Is the facelifted, V6-powered Amarok good enough to brush shoulders with other popular pickups?
Volkswagen’s commercial division isn’t one for downsizing, it appears. For one, the manufacturer has ditched the 2.0-litre diesel for the V6 that’s found in the Audi Q7.
On the face of it, a worthwhile upgrade – the larger engine can pull heavier loads, thanks to increased torque that kicks n as low as 1,400 revs. And it’ll sound better, too.
Fuel economy shouldn’t take too much of a hit from the previous engine either, as the V6 won’t be under as much stress.
Practical, in many ways
Dimensions are unchanged, so it’s still around five metres long and holds onto the largest load bay in the class – big enough for a Euro pallet, we’re told.
It doesn’t look too dissimilar from the outside, but the interior’s been updated and might now appeal to those wanting their pickup to double up as an everyday car, rather than just a get-the-job-done sort of motor.
Here’s a car that’s been created for working crews as much as it has families – apart from in the higher trims with leather trim and felt-lined storage spaces, which won’t fair too well with muck and dirt.
In terms of practicality, it’ll wade to 50cm and traverse rough terrain with approach and departure angles of 29 and 24 degrees, respectively.
The majority of UK buyers will perhaps be more interested in its towing limit, however, that sits at a very solid 3.5 tonnes.
On the move
The Amarok’s improved torque is noticeable, pulling loads with surprising competence. It also has impressive acceleration, especially when it isn’t towing anything.
Steering’s a bit slow and takes some spinning of the wheel to get it where you want, but it was never going to take turns like a VW Golf at the end of the day.
Aside from a little wind noise, the Amarok’s a refined cruiser and will do motorway miles without compromising on fuel economy or comfort.
Although the materials used are at the higher end of the market, it’s still willing to get stuck in as a worker’s vehicle when needed. Select the off-road mode and it becomes a different beast.
It’ll move over difficult terrain with solid body control, and with the optional differential lock, won’t be fazed by more testing axle movement.
What does it cost?
It starts around £32k and rises to roughly £47k for the top-spec Amarok Aventura. That being said, all specs are fitted with the 4Motion four-wheel drive system and turbocharged diesel V6, in one of two engine maps.
It may also be nicer to sit in than a number of other pickups on the market, and it’ll perform just as well for families as it will for commercial owners. Even if most of your driving is on tarmac, you’ll enjoy the Amarok.
And you’ve got all that space in the open cargo area behind the cabin – that being said, if you’re planning on leaving gear in it overnight you might be best off investing in a hard top or sliding cover.
It’s appealing across the board
VW is hoping their upgraded pickup will appeal to a wider audience than just those who’re interested in SUVs specifically.
Drivers looking at an entry-level VW Touareg, for example, might consider the Amarok instead, for its added off-road ability and substantial towing capacity.
Ultimately, the Volkswagen Amarok V6 looks the part and is suitable for a range of uses, whether that’s commercial or personal.
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