VW’s Amarok is ready for a new ‘Aventura’

The versatile, functional and handsome VW Amarok double-cab pick-up has been a common sight on our roads since 2010, having originally been designed for the South American market. However, senior product management in Volkswagen’s headquarters in Germany saw merit in having a pick-up in its European line-up and subsequently launched the Amarok in European specification. Now, 7 years later, Volkswagen’s face-lifted model is sure to copper-fasten its position in a congested segment.

The VW Amarok gets a mild facelift and a brand new diesel engine, making it one of the best vehicles in its class. The Amarok’s current competitors include the Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux, Fiat Fullback and Mercedes-Benz X-Class.

The new VW Amarok looks pretty much the same as the original in many respects, with its underpinnings remaining unaltered. Exterior changes have been limited to a redesigned front bumper, front grille and alloy wheels, while inside there is a new dashboard and an improved infotainment system. The highlight, however, is the new 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, which makes light work of any job that the Amarok is faced with. This wonderful engine is standard across the entire Amarok range, with all models attracting annual road tax of just €333 (standard commercial vehicle tax rate).

Four specification levels are available in the new VW Amarok – Trendline (163bhp), Comfortline (163 or 204bhp), Highline (204 or 224bhp) and Aventura (224bhp). Transmission choices comprise of a 6-speed manual gearbox or a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic – representing a ‘first-in-class’ in the segment.

My test vehicle was a new VW Amarok 3.0-litre V6 ‘Aventura’ (flagship model) mated to a fabulously smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox for a truly car-like driving experience. A stop/start system is standard across the Amarok range, as is BlueMotion engine technology and 4Motion all-wheel-drive.

VW claim that in the new Amarok you will experience the pinnacle of exclusive driving comfort on almost any terrain and in any situation and I have to say that I totally agree with this. Driving the new Amarok is a pleasure – thanks in no small part to the 224bhp under the bonnet of my test vehicle and the reassurance of VW’s outstanding 4Motion system. I found the 3.0-litre V6 engine to be muscular, yet quiet, making it an excellent proposition. Fuel consumption is another area worthy of praise, as this new engine is capable of fuel consumption as low as 7.7l/100km on a combined driving cycle.

Standard specification across the entire Amarok range is impressive, while my test vehicle included such standard features as 20” Talca alloy wheels, sports bar in body colour, chrome side bars with steps (illuminated), ‘Discover Media’ satellite navigation with DAB radio, voice control and Car Net – App Connect, leather multi-function steering wheel with shifting paddles, heated seats & washer nozzles, special design leather seat trim covers, ‘Ergo-Comfort’ seats with 14-way adjustment, load compartment coating (which is resistant to abrasion and stone impact) and numerous other safety, security and comfort features.

The VW Amarok has very generous dimensions, with a length of 5.32m, width of 2.2m (including door mirrors) and a height of 1.834m. A payload of 928kg and a towing capacity of 3,500kg are more than acceptable in this class too.

No other pick-up provides so much space between the wheel housings. The loading width of 1.222m even enables Euro pallets to be loaded crosswise. The spacious, 2.52m² cargo box features some impressive dimensions – such as the 508 mm high side panels and the low loading sill height of 780 mm.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Amarok has won the ‘International Pick-up Award 2018’ (IPUA 2018). Like its predecessor in 2010, the new Amarok, now with high-torque V6 engines, has also succeeded in winning over the jury of transport journalists.

 The jury rated the Amarok as the epitome of ‘work hard, play hard’, a core element of the entire pick-up segment and described the Amarok as a “top pedigree workhorse”. The clean & stylish design, along with quality workmanship were specifically cited by the jury as being key factors in their decision. The size of the double cab with room for five people, the benchmark in the segment, also impressed with its modern design. The Ergo Comfort seats for driver and front-seat passenger also won over the jury, who in addition highlighted the unique eight-speed automatic transmission and broad V6 engine specification in the segment.

The International Pick-up Award IPUA is awarded only every two or three years by a selection of the IVOTY (International Van of the Year) jury members, a group of renowned trade journalists from 25 countries. Sixteen of them evaluate the nominated vehicles independently of each other according to previously defined criteria. The Volkswagen Amarok won the IPUA in 2010 and so becomes the only pick-up to win this accolade for a second time.

The, award-winning new VW Amarok range is priced from €37,990 on the road (including VAT), while my test car costs €60,485 (inc VAT). For buyers in the market for a worthy, stylish, capable and reliable 5-seat pick-up now is the time to make that ‘adventure’ with the new VW Amarok.