Whilst writing this review, I have found myself reminiscing about my time with the Volkswagen Amarok; it had a positive effect on me, and I think that Volkswagen may have achieved what they set out to do
Driver and front passenger airbags are standard across the Volkswagen Amarok range, as is a telescopic steering column designed to absorb crash energy reducing risk to the driver. It is nice to be able to say that side and rear curtain airbags are also standard. The two outer rear seats also have ISOFIX fitting points.
A Thatcham category 1 alarm and immobiliser system is standard fit, alongside remote central locking and deadlocks and steering wheel lock. For the rear load space, an optional secure toolbox can be fitted as can body-coloured tonneau covers or a hardtop.
Comfort and Refinement
Inside the Volkswagen Amarok, you notice the thick, chunky plastics that make up the dashboard and centre console which reinforce the fact that this vehicle means business. It works well, with the overall feeling being simple, but that's no bad thing; the Amarok isn't about fancy knick-knacks, it's about doing its job, and doing it well.
The upholstery feels and looks nice, whilst at the same time giving the impression that it would last, with an almost rubberised texture. This features across the range, with the exception of the Highline models, which feature leather upholstery.
Specifications for the interior do vary across the range. The Startline has rubber flooring, electric windows and Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning; next, the Trendline interior sees floor carpet, 'Climatronic' air conditioning, a leather-covered steering wheel and trip computer and multifunction display; finally, Highline models, along with the leather upholstery, feature heated front seats and chrome highlights around the gear lever and air vents.
The driver is provided with a height and reach adjustable steering wheel and the seat has adjustment for height, reach and rake. The gearshift is close at hand and supports the comfortable driving position. There is enough space in the rear for three adults with plenty of headroom, leg space is accommodating, although it may be a bit tight for taller passengers. There are several storage areas within the Volkswagen Amarok, including bins in all the doors, with the front able to hold a 1.5 litre bottle and the rear able to hold a 1.0-litre bottle. The centre console houses two cup holders, with rear cup holders on the higher trim levels. The large central armrest also provides extra storage. A 'multi-connect point' on the dashboard allows for adding a hands-free phone kit, a pen holder or additional cup holder, as well as other accessories.
More of an observation than a complaint is engine noise, which can be a little intrusive, especially when under load, however it is better dealt with than some rivals. Road and wind noise pose no issue.
The radio/CD unit with six speakers throughout the cabin is relatively basic, but again, what it does, it does well. For those who want a little more entertainment from their system, optional AUX-in/iPod inputs can be added, as can Satellite Navigation and Bluetooth connectivity systems.
- Ford Ranger
- Mitsubishi L200
- Nissan Navara
- Toyota Hilux
What We Liked
- Easy to drive
- Extremely clear Instrumentation, excellent display
- Descent Assist
- Exterior design
- Volkswagen build quality
What We Disliked
- Slightly intrusive engine noise
- Heavy tailgate
What We'd Like To See
- A lighter tailgate
Whilst writing this review, I have found myself reminiscing about my time with the Volkswagen Amarok; it had a positive effect on me, and I think that Volkswagen may have achieved what they set out to do: produce the most refined, advanced and efficient pickup in its class, whilst providing the quality and convenience of a passenger car.
Whether you need a pickup as a commercial vehicle or as a passenger vehicle - or the versatility of both, the Volkswagen Amarok will deliver. The advantage of being able to attack any type of terrain has benefits for all sorts of activities outside of the stereotypical, so if you are thinking that a pickup might be overkill for your requirements, the Amarok should be a strong enough contender to make you reconsider.13 June 2011
Volkswagen Amarok Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Amarok Trendline 2.0-litre BiTDI 4MOTION Selectable|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.1 Seconds|
|Top Speed||112 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||40.4 mpg|
|Insurance Group||8 E|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBC|
|Warranty||3 years / 100,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 13/06/11)||£23,743|