2023 Volkswagen Amarok assessment | CarExpert

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It’s lastly right here, of us.

A whopping 12 years after the first-generation Amarok hit Australia, and 9 months after the its reveal in Germany, the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok has hit native shores.

It touches down with loads of strain on its crisply-styled shoulders. Volkswagen is anticipating it to be a best-seller in Australia, sitting alongside the T-Roc small SUV atop its gross sales charts, and it’ll be taking up the rampantly standard Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

The Amarok is a really completely different beast to its predecessor. It’s been broadly reported the automobile shares its underpinnings and engine with the newest Ford Ranger for starters, and the cabin options the type of security and infotainment expertise that its predecessor couldn’t have even dreamed of.

The V6 turbo-diesel lives on, however it’s backed by a brand new twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel and a brand new 2.3-litre petrol engine that shares its bones with the Ford Focus RS and Mustang efficiency fashions.

That the brand new Amarok will signify a giant step ahead from its creaky predecessor is nearly a given. However does it have what it takes to set itself aside from the all-conquering Ranger, and to tackle the likes of the HiLux, Isuzu D-Max, and the Mazda BT-50?

How a lot does the Volkswagen Amarok value?

The Amarok vary kicks off simply north of $50,000 earlier than on-road prices, and extends to only shy of $80,000.

On the backside finish, the Amarok Core computerized is aligned with an almost-top-spec Mitsubishi Triton GLS 4×4, or an absolute base Ford Ranger XL – albeit one with the extra highly effective Bi-Turbo engine and a 10-speed computerized.

On the high finish, the PanAmericana is a detailed match for the Ford Ranger Platinum on value, whereas the Aventura slots between the Platinum and Ranger Raptor based mostly on its sticker.

2023 Volkswagen Amarok pricing:

  • Volkswagen Amarok Core
    • 2.0 TDI405 4Motion guide: $50,990
    • 2.0 TDI405 4Motion six-speed auto: $52,990
  • Volkswagen Amarok Life 2.0 TDI500 4Motion 10-speed auto: $56,990
  • Volkswagen Amarok Type
    • 2.0 TDI500 4Motion 10-speed auto: $66,990
    • 3.0 TDI600 4Motion 10-speed auto: $70,990
  • Volkswagen Amarok PanAmericana 3.0 TDI600 10-speed auto: $75,990
  • Volkswagen Amarok Aventura
    • 3.0 TDI600 4Motion 10-speed auto: $79,990
    • 2.3 TSI452 4Motion 10-speed auto: $79,990

Costs exclude on-road prices

What’s the Volkswagen Amarok like on the within?

The brand new Amarok appears to be like and seems like a Volkswagen behind the wheel.

There are some components anybody who’s pushed a Ranger will recognise, however the design, supplies, and cabin expertise are distinct. Even the mid-range Type feels fairly premium, and the range-topping Amarok Aventura is a really good place to spend time.

Volkswagen affords a variety of finishes on provide to make distinctive variants really feel… distinctive. The mid-range type seems like a top quality merchandise, the PanAmericana with its particular stitching and rougher leather-based will attraction to outdoorsy varieties, and the range-topping Aventura is posh sufficient to justify its $80,000 price ticket.

A lot of the supplies are good to take a look at and contact, though the plastic trim items flowing from the dashboard into the transmission tunnel are fairly scratchy throughout the vary. It is a industrial automobile in any case.

The basics are good. The driving place is comfy for lengthy stints behind the wheel, no matter which mannequin you go for, and most of what it’s good to poke or prod is inside simple attain. The steering wheel extends out to fulfill taller drivers, and the touchscreen doesn’t require an excessive amount of stretching.

Talking of the infotainment, it’s largely good. It begins quick, has crisp graphics and identifiable fonts, and has wi-fi cellphone mirroring – however falls into a number of the traps afflicting different Volkswagen Group merchandise.

There aren’t any dials for the local weather management, for instance, so it’s good to take your eyes off the highway and prod the display screen at twice to vary the temperature, and there are many sub-menus once you begin diving into the motive force help screens.

It’s not far off being wonderful, however larger icons and a wiser format could be welcome in a couple of locations. It’s additionally lacking the useful front-facing digital camera that prompts once you flick into one of many off-road modes.

