reviewer states it “combines workhorse dependability with SUV-rivalling quality and equipment.”
You can get your muscular Amarok in several different guises: the petrol model TSI300 and three diesel variants—the TDI340, TDI400 and TDI420. The TDI420 Highline has 4-wheel drive and an automatic 8-speed transmission. The other models come with a 6-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is selectable with the TDI400. The Amarok is available with a comfort drive chassis or the regular working model suspension.
Exterior and Style
The Amarok looks like a 4×4 should—gutsy, tough and capable with stainless steel bling on the rear fender and a massive grille.
Interior and Comfort
You’ll swear you’re riding in an SUV once you’re inside the spacious cabin that offers plenty of head and legroom. A 2013 VW Amarok review gave the beefy truck kudos for “Superb VW quality” on the “high-quality feel inside.”
The load bed is more than accommodating. However, one reviewer commented that the “lack of a lockable bed cover is an omission.”
Under the Bonnet
Volkswagen named the Amarok models for their torque capability. The entry-level TSI300 gets 118 kW/300 Nm and combined fuel economy of 9.6 L/100km with its 2.0-litre 4-cylinder single turbocharged engine. The diesel versions top that fuel economy number with a very decent combined rate of
7.4 L/100km for the TDI340 and 7.7 L for the TDI400 and TDI420.
The single turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0-litre TDI340 produces 103 kW/340 Nm; the TDI400 features the upgraded twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that puts out 132 kW/400 Nm; a roaring 2.0-litre twin-turbo engine that kicks out 132 kW/420 Nm distinguishes the Highline TDI420.
On the Road
One indication of the Amarok’s suitability for Australia’s mulga is VW’s insistence that it be test driven in desert-like Namibia. The driver there
breathlessly relates that “we’ve successfully negotiated a hectic scramble up a rutted ramp, tiptoed along a vertigo-inducing slope and are now lining up for a last scramble over a gully.” You can see why this tough guy ute won Australia’s award for best 4×4 for 2013.
Gear switching is “slick and refined at both ends of the scale,” remarks an Amarok reviewer. “Ride comfort is exceptional for a big ute,” he continues, but braking needs a fair push on the pedal.” another shortcoming of this otherwise eager to please pickup is that an empty hold will have it bouncing like a Mexican jumping bean over rough surfaces. Also, the diesel engine be noisy when idling and a little slow on acceleration on flat roads. Parking is also difficult unless you opt for parking control, standard with the TDI400 and TDI420.
The Amarok is equipped with a number of safety features like a full set of driver and passenger airbags, ABS brakes with Brake Assist, electronic stability and traction control, Hill Hold, Hill Descent, and heated mirrors.
Value for the Money
The VW Amarok may be a little higher priced than the competition for the Highline diesels, but as one 2013 VW Amarok review points out, the 8-speed transmission is a great performer and even the leisure-tuned manual transmissions prove “it’s better than all of its rivals.”
VW Amarok Manufacturer Price Australia:
TSI300 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $24,490
TSI300 2H Ute Manual: $25,990
TDI340 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $27,490
TDI340 2H Ute Manual: $28,990
TDI340 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $30,490
TSI300 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $31,090
TDI340 2H Ute Manual: $31,990
TSI300 2H Ute Manual: $32,590
TDI400 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $32,490
TDI400 2H Ute Manual: $33,990
TDI400 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $35,490
TDI400 2H Ute Manual: $36,990
TDI400 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $41,490
TDI400 2H Ute Manual: $42,990
TDI400 2H Cab Chassis Manual: $44,490
TDI400 2H Cab Chassis Automatic: $44,490
TDI400 2H Ute Manual: $45,990
TDI420 2H Ute Automatic: $45,990
TDI420 Trendline 2H Ute Automatic:$47,490
TDI420 Trendline 2H Ute Automatic:$48,990 TDI400 Highline 2H Ute Manual: $50,990
TDI420 Highline 2H Ute Manual: $53,990
TDI400 Ultimate 2H Ute Manual: $58,490
TDI420 Ultimate 2H Ute Automatic: $61,490
The Toyota Hilux has been outpacing the VW in Australian sales, but as word spreads, Amarok sales have risen 311 percent. The VW’s 8-speed automatic
ransmission gives a smoother ride than the Toyota’s 5-speed, but the Hilux gets better fuel economy. The entry-level Toyota is $5.5K cheaper than the VW Amarok.
The entry-level Nissan Navara is only $600 less than the VW Amarok, and its premium model is $1900 more than VW’s loaded Ultimate TDI420. The Navara has a more powerful 6-cylinder 3.0 twin-turbo diesel engine, but gets a much costlier combined fuel economy rating of 9.3 L/100km compared to the VW’s 7.7 litres.
The economically priced Mitsubishi Triton clobbers the VW Amarok pricewise. The Triton’s cost of entry is $3500 less and its flagship ute is $13K cheaper than the Ultimate Amarok. That difference in price for the high-end Triton translates into an engine with 100 Nm less torque and less pull if you plan on hauling heavy cargo or pulling a trailer. Again, the VW trumps the Mitsubishi’s 9.6 L combined fuel economy.
Competitors’ manufacturer prices:
Toyota Hilux: $18,990 – $53,490
Nissan Navara: $23,890-$63,390
Mitsubishi Triton: $20,990 – $48,240
Ford Ranger: $19,740-$59,390
Holden Colorado: $26,990-$51,990
The smoother riding and handling of the VW Amarok, along with its fuel economy, make coughing up the additional bucks pay off. If you plan to put your ute through double duty by playing urban gentleman by day and rowdy road warrior on weekends, the Amarok’s versatility and comfort-built interior will pay dividends.
About Tim Marsh:
For any more information on the VW Amarok, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 020 311. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of VW dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours.Leave any comments below for the Author Tim Marsh if you have any!