Alex Bradley is a skilled writer and digital content specialist focusing on automotive and sports. He has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and previously worked for The Northern Quota as Head Sports Editor.
The Volkswagen Amarok is a midsized pickup truck known for its superb build quality and off-road capabilities. Now in its second generation, the Amarok has a refined interior with good technology, powerful engine options, and good practicality.
Our Volkswagen Amarok review covers:
The Volkswagen Amarok is made in collaboration between VW and Ford, so it shares a lot of features with the Ford Ranger. Regardless, the exterior is extremely VW. It has a large VW front grille, LED headlights, and a chunky roll bare at the front.
The Amarok double cab is the only version available in the UK, which is a good thing for business owners with a crew. There are no issues with room up front as there’s plenty of leg and headroom, and the same goes for the rear. If you’re over six feet tall, you’ll be comfortable throughout the cabin.
As a pickup truck, the Amarok has a load bed rather than a traditional boot. It measures in at 1.62m by 1.58m, which can take two Euro pallets slotted in sideways. It has a maximum payload of 1.19 tonnes and can tow up to 3.5 tonnes. You also get lashing rings in the bed to help keep your cargo secure.
The inside of the Amarok is one of the best around. Even the entry-level Life trim comes with plenty of high-quality materials such as soft-touch plastics, a large central touchscreen, and excellent build quality. As you move up the trims, more premium materials appear, such as leather seats and more advanced tech.
On the entry-level trim you get a 10.1-inch infotainment system, which increases to a 12-inch screen on the Style trim and above. It shows sharp graphics and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
You also get an eight-inch digital driver display as standard. It’s clear to read from behind the wheel and has a few nice features, such as showing the commercial vehicle specific speed rather than the national speed limit for cars.
Four trim levels are available: Life, Style, PanAmericana, and Aventura.
Life kicks off the trims with 17-inch alloy wheels, a 10.1-inch infotainment system, air conditioning with manual control, a rear-view camera, power-adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, LED headlights, and trailer hitch preparation.
Style adds to this with 18-inch alloy wheels, a 12-inch infotainment system, an ArtVelours seat package, a front and rear-view camera system, a 10-way adjustable driver seat, LED rear combination lamps, and a heated windscreen.
PanAmericana has 18-inch black alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon sound system with eight speakers, leather seats, 10-way adjustable driver and passenger seats, differential lock, and additional front underbody guard.
Aventura completes the line-up with 21-inch alloy wheels, seats in Savona leather, a leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel, park assist plus including park distance control in front and rear, rear traffic alert, and chrome-plated exterior mirror housings and door mirrors.
A 2.0-litre diesel and a 3.-litre V6 diesel complete the engine options for the Amarok. The 2.0-litre is paired to a six-speed manual gearbox and comes with either 168hp or 202hp. The V6 is paired to a ten-speed automatic gearbox and returns 237hp.
If you plan on driving with a heavy load, it’s worth going for the more powerful V6. It achieves 0-62mph in nine seconds, however, as there’s ten gears, it can be a bit tedious going through the gears.
For the entry-level 2.0-litre, it has a top speed of 112mph and accelerates from 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds. Although on paper this is comfortable below the V6, in reality there isn’t much difference, making it our top pick.
On the road, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the Amarok. Its ride quality is pretty good, and is certainly better than the Toyota Hilux and SsangYong Musso. It’s also a big improvement from its predecessor as it’s much better off-road and on rough surfaces.
If you fancy a bit of fun, the Amarok handles well and resists body lean in a comfortable way, meaning its decent to drive around town. However, as you up the speed on a country road, the Amarok becomes out of place, but this is expected for a pickup truck.
Prices for the new Volkswagen Amarok start from £40,788.00 OTR* or to lease from £451.47 per month.
Leasing may be cheaper than an outright purchase thanks to a low initial deposit and fixed monthly rentals.
*'On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change, always check with your nearest retailer.