup market was a logical step for the manufacturer.
It may not come backed by a hard-earned reputation, but the VW Amarok is wonderfully refined and comfortable. VW vans have done a spectacular job with their pickup – the finish is as you’d expect from Volkswagen’s passenger car range – so much so that it’s really easy to forget that you’re in a pickup truck.
Doublecab versions of the VW Amarok have five seats with a rear bench that flips forward to increase loadspace, should you need it. There are three trim levels, Startline, Trendline and Highline, the latter being the top-end model and as such includes luxury features like air conditioning, carpeted floors, leather covered steering wheel, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
Designed for efficiency, the Amarok’s 2.0-litre diesel engine is quiet and provides a decent amount of torque. An ample loadspace of 2.5 square metres can accommodate loads of up to 1.5 metres in length – meaning it can swallow a Euro pallet – while the payload exceeds a tonne. The load area comes lined as standard.
In 2012, the Volkswagen Amarok was launched with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox along with a 2.0-litre BiTDi 180ps engine. It’s smooth and refined, making the most of the available power and driving well on awkward, off-road terrain. Towing limits also increased, with the aforementioned automatic model capable of towing up to 3.2-tonnes.
Four wheel drive is an on demand system on most VW Amarok models, but it can be specified as a permanent feature on Highline models. This version offers a comfort suspension set-up designed for lighter use and mainly on-road driving. It features a spring pack which offer better suspension, vibration and noise comfort. This does, however, lower the payload to 750kg which is below HMRC’s 1-tonne threshold for commercial vehicles, so it would be classed as a car.
Fuel economy maxes out at a claimed 37.2mpg, which is respectable for a pickup. You can rest assured that the VW Amarok provides a safe driving environment with its four-star Euro NCAP rating.