2019 Volkswagen Amarok review – the best pick-up you can buy? | What Car?

2019 Volkswagen Amarok review – the best pick-up you can buy? | What Car?

What springs to mind when you think of
pickup trucks? Vast vistas of American countryside, builders, tradesmen, a car
that can pretty much drive anywhere? Well that may have been true a few years ago,
but these days pickup trucks are viable alternatives to SUVs, especially for
families who want to cart a load of stuff around. The Volkswagen Amarok is one of the most
luxurious pickup trucks on offer and aims to blend car-like driving dynamics
with a comfortable interior and impressive load lugging
credentials. So if you’ve got a load of people and luggage
to move around should a pickup truck be on your
shopping list and is the Amarok the best of the bunch? We’ll find out in this review, and
remember we don’t just review cars at What Car?, we can help save you thousands
on your next new car, just head to whatcar.com and go to
our New Car Buying section. But before that, let’s see what this Amarok
is like on the road. The Amarok comes with only one engine
which is a three-litre V6 diesel and that comes in three different power
guises. 161 brake horsepower, 201 brake horsepower, and 254. The latter two
are smooth and punchy, and a far cry from the clattery diesels you get in most of
its competition. However, do not expect the same level of refinement as you get
in a traditional SUV. The least powerful version is flexible,
and can get up to motorway speeds without any trouble.
It comes with a manual gearbox however, we feel that the Amarok is best suited to
the 8-speed automatic that comes in the more powerful versions. The automatic
gearbox also improves fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Now let’s not forget the Amarok is
technically a commercial vehicle so, that boxy shape means there’s
quite a lot of wind noise on the motorway. It’s a big car too, and that means
it’s not especially agile through corners, but rivals such as the Nissan
Navara feel even more cumbersome. In fact, by pickup standards the Amarok is
actually quite good to drive and rides well.
Even so be prepared for it to shudder and jolt you over bumps even on the smallest
17-inch wheels. The first thing you notice when you get
inside the Amarok is, actually how premium it feels for a pickup truck.
But there is no getting away from the fact that this is a tough commercial vehicle,
and there’s lots of hard, easy wipe, clean plastics which is a vast contrast to the
plush interiors you find in its SUV rivals. Now, getting in is quite a challenge
because it is very high up. But once you’re here, you get a great
commanding view of the road. Parking is not the easiest thing to do,
so if you’re going for the entry-level model make sure you spec parking sensors.
For all other trims they come as standard, along with a reversing camera. Even the most basic Amarok’s come with a
6.3 inch infotainment screen which gets you
Bluetooth, and a DAB radio. It’s a little bit small and fiddly to use, but it’s not
bad by pickup standards. If you’re after sat-nav, you’ll have to go for the
range-topping ‘Dark Label’ or spec it as
an extra. What we really like are these physical
buttons so that you can access key features without having to go through a convoluted
touchscreen system. The Amarok is only offered as a four door
double cab, which is not a surprise given that that is the most popular body
choice in the UK. In terms of storage there’s lots!
We’ve got somewhere to put papers at the top there,
mobile phone and lipstick, two cupholders, and in here I put my picture hanging kit,
and hammer. Somewhere for the banana to go, and water
bottle just down there, and the glovebox
could be described as… slimline! Move to the back seats and things get a little
bit tighter, because there is limited legroom and headroom. Three adults can
sit side-by-side, just about. In that respect it’s on a par with a Ford Ranger
or Nissan Navara. So how about this massive load bed?
Well the maximum weight the Amarok can take depends on is spec, but it’s between:
1068kg and 1154kg. Which means that, no matter what you’ve got to haul around or even
if you go a bit mad in IKEA, the Amarok should be
able to take it, and have you got something to tow? Well the Amarok can tow
up to 3100kg of a braked trailer, which is slightly
less than its rivals, but still plenty for most people. Part of the appeal of pickup trucks is
the tempting benefit in kind payments for company car drivers, and being a
commercial vehicle, no matter which version you choose – regardless of list
price or CO2 emissions – the road tax (VED) is exactly the same. Because the Amarok is only available with
a V6 diesel engine, it can be a little thirster
than some of its rivals. However go for the right trim level and
you can get a respectable 39mpg and it’s predicted to hold onto its value
better than its rivals. We’d stick with entry-level ‘TrendLine’
trim which still gets you: Climate control, a DAB radio, leather steering wheel, and some
chrome detailing. To that, we’d add: Sat-nav, rear parking sensors, and adjustable lumbar
support, from the options list. The Amarok is a good pickup option, it’s
good to drive by class standards, has excellent
load space, and a strong engine. Sure it’s expensive to buy, but we still think it’s
one of the best in its class. For plenty more on the Volkswagen Amarok,
including our full online review and that of its rivals, head to Whatcar.com,
and remember we can help save you thousands. Just go to the New Car Buying
section! But before you do any of that, hit subscribe and catch all our videos.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. What do I think of when you mentioned a Pick Up Truck?
    The deep south of the USA.
    The Film Deliverance.
    And I don't want to be tied to a tree. Thank you… :-))

  2. A great review What Car (Rebecca) of the VW Amarok. Its good to see vehicles that wouldn't be the norm that people would by other than business.

    I Didn't real want put this in the comment as it is a What Car video but as everyone else has comment and really wanted to say congratulations to Rebecca and to her other half. I'm shore you will be a awesome mum.

    Thanks for a great review as usual.

  3. This pickup’s main errands is fill up the rear with groceries. The people who really needs one cannot afford it. There are upscale Ford pick up models here in the US that costs as much as $120k.

  4. Hello Rebecca, why do not you do with the vehicles SUV and All Terrain, test off road? It would be nice to see the benefits outside the asphalt. You are the best … greetings

  5. Surely the type of people who buys this type of vehicle for commercial use need reliability, dependability and low running costs. This is far too expensive, far too complicated and surely won't retain it's value as most commercial people have the sense to buy a vehicle suited to a tough life. VW is no longer the sign of reliability it is a premium badge for those who don't mind wasting money to get the latest gadgets. Also it is hideous and looks much less appealling than many of its rivals. I'd be surprised if this does well, the Japanese options are far better designed for their target audience. If a business I'd employed drove up in this I'd think I was paying too much for their services or would worry about their competence. It would be like calling for a taxi and a Fiat 500 arrived. I'm sure there is a niche where this could do well, possibly people who have no real use for a pickup but like the style of them and will buy this more luxurious lookalike.

  6. I Valeted one of these a few weeks ago, I've got to say that they are pretty good! As for Rebecca, I thought she was gay! How wrong was I??? Congratulations Rebecca.

  7. First Toyota Hilux 1968👍❤️
    First VW Amarok 2010😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂👎👎👎👎👎👎👎👎

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