2017 Volkswagen Amarok V6: 18 things you didn’t know

By Toby Hagon, 26 Nov 2016 Car Reviews

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2017 Volkswagen Amarok V6

The Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI brings a revised interior and fresh face, but no updates to the sheetmetal. Here’s 18 things about the popular ute you didn’t know.

1. The Volkswagen Amarok is the most powerful ute in its class, which includes mid-sized four-wheel drive, diesel-powered workhorse utes. It makes 165kW and 550Nm from its 3.0-litre V6, which is more than its closest competitor, the Holden Colorado (147kW/500Nm from a 2.8-litre four-cylinder).

2. The Amarok is currently the only V6-powered diesel ute in its class, but it does not have the biggest engine. The Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 get a 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel, which makes 147kW and 470Nm.

3. The V6 engine has an overboost function, which can temporarily boost the turbocharger for longer to boost power from 165kW to 180kW for up to 10 seconds at a time. It’s designed to provide extra oomph for overtaking. The reason it doesn’t produce 180kW all the time is because the engine runs slightly hotter when producing that power, so if that higher output was maintained it would risk engine damage.

Volkswagen Amarok V6 Ultimate

4. The 3.0-litre V6 engine in the Amarok is also used in various Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches. In other models it produces more power; the Audi SQ5, for example, makes 230kW and 650Nm.

5. The Volkswagen Amarok is the only ute in its class without curtain airbags in the rear.

6. Volkswagen has packed plenty of equipment in the Amarok V6, but it still misses out on smart key entry (allowing keyless entry when you grab the doorhandle), rear air vents and the latest active safety features now common on Volkswagen passenger vehicles (things such as blind spot warning and autonomous emergency braking, the latter capable of automatically applying the brakes to avoid a crash).

7. V6 versions of the Amarok get more powerful brakes than those fitted to four-cylinder models. As well as the largest front discs in its class, it’s also the only ute in its class to get disc brakes on the rear (rather than inferior drums).

8. The Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate V6 debuts small LED lights underneath each of the chrome side steps (there are two on each side). They are illuminated when the doors are unlocked or opened with the aim of making it easier for people to see where they’re stepping. 

Volkswagen Amarok V6 Ultimate

9. While the nose looks fresh, there are not new windows or panels in the updated Amarok. The new grille, headlights and front bumper will be incorporated on the four-cylinder Amaroks when they are updated in 2017.

10. The Amarok V6 is produced in Germany, whereas four-cylinder models continue to come from Argentina. In future Volkswagen says it may also produce the Amarok V6 in Argentina.

11. For now the V6 engine is only available with an automatic transmission, but late in 2017 a six-speed manual will also be offered.

12. The eight-speed automatic transmission is used in other cars from the Volkswagen Group. However, the Amarok V6 gets a slightly lower first gear ratio (for low-speed off-roading) and a slightly taller eighth gear (for more relaxed and efficient freeway cruising).

13. Despite sharing the basic engine with other cars, the Amarok gets some unique changes, predominantly made to ensure it can cope with driving off-road on steep angles and in rocky/muddy/sandy conditions. There is a revised vibration damper, new oil sump and revised pistons.

Volkswagen Amarok V6 Ultimate

14. The Amarok V6 is claimed to reach 100km/h in as little as 7.9 seconds, although that relies on the overboost function operating to temporarily give the engine another 15kW of power.

15. The Amarok is the only dual-cab ute on the market with a permanent four-wheel drive system, something that provides added reassurance on wet roads or gravel. Most of its competitors use a part-time 4x4 system.

16. The Amarok gets the lowest load height in its class when accessing the tray. It is 708mm from road height.

17. The Amarok is the only ute in its class to fit a standard pallet between the rear wheel arches. It makes it easier for fitting bulky items in.

18. Amarok V6s now come with tyre pressure monitors, which use sensors to determine how much pressure is in all five tyres (including the spare). They are particularly useful on outback and gravel roads, where it can be very difficult to recognise a slow leak.