Amarok Trendline Double-Cab 2.0 BiTDI 163PS 4MOTION
all-new Amarok pick-
up has arrived, but only 900 units
are available to UK customers this
year and most have already been
VOLKSWAGEN ALREADY DOES RATHER WELL with 4x4 SUVs (the large Touareg and
not-so-large Tiguan), but the new Amarok double-cab pick-up crosses effortlessly
between the German brand's commercial and passenger car line-ups. For
the record, the new Amarok will only be sold through Volkswagen's UK
Van Centre dealer network.
Amarok is priced from £16,995 to £21,575 but being technically a commercial
vehicle these prices exclude VAT and on-the-road-costs. Retail prices
where the bulk of the Amaroks are heading are £21,343 to £26,829
(that's including VAT and on-the-road charges).
There's more to the Amarok
[In Inuit mythology, Amarok is the name of a gigantic wolf
meets the eye in addition
to its bold and muscular looks and wide stance, the Amarok measures up in a
number of other ways.
instance: it was voted the inaugural International Pick-Up of the year by the
Van of the Year jury; it's the only pick-up with a choice of permanent or selectable
4MOTION all-wheel drive; it has the largest load space in its class (2.5 square
metres); can accommodate a Euro pallet sideways!); is the first pick-up to offer
CO2 emissions below 200g/km; the first pick-up range to offer smaller 2.0-litre,
common rail TDI turbodiesel engines with outputs of 120bhp and 160bhp but without
any loss of performance; and its braked towing limit is a hefty 2,690Kg.
Off-road, the drivetrain
to be excellent and very
easy to use. Such is
of these technologies
that the Amarok
is the only 4x4 Ive ever
driven where it is
possible to drive down
a very steep hill off-road
in neutral gear
as the off-road ABS
brakes take over and
allow the vehicle to just
trickle down the hill...
Other than that, the Amarok is a four-door, five-seater double-cab and there
are three trim levels: Startline, which is more workhorse than leisure; the
likely best-selling Trendline (ideal for lifestyle and leisure use); and the
executive Highline version.
Under the Amarok's skin there's a purpose-built ladder-frame chassis for strength
and durability making it easily repairable anywhere in the world.
Furthermore, this is not a chassis adapted from some other SUV model
it has to be strong and tough so it is purpose-built and, for added durability,
tough leafsprings supported by shock absorbers are used.
The running gear has ESP (electronic stability control) incorporating anti-lock
braking and off-road ABS, traction control, electronic differential lock, hill
hold assist, hill descent control, trailer stability control and 4MOTION all-wheel
drive. The drive mode (for two- and four-wheel drive and low ratio gears) is
selected by a single push button. A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted and an
automatic transmission option will shortly be available.
The 2.0-litre TDI engine is available with two power outputs. The 120bhp TDI
turbodiesel unit has 250lb ft of torque from 1,750 to 2,250rpm, a 0-62mph time
of 13.7 seconds, and a 100mph top speed along with emissions of 199g/km. The
most popular engine, however, will be the 160bhp Bi-Turbo TDI with 295lb ft
of torque from 1,500 to 2,000rpm. This gets from zero to 62mph in 11.1 seconds
and has a maximum speed of 112mph. Tailpipe emissions are 209 g/km. The commercial
rate road tax for both versions is £210 per year.
the Amarok's cab you'll enjoy car-like refinement and design. Specification
is good with power windows and air conditioning included. The interior has similar
styling and indeed quality 'feel' straight from
VW's premium Touareg SUV.
the most popular Trendline guise, standard kit includes air conditioning, power
windows and mirrors, cruise control, fog lights, multifunction computer, three-seat
rear bench seat, central locking, alarm, a full array of airbags, carpeting
in the cabin, leather steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake, daytime running
lights, stereo sound system, front centre armrest, 17-inch alloy road wheels,
full-size spare wheel, an integrated step in the rear bumper and four load lashing
a brief outing, both driving on- and off-road, the Amarok proved to be as impressive
to drive as it is to look at. The most popular 160bhp unit, despite being only
2.0-litres in capacity, is unique in this sector and felt strong.
As to fuel consumption,
the 160bhp unit officially
in the Combined Cycle
on test my driving
saw 35.2mpg; and that
Equally impressive was
the great build quality
inside and out, the strong
and fuel-frugal engine
and the clever off-road
It wasn't as quick through the gears as larger 2.5 or the more common 3.0-litre
units in this sector, but in these fuel-frugal and CO2-taxing days its performance
is more than adequate.
The six-speed 'box has commercial vehicle roots so the gearchange was on the
heavy side; notchy and not as precise as I had expected. The ride was on the
lively side due to the rugged rear leafsprings and my test vehicle was unladen
but it wasn't uncomfortable; and the ride will be better once
the vehicle is loaded or when towing.
Off-road the drivetrain technologies proved to be excellent and very easy to
use. Such is the sophistication of these technologies that the Amarok is the
only 4x4 I've ever driven where it is possible to drive down a very steep hill
off-road in neutral gear as the off-road ABS brakes take over and allow the
vehicle to just trickle down the hill.
Once the off-road and low-ratio transmission modes have been engaged, the electronic
'brain' takes over and applies the brakes when appropriate. Not a recommended
way of driving, but this extreme situation was used to demonstrate just how
capable and safe an off-roader the Amarok actually is.
As to fuel consumption, the 160bhp unit officially returns 35.8mpg in the Combined
Cycle on test my driving saw 35.2mpg; and that was impressive.
Equally impressive is the great build quality inside and out, the strong and
fuel-frugal engine and the very clever off-road driving technology. Another
plus is the nicely butch styling the Amarok performs as well as
it looks. My only gripe was the heavy and notchy long-throw gearchange.
VW's double-cab newcomer is sure to satisfy a wide range of customer requirements
for domestic, social or work use, so don't be surprised that demand is already
outstripping supply just get your order in quickly!
VW Amarok Trendline Double-Cab 2.0 BiTDI 163PS 4MOTION |
Maximum speed: 123mph | 0-62mph: 11.1 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 160bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2 209g/km