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Volkswagen Amarok Review

Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen Amarok

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  • Launched in 2011
  • Pick-up
  • Diesel
  • Launch year
    2011
  • Body type
    Pick-up
  • Fuel type
    Diesel

Interested in buying a Volkswagen Amarok?

View Volkswagen Amarok cars for sale
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Upmarket, but rugged pick-up

Best bits

  • Powerful 3.0-litre V6 engine
  • Excellent off-road
  • Comfortable car-like cabin

Not so great

  • Nissan Navara and Mercedes-Benz X-Class are more refined
  • Older 2.0 TDI versions can feel strained under heavy loads 
  • High fuel costs 

Read by

Volkswagen Amarok Front Side View

Overall verdict

Volkswagen Amarok Driver's Seat

On the inside

Volkswagen Amarok Overhead View

Driving

Volkswagen Amarok Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Amarok Truck Space

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Volkswagen Amarok

"Volkswagen may not be the first name that springs to mind when you think about pick-ups but with such a strong line-up of commercial vehicles including the Transporter and Caddy, it's no surprise the German brand branched out with its first pick up - the Amarok."

Volkswagen Amarok Front Side View

Launched in 2011, the Amarok was unusual for a pick-up in that it was originally powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine - Volkswagen's familiar common rail TDI that's used in a huge variety of van models.


Volkswagen added a powerful 3.0-litre V6 in 2018 and this gave it the powerful injection it needed to push itself to the top table in the pick-up market. This V6 gives the Amarok the much needed grunt it needs to tackle tough off-road conditions. It’ll also tow up to 3.1 tonnes, while its large and practical loadbay will carry over a tonne. 


The automatic gearbox isn't a Volkswagen DSG unit as you might expect - this couldn't cope with the demands of off-road terrain that the Amarok needs to be capable of dealing with - instead it's fitted with an eight-speed ZF automatic - just like the one that's used in the Jaguar XF and Range Rover, among others. It may seem excessive having eight speeds, but it's been designed to be efficient and responsive. 


It works well too. It's smooth and the shifts are pretty seamless in everyday driving, making the Amarok relaxed and easy to drive. The first gear is set for off-road use and towing while eight is an overdrive gear for the motorway. And as there are so many ratios the engine rarely has to work hard, instead it can maximise the torque which peaks from 1250rpm. As a result it's a very quiet pick-up but it's not as good when you push it. It tends to kick down too readily which results in lots of noise and little in the way of performance, only to shift back up again.


The Amarok is impressive inside, too, with an interior that's similar to Volkswagen's car range. It's well finished and upmarket for a pick-up, yet it still feels robust and hard wearing . The double cab body has good space in the back with more than enough leg room for three strapping adults in the back.


The one big advantage the Amarok has over its rivals is that you can fit a Euro pallet sideways in the load bay which is more than 1.5 metres long and has a capacity of 2.5 square metres. The wide tailgate means easy access for a forklift and the load area is plastic lined as standard too. There are plenty of options available like tonneau covers and a lockable toolbox.


The Amarok is capable off-road with lockable central mechanical differential that automatically acts on all wheels to increase traction by directing power to the wheels with the best grip. There's also an off-road button that includes an automatic hill descent that holds a set speed down even the steepest hills, without the need to put your feet on any pedals.


Ready to get your top quality Volkswagen Amarok?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Volkswagen Amarok

D/Cab Pick Up Highline 2.0 Bitdi 180 4Motion Sel

  • 2016
  • 47,578 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Sinclair Volkswagen Van Centre Cardiff
  • Glamorgan, CF104BB
Price:£20,990
HP: £548.08/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £548.08, Customer Deposit: £3,148.00, Total Deposit: £3,148.50, Total Charge For Credit: £1,899.38, Total Amount Payable: £22,889.38, Representative APR: 6.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 6.86%

Volkswagen Amarok

D/Cab Pick Up Highline 3.0 V6 TDI 258 BMT 4M Auto

  • 2020
  • 5,000 miles
  • Northampton Van Centre
  • Northamptonshire, NN55BB
Price (ex VAT):£43,572
PCP: £669.48/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £669.48, Customer Deposit: £6,535.00, Total Deposit: £6,535.80, Optional Final Payment: £19,315.00, Total Charge For Credit: £5,710.60, Total Amount Payable: £49,282.60, Representative APR: 6.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 6.9%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4.59ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Volkswagen Amarok right for you?

The Volkswagen Amarok is a rugged 4x4 that bridges the gap between cars and commercial vehicles. This makes it perfect for tradespeople or active outdoor types who need a tough but refined vehicle that can tow or carry bulky loads. 


The Amarok isn’t as refined as a typical family SUV, but it gets close. The cabin is well-made, comfortable and spacious. Admittedly, the ride-quality is a little hard on rough roads, but the Amarok’s shortfalls in refinement are eclipsed by its all-round usability. 


The large loadbay and double-cab design will make the Amarok an appealing choice for builders who need a one-size-fits-all works vehicle that will double as a family car at the weekend.  


What's the best Volkswagen Amarok model/engine to choose?

The 3.0-litre V6 diesels strike the best balance between performance and running costs. This engine is available with 204PS or 258PS - both provide good levels of refinement, especially on the motorway, where engine noise is kept to a low hum at 70mph.


The 204PS version of the 3.0-litre V6 will be sufficient for most drivers, with the 0-62mph sprint taking a respectable 9.1 seconds. The eight-speed automatic gearbox has been standard across the V6 range since 2019 and is a good match for the 3.0-litre’s punchy low-gear acceleration.


The powerful 258PS V6 gives the Amarok a notable punch in the performance stakes, with 0-62mph taking 7.4 seconds. This provides effortless acceleration and is well-suited for towing or travelling off-road, with higher levels of low-gear acceleration in all of the gears. 


The Highline trim line is the best for standard equipment, with leather seats and touchscreen navigation included. However, if you’re a tradesperson, you might be better suited with the Trendline version - this features hardwearing cloth seats and smaller 17-inch wheels that are less susceptible to damage. 


What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Amarok?

The Amarok sits at the premium end of the pick-up market. This means it goes up against the Nissan Navara N Guard, Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Toyota Hilux Invincible. The Amarok isn’t as refined as the Navara or X-Class, but it’s more than a match for the Ranger and Hilux.


The Amarok isn’t as comfortable to drive as the Navara or X-Class, but it gets very close. With its powerful V6 powertrain, we rate the Volskwagen higher than Ford and Toyota for all-round performance. 


Learn more

Volkswagen Amarok Driver's Seat

On the inside

Volkswagen Amarok Overhead View

Driving

Volkswagen Amarok Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Amarok Truck Space

Prices, versions and specification

Interested in buying a Volkswagen Amarok?

View Volkswagen Amarok cars for sale