In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Amarok pickup

"The Volkswagen Amarok pickup is an upmarket entry into the class, with an SUV-like interior and five seats, as well as a large load bed"

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Price
£34,320 - £49,194

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Spacious interior
  • Big load area

Cons

  • Difficult to park
  • Uncomfortable suspension
  • Car's size can be intimidating

The Volkswagen Amarok brought a touch of SUV sophistication to the rough-and-ready pickup market populated by the likes of the Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara. Like the VW, these are quite family-friendly, but the Amarok went further with its classy styling and well equipped, five-seat interior to the extent that it really does feel like a work and recreational vehicle in one. That’s a mantle that has now been taken up by the Mercedes X-Class, the Amarok’s most upmarket rival.

To underline its prestige, the old range of underpowered 2.0-litre engines has been replaced by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel producing 201 or 255bhp, both of which are only available with an eight-speed gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive. A six-speed manual gearbox is no longer offered; it was previously available on the lower-powered engine.

The most powerful version has an overboost function that briefly raises power to 268bhp, which is handy for quick bursts of acceleration and just tops the 255bhp of the Mercedes X-Class X350d. Whichever engine you go for, you’ll need to be prepared for running costs that are slightly higher than the Amarok’s competitors - both officially manage just 28.2mpg. All are certainly strong enough, with the ability to haul 3,100kg – its maximum braked trailer limit – or carry a one-tonne payload.

That monster payload means that, when unladen, the Amarok can bounce around rough roads and tracks. While it looks car-like, its steering lacks sharpness and the VW leans heavily in corners. Otherwise, it’s easy enough to drive for a big vehicle and it comes to a stop quickly and confidently thanks to powerful brakes.

Best pickup trucks on sale now

With the new engines have come new exterior looks and updated alloy wheels. Inside, VW has splashed out on a brand-new dashboard featuring a modern large touchscreen infotainment system.There are two trim levels: Trendline and Highline, plus two limited-run Black Edition models. Generally similar in price to the equivalent Ford Ranger, the Amarok is nicer to live with if not cheaper to run.

The previous version was awarded four out of five stars for safety by Euro NCAP. This latest is unlikely to improve on that, but it does get electronic stability control and a system that applies the brakes after a collision to avoid further impacts. There’s a reversing camera, too, in addition to a system called ParkPilot that can take care of the steering when squeezing into a tight spot - and there will be a few with a car as big as the Amarok.

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2020
Deals
23 Oct 2020

Best new car deals 2020

2020 scrappage schemes: the complete guide
Tips and advice
12 Oct 2020

2020 scrappage schemes: the complete guide

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars
Best cars
13 Oct 2020

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars

More on Amarok

Best tow cars
Skoda Kodiaq SUV driving
Best cars
21 Oct 2020

Best tow cars

Choosing the best tow car can be tricky, so read our rundown of 10 great models. We’ve selected a range of cars with excellent towing credentials to s…
New Tesla Cybertruck pickup breaks cover: full details and specifications
Tesla Cybertruck - front 3/4 view static
Tesla Model X
25 Nov 2019

New Tesla Cybertruck pickup breaks cover: full details and specifications

Electric Tesla Cybertruck pickup boasts striking appearance and a range of over 500 miles
Volkswagen Amarok Black Edition launched
Volkswagen Amarok
4 Oct 2019

Volkswagen Amarok Black Edition launched

VW Amarok Black Edition trim features extra style and tech over the Highline model
Volkswagen Amarok Aventura special edition on sale now
Volkswagen Amarok
2 Nov 2018

Volkswagen Amarok Aventura special edition on sale now

Flagship VW Amarok Aventura features 255bhp V6 diesel engine and lavish equipment
Nissan Navara N-Guard special edition announced
Nissan Navara
29 Aug 2018

Nissan Navara N-Guard special edition announced

With black trim, the stylish Navara N-Guard takes the fight to the Ford Ranger pickup
New Nissan Navara OFF-ROADER AT32 launched
Nissan Navara
24 Apr 2018

New Nissan Navara OFF-ROADER AT32 launched

Iceland firm Arctic Trucks brings off-road expertise to Nissan's burly pickup
Watchdog: Dealer can’t explain how VW Amarok ‘drove itself’
Volkswagen Amarok SUV
13 Sep 2017

Watchdog: Dealer can’t explain how VW Amarok ‘drove itself’

Pick-up ‘took control’ of throttle before engine failure; garage couldn’t say what happened
2017 Volkswagen Amarok on sale in UK
Volkswagen Amarok
30 Nov 2016

2017 Volkswagen Amarok on sale in UK

Facelifted VW Amarok pickup truck has gone on sale in the UK; first deliveries January 2017
Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate: the most luxurious yet
Volkswagen Amarok SUV
5 Jan 2015

Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate: the most luxurious yet

At £30,000, the VW Amarok Ultimate boast more equipment than ever before
Volkswagen Amarok Dark Label revealed
Volkswagen Amarok SUV
8 Sep 2014

Volkswagen Amarok Dark Label revealed

Limited edition VW Amarok pick-up truck adds black details and a high-spec interior
Special edition Isuzu D-Max Blade launched
Mitsubishi L200 pickup
12 Mar 2014

Special edition Isuzu D-Max Blade launched

Isuzu D-Max Blade pick-up gets £1,000 saving and comes loaded with equipment
Volkswagen Amarok Canyon to go on sale in April
Volkswagen Amarok SUV
27 Jan 2014

Volkswagen Amarok Canyon to go on sale in April

Special edition VW Amarok pick-up truck gets £8,500 worth of extra equipment