Additionally lacking is the app connectivity you get from the Ranger. With the ability to check the symptoms and lights on a trailer from the surface of the automobile utilizing an app, for instance, may be very useful, as is the power to regulate your zone lighting.

The digital instrument show is standout, nevertheless. It appears to be like trendy, and provide the proper mix of knowledge and legibility. The splashy graphics once you change drive modes add a touch of aptitude, and the actual fact no Ranger besides the Raptor has the identical full-sized digital dashboard because the Amarok is a tick for Volkswagen.

Storage areas abound up entrance. There are cupholders on the transmission tunnel, a wi-fi cellphone charger below the sprint, and a deep central bin – though the trailer brake controller does make it more durable to place a cellphone in that charger, and means the USB-A and USB-C ports are recessed to the purpose of being arduous to achieve.

All of our testers featured a neat flip-top storage bin above the glovebox, full with plastic ridges to cease objects sliding round.

As for the rear seats? They’re a significant enchancment on what was on provide within the final Amarok, which Volkswagen says was a key precedence when growing the second-generation automobile.

Legroom and headroom are improved, though they’re par for the category quite than standout.

The elevated rear bench will do wonders in case your children are susceptible to carsickness, and the inclusion of air vents will little doubt be welcome throughout scorching Australian summers.

ISOFIX factors characteristic on the outboard rear seats, and there’s a trio of top-tether factors for youngster seats. There aren’t any rear USB ports, nevertheless.

The tray nonetheless options house for a pallet between the arches, and has as much as six tie-down factors. Naked steel, a plastic tub liner, and a spray-in mattress liner are supplied relying on the mannequin, and the range-topping Aventura has a powered curler cowl that may be operated from the important thing.

The tailgate includes a torsion bar, making it simpler to open than it in any other case would’ve been.

What’s below the bonnet?

The entry TDI405 engine within the Amarok is a 2.0-litre single-turbo four-cylinder diesel making 125kW of energy and 405Nm of torque.

It’s despatched to the highway by a six-speed guide or computerized transmission, together with a 4Motion four-wheel drive system with selectable 2H, 4H, and 4L modes.

The TDI500 has a bi-turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel making 154kW of energy and 500Nm of torque, mated with a 10-speed computerized transmission and selectable four-wheel drive.

The TDI600 packs a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel making 184kW of energy and 600Nm of torque, mated with a 10-speed computerized and full-time four-wheel drive.

The one petrol choice is the TSI452, which is a turbocharged 2.3-litre petrol engine making 222kW of energy and 452Nm of torque. It’s mated with a 10-speed computerized and full-time four-wheel drive.

All fashions can have an 80L gas tank, and TDI fashions now have a 19.3L AdBlue tank as a substitute of the 6.3L unit on the outgoing automobile.

2023 Volkswagen Amarok engine specs:

Mannequin Configuration Outputs Gasoline Consumption
Core TDI405 6MT Single Turbo 2.0L four-cylinder 125kW and 405Nm Diesel 7.1L/100km
Core TDI405 6AT Single Turbo 2.0L four-cylinder 125kW and 405Nm Diesel 8L/100km
Life TDI500 10AT Bi-Turbo 2.0L four-cylinder 154kW and 500Nm Diesel 7.2L/100km
Type TDI500 10AT Bi-Turbo 2.0L four-cylinder 154kW and 500Nm Diesel 7.2L/100km
Type TDI600 10AT Single Turbo 3.0L V6 184kW and 600Nm Diesel 8.4L/100km
PanAmericana TDI600 10AT Single Turbo 3.0L V6 184kW and 600Nm Diesel 8.4L/100km
Aventura TDI600 Single Turbo 3.0L V6 184kW and 600Nm Diesel 8.4L/100km
Aventura TSI452 Single Turbo 2.3L four-cylinder 222kW and 453Nm Petrol 9.9L/100km

How does the Volkswagen Amarok drive?

We spent most of our time behind the wheel of the V6 diesel, which Volkswagen expects to dominate gross sales.

Round 80 per cent of pre-orders have been for that engine, and even when early adopters have their automobiles and common punters are laying down their hard-earned money, the model expects round 60 per cent of individuals to stump for essentially the most highly effective diesel.

