Are pick-ups the new SUVs? Our senior photographer is running our favourite truck, the Volkswagen Amarok, to find out if it could be a left-field alternative for new car buyers...

VW Amarok
  • The car: Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI 258 Highline auto
  • Run by: Will Williams, senior photographer
  • Why it’s here: To find out if living with a pick-up can truly be as easy as a mainstream rival
  • Needs to: Be comfortable, smooth-riding and economical on a colossal commute, with plenty of space for photography equipment

Price £42,857 Price as tested £47,040 Miles 8100 Official economy 33.6mpg Test economy 26.3mpg Options fitted Palladium Grey/Titanium Black Vienna leather (no cost); Ravenna Blue metallic paint (£660); Discover Media navigation system (£684); Lights & Vision Pack (£222); Differential lock (£306); Front fog lights (£90) Retailer fit accessories Truckman Grand hardtop (£1910); Plastic load liner (£311)

25 March 2019 – Seeing clearly

Now, this may be as surprising as the result of a North Korean election, but the Volkswagen Amarok is big. Very, very big.

It’s a point worth making for those thinking of joining the pick-up party, upsizing from SUV land.

At 5254mm long, the Amarok is almost a metre longer than our favourite family SUV, the Volvo XC40. And if the thought of squeezing Volkswagen’s truck into a parking space is intimidating, I don’t blame you.

But there are some helpful additions on the equipment list to stop your palms sweating quite so much as you approach the supermarket.

VW Amarok

Mid-spec Highline trim not only gets front and rear parking sensors but also a rear-view camera. The latter is a crucial addition if you’ve fitted a hardtop, because visibility out the back is about as good as looking through a camera’s viewfinder with the lens cap on.

Another good thing is that because of the camera’s placement, below the tailgate but above the step, it manages to stay clean even when the car gets splattered with road muck.

The Amarok's door mirrors are massive, too. This all means a hulking great pick-up is a lot easier to park than you might think.

Read more Volkswagen Amarok reports >

See more long-term test reports >

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