The new Volkswagen Amarok pick-up truck is on sale now with prices starting at £32,493.
It’s a model that’s hotly anticipated by many. There was a time when pick-ups were rough and ready workhorses but the past decade has seen them come into fashion as lifestyle vehicles. They’re now just as likely to be owned by a video games programmer living at Dundee’s City Quay as they are by a farmer living in Auchtertool.
These lifestyle customers expect comfort, smooth suspension and luxuries like climate control and digital radios.
Most pick-ups have upped their game but the Amarok is by far the most refined and car-like to drive.
The new model looks to have pushed the envelope still further. The 2.0 litre diesel engine from the old Amarok is gone, replaced by a 3.0 litre V6 – making it the only six-cylinder pick-up in the UK.
It also comes with Volkswagen’s excellent eight-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
The 201bhp engine means the Amarok manages 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 114mph, and despite switching to six-cylinder from four, the engines now found under the bonnet are all Euro 6 compliant.
A key benefit of this engine is also an improved overall towing capacity. Fitted with four-wheel drive, top spec models will be capable of pulling 3.5-tonnes, up from 3.2-tonnes of the existing version, matching the Nissan Navara and beating the Mitsubishi L200.
Volkswagen claims the updated Amarok manages 36.2mpg on a combined run, with CO2 emissions of 203g/km for the 201bhp model.
More than £32,000 is a mite steep but cheaper models will be available further down the line with Volkswagen set to introduce a 161bhp version with a manual gearbox in 2017.
From the outside the new Amarok distinguishes itself from the previous model through new front bumper and radiator grille design including front fog lights, new alloy wheels and a third brake light with LED technology.
Inside the cab the changes are more prominent with an all-new dash panel design which incorporates Volkswagen’s MIB infotainment system with touchscreen, radio and new technology including the option of navigation, Guide & Inform, Car-Net and App-Connect systems. Bluetooth and DAB digital radio are also now standard features.
A comprehensive list of safety equipment comes as standard on every new Amarok, including four airbags, Electronic Stabilisation Programme and Volkswagen’s award-winning Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Other highlights include Park Pilot and a rear-view camera to enhance comfort, convenience and safety.
New “ergoComfort” seats can be adapted for all sizes of driver and have already won an award from the Healthy Back Campaign.