As we all know, it’s engine. It fires quietly, with little or no diesel clatter or vibration from behind the wheel at idle, and it’s a clean mover at low speeds thanks in no small half to the 10-speed computerized transmission.

It’s arduous to know what gear you’re in at any given time as a result of they’re stacked carefully – and since for essentially the most half you simply get what you want, once you want it. The 600Nm torque peak hits at simply 1750rpm, so it pulls properly from low within the rev vary, and it’s clean and refined once you press more durable.

The final Amarok had fairly a heavy, direct steering rack. The brand new mannequin has lighter steering that makes it fairly wieldy at low speeds, regardless of having an extended wheelbase and physique than the automobile it replaces, and the surround-view digital camera (on the Type and above) is welcome once you’re attempting to park such a giant beast.

The broader suite of energetic driver assists is welcome. Adaptive cruise management is clean and sensible, and the energetic lane-keeping help is assured with out feeling prefer it’s attempting to wrestle the wheel out of your hand. Mixed with a quiet, refined cabin at freeway speeds, the assists make the brand new Amarok a really succesful cruiser.

There are two suspension tunes on provide. The primary options twin-tube dampers, and is obtainable on the Core, Life, and Type, and the second is a tauter setup with monotube dampers supplied on the PanAmericana and Aventura.

The Type is extra relaxed on the open highway, with extra physique roll within the corners, and extra motion over crests.

You’re nonetheless conscious it’s a industrial automobile with no load within the again (no nice shock), however you don’t get the sense the tail is wagging the canine once you hit bumps at velocity, and occupants aren’t jiggled relentlessly.

Swapping into the Aventura reveals a unique character. It’s extra tied down over bumps, with a taut-feeling physique that locations it someplace between the previous-generation Amarok and its sportier W580S sibling, and also you’re extra conscious of smaller bumps due to the usual 21-inch (!!) wheels.

Volkswagen has at all times pitched the Amarok as an ‘SUV with a tray’ quite than a piece automobile on the high finish, and the Aventura delivers on that pitch – particularly with the two.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

It’s a bit completely different to what we’re used to in dual-cab utes, with no diesel clatter and a revvier character, however it performs into the almost-luxury-SUV feeling Volkswagen is chasing.

There’s loads of torque on faucet, so it doesn’t really feel gradual, and it’s a clean mover in the direction of the highest finish of the rev vary. No, you don’t get a Focus RS-style bark, however the best way it drives will really feel instantly acquainted to anybody hopping out of a Tiguan or Touareg.

It’s a disgrace Volkswagen hasn’t put paddles on the steering wheel, as a result of it’d be a enjoyable ute to push if you happen to may maintain it within the energy band… if you happen to didn’t have to make use of the silly Ford buttons on the transmission selector.

Though it’s good to take a look at, the Aventura wouldn’t be my decide. That honour belongs to the PanAmericana, which has the identical suspension tune however rides on 18-inch wheels wrapped in additional off-road oriented tyres that take the sting off the experience.

It’s designed to be essentially the most succesful Amarok off-road, and dealt fairly effortlessly with all the things we may throw at it.

As is the case within the Ranger, all of the mode shifts are clearly communicated on the digital dashboard, and the preset Mud and Ruts or Sand modes make life simpler for nervous off-roaders.

The very fact you don’t have the identical off-road digital camera system (the forward-facing digital camera locks out on the transfer) is a disgrace although, because it’s very useful expertise on tight trails and over blind crests.

Volkswagen factors to the Amarok’s improved floor clearance (235mm), wading depth (800mm), method and departure angles (30 and 25.6 levels) as proof of its off-road capability, and the convenience with which it dispatched the off-road course we drove would recommend it’s each bit pretty much as good as its dual-cab rivals when the going will get robust.

What do you get?

