Introducing the VW Amarok Dark Label, the pickup that wraps all the practicality, comfort and prestige of the standard Amaroks up in vivacious packaging. Limited to just 200 UK customers, the VW Amarok Dark Label is based on the Highline trim-level but features more extensive styling cues.
Dark by name, dark by nature
With its Carbon Grey metallic finish and 18-inch Rawson alloy wheels, the Volkswagen Amarok Dark Label certainly stands out from the crowds. It’s most prominent detailing, including side bars, mirror housings, door handles and rear bumper are all finished in matt black, as is the sports styling bar at the back.
Underbody styling and unique Dark Label decals complete the exterior design package and guarantee that the Dark Label model has exceptional road presence. There are two further optional colours; Deep Black pearl or matt Indium Grey.
The dark theme continues inside…
Although in-keeping with the dark theme, there aren’t many alternations inside. The seat trim covers are finished in Alcantara (an option on the Highline) and unique Dark Label floor mats have been added. Apart from that’s it’s business as usual with manually lumbar-adjustable front seats the Discover Media with a 6.33-inch touchscreen display, with a DAB radio, satellite navigation, reversing cameras, Voice Enhancer and Guide & Inform to make life on board even easier for occupants.
Other technology fitted as standard to the Amarok Dark Label includes rain-sensing windscreen wipers, automatic headlight control with coming home and leaving function, and power adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors. A big disappointment was that the seats are manually adjustable and there’s no keyless entry and start, like many new top-level pickup trucks.
Under the bonnet is the mid-powered 201bhp/500Nm version of the astonishing 3.0-litre V6 engine, which sits in-between the 161bhp and 221bhp outputs. Plenty of low-end torque means it’s incredibly quick and can achieve the 0-62mph sprint in just 9 seconds; almost 2 seconds quicker than the similarly powered 3.2-litre Ford Ranger.
However, its not just the performance that impresses; its remarkably refined and quiet with only faint growls during heavy acceleration. Drive is delivered to the road via the smooth and responsive eight-speed automatic gearbox and a permanent 4MOTION four-wheel drive.
The Amarok demonstrates excellent driving manners; its broad stance and low centre of gravity means there’s very little body roll going into the corners. The lengthened leaf springs of the Amarok cope well with the bumps and divots of everyday roads, while the electromagnetic steering is light and easy at low speeds, while heavy at motorway speeds.
Practical load space
The load bed measures 1,555mm long by 1,620mm wide, making it the largest and widest of any double cab; and the only pickup truck capable of carrying an IBC (intermediate bulk container) or Euro Pallet lengthways through the wheelarches. In terms of weights, the larger gross vehicle weight (GVW) means the Amarok is capable of carrying 1,112kg – far more than the segment average – although the 3.1 tonne towing capacity is beaten by most of its competitors.
Price and availability
Priced at a reasonable (or reasonable so far as the Amarok is concerned) £33,650 plus VAT, the VW Amarok Dark Label represents relatively good value-for-money. Order books are open now at Volkswagen’s 72-strong Van Centre network (the Amarok cannot be ordered from passenger car dealers), with the first customer deliveries expected in May. Service intervals are recommended every 25,000 miles or two years, and there’s a 3-year, 100,000 mile warranty.