The new Volkswagen Amarok: 5 ways it changes the game for pick-ups

Bigger, even more capable and packed with more tech than ever before: here’s why the new Volkswagen Amarok should be at the top of your pick-up shortlist...

Volkswagen Amarok

How do you improve on one of the most highly regarded pick-ups of the last 10 years? In the case of the new Volkswagen Amarok, simply take what always worked from the start (and what fans have loved for over a decade), then tweak it, adapt it, add to it – and make it better in every way.

The first-generation Amarok, introduced in 2010, revolutionised the pick-up truck class with its enormous load bay, endless versatility, engaging drive, supreme off-road capability and its range of strong and frugal diesel engines. A decade later, with over 830,000 models sold globally, it makes for a fantastic hard-working approved used buy for businesses and families alike.

Now, the new Amarok is looking to revolutionise the pick-up game once again and has already garnered a four-star review from our discerning road testers. It offers more load space, the latest advanced in-car technology, an expanded range of strong efficient engines, a wealth of new driver assistance systems, a high payload and impressive off-road credentials.

So, here are all the reasons it should be at the top of your pick-up shortlist.

Volkswagen Amarok

1: More load space, more payload, more versatility

With its class-leading load bay and enormous payload, the first-generation Amarok was always perfect for hard-working businesses and adventurous families alike, with enough space to fit a Euro pallet lengthways in between the wheel arches.

Now, the new Amarok is even more spacious and even more versatile. At 5350mm long and 3270mm wide, it is 96mm longer and 173mm wider than its predecessor, making for a bigger and even more practical loadbay. Lashing rings keep things tied down (up to 500kg each), while an optional retractable roll cover keeps everything dry and secure.

The new Amarok’s increased dimensions mean more passenger space, too. Its double-cab offers ample space for up to five occupants, while plenty of cubbies and storage space mean the Amarok can transport luggage, tools, packages and passengers in equal measure – truly making it a jack of all trades.

You can also carry more on the roof than the previous model – up to 350kg, a 150kg increase – which is perfect for a roof box full of holiday goodies or even a roof tent.

Volkswagen Amarok

2: Cosseting comfort and advanced technology

The Amarok has always offered the perfect blend of work and play – lugging heavy loads of tools and cargo during the week, while being a safe and comfortable family-friendly vehicle for big adventures and sporty escapes at the weekend.

The new Amarok adds a wealth of intuitive advanced in-car technology to make every journey a joy. Top-spec models (Style trim and above) feature a crisp 12-inch digital driver display that provides vital information right in your eyeline, while the 12-inch tablet-like navigation touchscreen makes browsing your favourite music, finding destinations and adjusting vehicle settings a breeze.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, while Volkswagen Connected Mobile Services makes linking the new Amarok to your smartphone easier than ever. Wireless phone charging is also available, while a further two USB-C ports mean even more devices can stay topped-up.

Plush durable materials cover the interior of the new Amarok, giving a robust yet supple feeling throughout, while getting comfortable is even easier with 10-way adjustable electronic seats available in higher-spec models. The ergonomics have been designed for ultimate comfort and usability too, with a blend of touch-sensitive and physical buttons making every command easy.

Top-spec Aventura models offer ambient lighting and a crisp eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system for the ultimate surround sound experience. Outside, Aventura models boast a striking X-design front bumper, and IQ.LIGHT LED front headlights that cut through the dark, along with head-turning LED rear lights.

Storage inside the new Amarok is in abundance, with the interior boasting up to 20 individual cubbies and trays, making life on-the-go efficient and organised. Door bins can swallow up to 1.5 litres, while the overhead compartment is perfect for sunglasses. All added up, the new Amarok is as comfortable and advanced inside as it is durable, tough and hard-working outside.

Volkswagen Amarok

3: Impressively refined on the road; supremely capable off it

It’s not just load space and technology where the new Amarok shines. It’s also the iconic pick-up’s all-round versatility – especially when the tarmac runs out.

The first-generation Amarok was lauded for its great off-road capabilities, and the new Amarok takes that to the next level. Its new platform boasts shorter front and rear overhangs, which in turn means better approach angles when heading off the beaten track; 29 degrees at the front, and 21 degrees at the rear. It can also wade deeper than the old model, too – a total of 800mm, up from 500mm.

The new Amarok also comes with two versions of the company’s renowned 4MOTION all-wheel drive system: permanent and selectable. Permanent comes as standard on all models, yielding greater confidence and safety on the road, and better traction and stability when heading off it. Four modes are available1 via a switch on the centre console: standard 4MOTION all-wheel drive, 4H which relays engine power at a reduced ratio for passing over snow and loose gravel, 4L which offers higher torque at lower speed, and the efficient 2H mode in which power is sent purely to the rear axle – perfect for daily journeys.

Power to the 4MOTION system is sent via either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic gearbox depending on your personal preference, while towing capacity – thanks to 4MOTION – is up to a whopping 3.5 tonnes.

Volkswagen Amarok

4: A wider range of efficient engines

Our What Car? road-test team have always loved the Amarok for its wide range of powerful and frugal diesel engines, with the V6 proving a particular highlight. Now, the new Amarok offers even more choice.

In terms of the Amarok’s traditional high-torque Euro 6-compliant diesel engines, there’s a choice of two 2.0-litre four-cylinder units in the UK: 170PS and 405Nm, or 204PS and 500Nm.

The jewel in the Amarok’s line-up of diesel engines, though, is the heavy-duty 3.0-litre V6 delivering 241PS and a staggering 600Nm of torque – perfect for towing, hauling and extreme off-roading.

Volkswagen Amarok

5: All-new and more advanced safety features

The new Amarok takes driving technology to the next level, with 30 driver assistance systems – 20 of which are completely new – that help keep you, your passengers and your cargo safer than ever.

Included in the new Amarok’s wealth of safety features is intelligent IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights that cut through the dark, Adaptive Cruise control that keeps you a safe distance from the car in front, Dynamic Road Sign Display that helps you stick to the speed limits, Intelligent Speed Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Front Assist that lends an extra pair of eyes around town.

When it comes to parking, the new Amarok has a wealth of technology to help there, too. The crisp Rear View Camera makes backing into the tightest space a breeze, while Park Distance Control on the front and back can help avoid any nasty scrapes.

The new Amarok amplifies the success of its predecessor immensely, offering even more space, better technology, a wider range of engines, a wealth of safety features and an almost endless list of accessories. So, those are all the ways the new Amarok changes the pick-up game, and why it should be at the very top of your shortlist.

Read more: VW Amarok pick-up truck review

[1] Available with permanent 4MOTION

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