Amarok Core highlights:

  • Exterior
    • 17-inch alloy wheels
    • Electrical folding mirrors
    • LED headlights
    • Tow bar with trailer brake controller
    • Locking tailgate
    • Mud flaps
    • Cargo mattress lighting and tie-downs
  • Inside
    • Cloth seats
    • Vinyl flooring
    • Single-zone air-conditioning
    • 10-inch portrait touchscreen
    • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
    • Digital radio
    • Wi-fi cellphone charging

Amarok Life provides:

  • Exterior
    • Physique-colour bumpers, mirrors, door handles
    • LED fog lights
    • Heated aspect mirrors with puddle lamps
    • Locking wheel nuts
    • Distant locking tailgate
  • Inside
    • Distinctive seat trim
    • 6-speaker stereo
    • Privateness glass
    • Leather-based-wrapped shifter, steering wheel
    • Carpet flooring and mats
    • Auto-dimming rear mirror
  • Different
    • Digital park brake
    • Entrance tow hooks
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • Computerized headlights

Amarok Type provides:

  • Exterior
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Chrome rear bumper, steps
    • Matrix LED headlights
    • Tub liner
    • Stainless-steel sports activities bar
    • Insulated windshield
    • Keyless entry
  • Inside
    • ArtVelour seat trim
    • Energy driver’s seat
    • Heated entrance seats
    • 12-inch vertical touchscreen infotainment system
    • 12-inch digital instrument cluster
    • Twin-zone local weather management
    • Ambient lighting
  • Different
    • 360-degree digital camera
    • Alarm system
    • Fingers-free park help

Amarok PanAmericana provides:

  • Exterior
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • All-terrain tyres
    • Black bumpers, mirrors, door handles
    • LED tail lights
    • Black sports activities bar and steps
    • Smooth tonneau cowl
    • Roof rails
    • Spray-in tub liner
  • Inside
    • Leather-based seats
    • Leather-based-trimmed sprint, doorways
    • 8-speaker sound system
    • Black headliner
    • Powered passenger seat

Amarok Aventura provides:

  • Exterior
    • 21-inch alloy wheels
    • Chrome bumpers, mirror, handles
    • Rear sailplane
    • Electrical curler cowl
  • Inside
    • Leather-based seats (Savona)
    • Leather-based-trimmed dashboard

Is the Volkswagen Amarok secure?

The Amarok has a five-star ANCAP security score based mostly on testing carried out by Euro NCAP in 2023.

It scored 86 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 93 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 74 per cent for susceptible highway consumer safety, and 83 per cent for security help.

The grownup occupant safety rating for the Amarok is technically greater than what the Ranger acquired, with the Ford receiving a rating of 84 per cent. The Amarok fared higher total in whiplash safety.

Commonplace security gear consists of:

  • 7 airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise management
  • Lane-keep help
  • Pace signal recognition
  • Multi-collision braking
  • Reversing digital camera
  • Rear parking sensors

Amarok Life provides:

  • Blind-spot monitor
  • Entrance parking sensors

How a lot does the Volkswagen Amarok value to run?

The Amarok is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee like the broader Volkswagen vary.

Upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres.

Volkswagen has confirmed the Amarok will value $1800 to service for 5 years or 75,000 kilometres with one in all its pay as you go Care Plans, undercutting the value of the equal bundle for a 2022 four-cylinder diesel by $200, and a 2022 turbo-diesel V6 by $400.

Those that don’t go for a Care Plan on the brand new Amarok can pay $329 for the primary, second, and fourth service, $414 for the third service, and $400 for the fifth – equal to the identical value over 5 years, however paid for on the time of service quite than being bundled into the automobile’s buy value.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Volkswagen Amarok

The brand new Amarok improves on its predecessor in various key methods.

It’s larger and extra trendy inside, lastly includes a aggressive suite of energetic security options, and drives with the polish you’d count on of a Volkswagen dual-cab ute developed alongside the prevailing standard-setter from Ford.

Throw in a good-looking exterior design, sharp service pricing, and the actual fact Volkswagen anticipates strong provide, and the Amarok has the makings of a serious participant.

What stands in its manner? It’s on the costly finish of the ute spectrum in Australia, even alongside the Ranger, and a bit extra polish on the infotainment entrance wouldn’t go astray.

It’s additionally a disgrace a number of the Ford’s smartest touches – the off-road digital camera and tray step – haven’t translated right here.

Volkswagen is anticipating the Amarok Type to be the best-seller, and there’s little doubt it represents a candy spot within the vary. However an optioned Type is knocking on PanAmericana cash, and the latter is a pointy looker, with a spec sheet that neatly balances luxurious and functionality.

A comparability with the category leaders awaits.

Click on the photographs for the total gallery

MORE: All the things Volkswagen Amarok



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