Now that VW have given the Amarok a V6, is it good enough to compete with the other popular pickups?
Volkswagen’s commercial division isn’t a fan of downsizing, it’s fair to say. The facelifted Amarok has replaced its predecessor’s 2.0-litre diesel with the V6 used in the Audi Q7, after 60k miles of testing.
On the face of it, it’s a worthwhile upgrade. The larger engine will pull heavier loads due to the increased torque that now peaks as low as 1,400 revs. And as you’d expect with six cylinders, it sounds better.
Fuel economy should roughly match that of the pre-facelifted Amarok, however, as the V6 won’t be under as much stress.
Practical in many senses
The dimensions are unchanged, so it’s still just over five metres long and holds onto the largest load bay in this class – big enough for a Euro pallet, apparently.
Although it’s quite similar from the outside, the interior has been updated and might appeal to those wanting their pickup to double as an everyday car, rather than just a gets-the-job-done sort of machine.
It’s been created for working crews as much as it has families – save for the leather trim and felt-lined storage spaces on higher specs, that probably won’t fair well with muck and dirt.
In terms of practicality, it’ll wade to a depth of 50cm and move over rough terrain with approach and departure angles of 29 and 24 degrees, respectively. The majority of UK users will maybe be more interested in its towing capacity, though, which is impressive at 3.5 tonnes.
At the wheel
The Amarok’s improved torque is more than noticeable – it’ll pull loads with surprising competence and has impressive acceleration, especially when you aren’t towing anything.
Steering is a bit slow and takes some spinning of the wheel to get it where you want, but it was never going to manoeuvre like a VW Golf, at the end of the day.
Aside from a little wind noise off the windscreen, it’s actually a refined cruiser and will chew up motorway miles without compromising on comfort or fuel economy.
Granted, it’s a higher-end pickup in terms of the materials used but is definitely willing to get stuck in when required. Put it in off-road mode and it’s a different beast.
It’ll traverse difficult terrain with solid body control, and with optional axle differential lock, will remain confident under more testing axle movement.
On the wallet
It is pricey, ranging from just over £32k for the base model to around £47k for the top-spec Amarok Aventura. That being said, all specs come fitted with the 4Motion four-wheel drive and turbocharged diesel V6, in one of two power setups.
You could also argue that it’s nicer to sit in than a fair chunk of the other pickups on offer, and it’ll perform as a solid motor for any lifestyle. Even if 90% of your driving was on tarmac, you’d enjoy the Amarok.
There’s also the massive boot space available in the back – although it’d be worth investing in a hard top or sliding cover if you’re likely to leave gear in overnight.
Who is VW targeting?
Volkswagen is anticipating about as much interest from those interested in SUVs specifically, as it is from other audiences.
Someone looking at an entry-level VW Touareg, for example, might consider the Amarok instead, with its added off-road ability and huge towing capacity.
Ultimately, the Volkswagen Amarok V6 looks good and is suited to a range of uses, be it commercial or personal.
For more on the Volkswagen Amarok V6, or to test drive one yourself, get in touch with Lookers VW.