Snackable Review: Volkswagen Amarok

06 Aug 2015 Car Reviews

Snackable Review: Volkswagen Amarok

When it comes to 4x4 utes, the Amarok is in a class of its own. It offers passenger-car refinement and is still tough and off-road capable. But most of all it feels ‘right’ – that rare feeling you get when you know you’re in a serious machine and not a toy.

PLUS

  • Handling. The Amarok is a delight to drive both on and off the road. If you happen find yourself on a windy mountain road with other four-wheel drives, you’ll notice the Amarok hugs the corners almost effortlessly while other drivers wrestle their steering wheels to keep up.
  • Performance. The Amarok’s engine is smooth, quiet and refined, but doesn’t lack power. That’s helped by the eight-speed automatic, which changes between gears quickly and purposefully.
  • Styling. More is more, especially when it’s made to look less. It’s hard to pull off the unadorned look without looking cheap. But the Amarok does it perfectly. It looks practical, but not ugly.  It looks stylish, but doesn’t scream for attention. And this is why it gets it.
  • 4x4 made easy. The Amarok’s single-range 4x4 system shouldn’t work in steep and slow-going off-road conditions, but it does. Its clever 4x4 system automatically adapts to the driving conditions – whether you’re on the highway or a muddy hill – without the driver ever having to touch a button or a lever. No matter what we have thrown at the Amarok, it has never let us down.
  • The cabin. The visibility from inside the Amarok is great. This, combined with the seating position, gives you a feeling of confidence and control. It’s not trying to be a sports car, even if it handles more like one than other utes in its class. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, but in an understated way, typical of German design.
  • A big tub. The Amarok has one of the bigger trays in its class. It also has well placed tie-downs, which might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re moving something, and you need to secure it fast, you’ll be grateful.

CONS

  • Towing. The Amarok has a low tow rating compared to some other utes in its class. But it’s still a decent 3000kg – more than most people will ever need.
  • Price. The Amarok is one of the more expensive utes. But that’s because it does most things better than any of its competition. You get what you pay for.
  • Too-easy 4x4. Serious 4x4ers might want to see the auto gearbox and full-time 4x4 system offered with dual-range gearing. But that’s not because the current system lacks anything. In fact, it works brilliantly.

Click here to read the full review on the Volkswagen Amarok.