The V6 is an addition to the updated Volkswagen Amarok ute, which gets a new front bumper, new grille and new headlights. In some models the V6 replaces the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel. For now there are two V6 Amaroks available, the Highline ($59,990) and Ultimate ($67,990). But in 2017 there will be more models, including an off-road focused Core and a manual transmission.
- The Amarok is bigger than most of its rivals and that’s most obvious in the tub, which has loads of space between the rear wheel arches. It means you can fit a pallet between those rear wheels.
- It’s fast. The V6 engine is the most powerful diesel in the Amarok’s dual-cab class, with 165kW and 550Nm. It’s particularly strong when accelerating up hills or overtaking. The engine also works very well with the eight-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly and is very good at making the most from the engine.
- It’s nice to drive. Dual-cab utes are typically designed to carry up to a tonne in their trays and typically have very rugged (read: stiff) rear suspension. That makes them bumpy and, at times, uncomfortable. While there’s some bouncing over successive bumps, the Amarok is surprisingly well controlled and generally comfortable. It’s also fairly quiet at speed.
- The Amarok V6 is comfortable with fantastic front seats with great support and padding to make for easy long distance touring. There’s also great adjustability to the driving position (including angle and reach adjustment to the steering wheel) that ensures a very car-like driving position.
- Despite premium pricing and generally strong equipment levels, the Amarok is missing some gear. There’s no sensor key for keyless entry, for example, and it doesn’t get air vents to the back seats. The V6 also doesn’t get the latest active safety features, such as auto emergency braking and blind spot warning (to be fair, nothing in the dual-cab ute class has AEB at the moment, but some do get things such as radar cruise control).
- Towing and carrying things. While the Amarok can tow up to 3000kg and carry up to 911kg in its tray, that’s below the levels of most rivals, which tow up to 3500kg and get closer to 1000kg of load capacity.
- Rear seat safety. The Amarok is the only dual-cab ute without curtain airbags in the rear. They can save your life in a side impact crash. Volkswagen has never offered them on the Amarok, part of a cost cutting exercise when the car was being developed.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER?
The popular cars in this segment are the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Mitsubishi Triton, Mazda BT-50 and Nissan Navara.