THE versatile pick-up is now considered to be really cool and Volkswagen’s huge South American built Amarok is an excellent example of the new breed of load carriers that also provide luxurious transport for up to five people writes Bryan Longworth.
The vehicles have also been publicised by wars in the Middle East seen on TV especially in Libya where every pick-up in the country seems to have a gun on the back along with a load of rebel soldiers!
VW’s Amarok is a big beast but handles like a normal road car with the advantage of four wheel drive and low ratio gears which can be extremely useful in winter and other times of the year as I found out when having to take heavy packs of drinks to a marquee in the middle of a wet and muddy Derbyshire field.
Cars without four wheel drive were slipping and slithering all over the place and getting stuck but the heavily laden Amarok retained traction and delivered the goods with no problems.
The Amarok which means Wolf, the VW trademark, in the language of North Canadian Indians, is the company’s first in-house pick-up and they have produced a massive vehicle that has huge on-road presence.
My test car was the Amarok Trendline 2.0-litre BiTDi 163 PS 4MOTION with a 2-0 litre diesel engine and six speed manual transmission with a top speed of 112mph, zero to 62mph time of 11.1 seconds a fuel consumption of just over 30mpg according to the trip computer and costing £24,943 on the road.
It attracted as much attention as an exotic sports car and it was just like a car to drive but with the advantage of a luxurious interior for five and a massive load area with a hard lockable tonneau cover and rear stainless steel styling bars that gave it more street appeal.
For most of my test period the vehicle was driven by the two rear wheels but when the going got sticky in the slippery field I pressed a button for 4x4 drive and another button brought in low ratio gears.
The ABS brakes are also extremely effective as I discovered when I had to brake extremely hard on the M1 to avoid an idiot driver’s vehicle in front and the Amarok came to a safe stop without the hint of a skid.
Amarok is also a good tow vehicle for such things as caravans and horseboxes with big pulling power that produces a maximum towing weight of up to 2,690 kg for this particular model.
Some double cab pick-ups are rather cramped but not so with the Amarok especially at the rear where there is bench-type seat that will take three adults with ease and up front it is just like being in a quality car.
Volkswagen’s first in house pick-up has been a long time coming but the wait has been worthwhile for the well equipped Amarok is certain to blaze a trail aross the world for customers looking for such a vehicle.
My Verdict: A cool and capable quality pick-up.
Model: Volkswagen Amarok Trendline 2.0-litre CiTDi 163 PS 4MOTION.
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel.
Output: 163bhp @ 4000rpm.
Transmission: Six speed manual with selectable 4x4 and low ratio gears.
Top speed: 112mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 11.1 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 35.8mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 209g/km.
Price: £24,943 on the road.