VW’s new Amarok Rocks.

The versatile, functional and handsome VW Amarok pick-up has been seen on our roads since 2011, 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, 6 years later, Volkswagen is hoping this face-lifted model will 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 Nissan’s Navara, Ford’s Ranger, Mitsubishi’s L200, SsangYong’s Korando Sport and Toyota’s Hilux. Fiat have just got in on the act with their new Fullback pick-up, while Mercedes-Benz are waiting in the wings with their X-Class pick-up.

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.

My test vehicle was a new VW Amarok 3.0-litre V6 Highline mated to a fabulously smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox (a first-in-class) 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 Highline specification includes 18” Manaus alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, front & rear parking sensors with reverse camera, rear privacy glass, auto lights & wipers, Bluetooth, multi-function media system, cruise control, 6 airbags, front underbody guard, tyre pressure monitoring system, 100% mechanical rear differential lock 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.

The new VW Amarok range is priced from €37,450 on the road, while my test car costs €52,240. Yet another winner from VW.