What is it?
The original Volkswagen Amarok established a whole new breed of pick-up truck. Here was a practical ‘truck’ that could also be driven like a large SUV - and it was largely as comfortable as one, too. But in addition, the Amarok could tow successfully and tackle even the very worst of conditions without any fretting.
Replacing that original is no easy task, therefore. But Volkswagen appears to be up to the challenge and now, we’ve got the brand-new Amarok. Is it any good though? We’ve been finding out.
The big news with this latest Amarok is the partnership that has been made to create it. Volkswagen has teamed up with Ford on this latest Amarok and, as a result, this latest truck has more than a bit in common with the latest Ranger. The two are built on the same production line, too.
But as you’d expect from Volkswagen, it has uprated the Amarok with a host of classy interior materials as well as a commanding, ‘look-at-me’ exterior design.
What’s under the bonnet?
Entry-level Amaroks use a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine, but we’re expecting the vast majority of sales to go for this model - the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel. WIth 236bhp and 600Nm, it’s certainly powerful enough for most jobs while it’s all sent to all four wheels via Ford’s 10-speed automatic gearbox too.
Despite being quite large, the Amarok will manage 0-60mph in just 8.8 seconds and carry onwards to 112mph. It can tow up to 3,500kg of braked trailer, too.
What’s it like to drive?
It takes a little bit of getting used to the driving experience of the Amarok, simply because it’s such a large car - it’s longer than a Range Rover. However, thanks to well-weighted steering and decent visibility, you soon get used to piloting this mammoth truck around.
When you’re travelling at greater speeds the Amarok manages to remain nicely hushed, too, though it can be a little bit unsettled at slower speeds.
How does it look?
The new Amarok is even more imposing than the car it replaces. The huge front grille is hard to miss, while the generally upright stance of the truck in general means it will gather attention wherever it goes. There’s loads of silver-coloured elements to brighten up the exterior as well.
It’s all a little closer to the uber-sized trucks that you’d find in the States, but that’s no bad thing. You could, of course, have the Amarok in a darker colour and it would look a little more undercover, too.
What’s it like inside?
The previous Amarok set a new standard for pick-up truck quality and that has been carried through to this new version. There are loads of nice materials used throughout, while the overall fit and finish are just what you’d expect from Volkswagen.
Rear-seat space isn’t too bad, either, though there is quite a large transmission hump in the middle. We do like the fact that there are loads of charging options in the rear of the Amarok, too, with USB-C and 12-volt plugs available to make sure that devices stay topped-up.
What’s the spec like?
Even entry-level Amaroks in ‘Life’ trim get plenty of equipment, ranging from air conditioning to cruise control. With its steel wheels and basic design, however, it’s definitely more on the ‘workhorse’ end of the Amarok spectrum.
Move to the Panamerican like our test truck and you’ll find luxuries such as 18-inch alloy wheels included alongside a full Harmon Kardon sound system. There’s also the massive 12-inch central display to talk about - it’s shared with the Ranger and is where you access all key media and navigation functions. It’s clear and simple to operate, too, while smartphone mirroring systems work seamlessly.
The new Amarok definitely had an uphill battle with its arrival. The previous generation truck cast a very big shadow and it could’ve been quite easy for this new version to falter under the weight of expectation.
Fortunately, it has lived up to the standard set by its predecessor. It’s good to drive, has plenty of performance courtesy of the V6 engine and is smartly finished inside, too. If you want a truck that can do it all, then the Amarok should still be on your list to check out.