The What Van? Road Test: Volkswagen Amarok (2023)

Date: Monday, October 2, 2023

After an absence of three years, Volkswagen’s Amarok 4x4 pick-up is back in the UK – but the newcomer is a somewhat different proposition to that of its predecessor. Ever-closer ties between VW and Ford mean that the latest Amarok is based heavily on the latter’s Ranger pick-up platform, but with different styling cues. 

Aside from the badges, VW’s offering is distinguished by flat-topped wheel arches, a high waist and a differently-styled radiator grille. For your money you also get narrow LED headlights and C-shaped rear lights.

Unlike the Ranger, the Amarok 4Motion is marketed solely as a double-cab. Under the bonnet you will find a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine at either 170hp or 205hp or a 3.0-litre TDI V6 pumping out 240hp. 

Four specification levels are up for grabs; Life, Style, PanAmericana and top-of-the-pile Aventura.

The 170hp unit is available solely with entry-level Life trim and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. All the other models are supplied with a standard 10-speed shift-by-wire automatic box.

Bear in mind that the undoubtedly-opulent Aventura’s payload capacity falls under the vitally important 1.0-tonne threshold. As a consequence business owners cannot reclaim VAT on the vehicle.

We elected to get to grips with a 205hp model built to Style specifications. Here’s how we got on.


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