Volkswagen Amarok review

The Volkswagen Amarok V6 was launched in 2016 and replaced the Amarok 2.0TDi which was criticised for its performance during heavy-duty operations. The new 3.0TDi V6 engine means the Volkswagen Amarok is now the most powerful and torquey pickup on sale in the UK, and comes with an even greater selection of equipment and features.

Volkswagen Amarok specification

VW Amarok V6 2016

VW Amarok V6 2016

The dashboard has been completely redesigned and, as well as being more stylish, is also more ergonomic and functional. The Volkswagen Amarok is seen very much as a ‘luxury pickup’, so it’s no surprise then that even the entry-level Startline models are fitted with a lot of equipment.

While UK specifications have yet to be announced, we can get an idea of what to expect from the European models. The two most noticeable features are the new electrically adjustable ‘ergocomfort’ seat for the driver and front-seat passenger (which has been accredited by the German ‘Healthy Back Campaign) and the larger eight-inch touchscreen display, which can be integrated with App Connect, Guide & Inform (includes up to date traffic information), Park Pilot (provides a birds-eye view of the vehicle when parking) and a reversing camera.

Volkswagen Amarok engine, driveline and ride

VW Amarok V6 2016

VW Amarok V6 2016

Of course, the big news for the Volkswagen Amarok’s 2016 update is the new 3.0-litre TDi V6 engine. It’s surprisingly quiet and refined when idling but, as expected, has a deep roar during heavy acceleration.

It’s unbelievably quick and, on the highest power rating, reaches 62mph from standstill in just 7.9 seconds. There are three power ratings of 160hp, 201hp and 221hp, with the latter having a maximum torque output of 550Nm. As with the previous generation, there is a choice between a six-speed manual and an eight-speed DSG automatic transmission.

The Volkswagen Amarok is also comfortable to drive, with very little body roll in the corners, a quiet and refined cab and light but responsive steering. The new engine does have its down sides, however, returning just 37.2mpg on the combined cycles at a time when some pickups are offering mid-40’s.

Volkswagen Amarok towing and load area

VW Amarok V6 2016

VW Amarok V6 2016

The Volkswagen Amarok has one of the largest load beds in its class, measuring 1,555mm long by 1,620mm wide (1,220mm between the wheelarches). In terms of weights, the Amarok is capable of carrying up to around 1,090kg and there is a maximum towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.

Volkswagen Amarok off-road

VW Amarok V6 2016

VW Amarok V6 2016

While the Volkswagen Amarok has always been a smooth and capable performer on the road, the same cannot be said for its off-road handling. With a kerb weight of over 2.1 tonnes, it’s one of the heaviest vehicles in its class and it has a very poor ground clearance of just 192mm, 500mm wading depth and approach and departure angles of just 28 and 24-degrees.

VW Amarok V6 2016

VW Amarok V6 2016

Volkswagen’s 4Motion is available as a permanent or selectable system. The selectable has three settings (2Hi, 4Hi and 4Low) and both systems have an electronic diff-lock and are complemented by the electronic stability programme (ESP), hill hold assist (HHA) and hill descent control (HDC) to ease Amarok down steep descents.

Volkswagen Amarok price and availability

VW Amarok V6 2016

VW Amarok V6 2016

Prices have yet to be announced on the Volkswagen Amarok V6, but we’re expected a moderate increase on the current £20,360 plus VAT starting price, to around £22,000. The new vehicles are expected to arrive into Volkswagen Van Centres in around September 2016.

Also read: Nissan NP300 Navara versus Mitsubishi L200

Volkswagen Amarok review

About The Author
- Liam Campbell is an award-winning journalist with a Masters degree in Automotive Journalism from Coventry University. Growing up on a farm and learning to drive in a Mark 1 Range Rover (his left thigh is still twice as big as his right), Liam likes to think he knows a thing or two about commercial 4x4s. Previously, he was the Van Editor at Parkers and resident pickup expert at Car Magazine, before taking up the post of Editor at Professional Pickup & 4x4. Follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/maxximum_load

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