With the price of diesel soaring 16p per litre over the past 12 months (November 2018), the mileage returns on each tank of fuel is increasingly important. The VW Amarok fuel economy has dropped, inevitably, since upsizing to the 3.0TDi V6 engine according to official figures to between 32.5 and 34.9mpg – but how does it perform in the real world?
Fuel economy never has been a major strength of the VW Amarok. The previous generation 2.0TDi (with 178hp and 420Nm) would return 35.3mpg on the combined cycle, which was around 10-15% less than the sector average. Since changing to the 3.0TDi V6, fuel consumption has fallen even further but the power-thirsty pickup market doesn’t seem to mind, with the past two years being the best of record for the Amarok.
VW Amarok fuel economy – official
Combined fuel economy figures vary between 32.5 and 34.9mpg. The entry-level 161hp/450Nm and the mid-spec 201hp/500Nm outputs (when hooked to the 6-speed manual transmission) are, surprisingly, the thirstiest of the three; achieving 32.5mpg on the combined cycle (36.7mpg on the highway and 27.2 in the city).
When mated with the 8-speed automatic transmission from ZF, the 201hp/500Nm is more efficient according to the figures, increasing to 34.9mpg (37.2mpg on the highway and 31.4mpg in the city).
The recently-launched 255hp/580Nm output, which is now the most powerful engine in the pickup segment, is slightly less fuel efficient, despite being linked to the same 8-speed auto. On the combined cycle, the engine achieved 33.6mpg (35.8mpg on the highway and 30.7mpg in the city).
VW Amarok fuel economy – real world
Our test model is the most efficient in the range (201bhp/500Nm). According to the brochure, our vehicle should be returning 34.9mpg but, over the first 3,300 miles, we have fallen far short of this. This is mainly motorway mileage with an empty load bed.
Our accounts show a fuel economy of 26.8mpg and the onboard computer records 27.3mpg. However, engines usually take around 1,000 miles to ‘settle in’ (reduce the friction between the piston and cylinder bore) and fuel consumption is usually noticeably higher during this period.
How they compare
The VW Amarok has the worst average fuel consumption of all the pickup trucks, but it is the only one not to offer a sub-2.5 litre engine option. Having said that, it is more efficient than its two closest matched engines; the Ford Ranger 5-cylinder 3.2TDCi (32.1mpg combined) and the Mercedes-Benz X350D 3.0 V6 (31.4mpg combined).