Road test: Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen has returned to the pick-up market for the first time since the 1980s. AOL Cars takes it for a spin

What is it

This is Volkswagen's offering in the pick-up market and trades upon the firm's strong brand perceptions among consumers of durability, reliability and competitive pricing.
What's under the bonnet?

There's only one engine available – a 2.0-litre TDI unit available in 120bhp and 161bhp forms. VW is the first in the pick-up market to introduce a 2.0-litre diesel.

What's the kit like?

The Amarok is available in three trims – Startline, Trendline and Highline – with prices starting at £22,543 for Startline 122bhp which features alloys, aircon, and selectable 4WD. Trendline kicks in at £24,943 for the 161bhp version which features 17-inch alloys, cruise control, leather steering wheel and automatic air conditioning. The range tops out at £28,039 for the Highline 161bhp which boasts permanent 4WD, leather, 18-inch alloys, privacy glass, heated front seats and a chrome rear bumper.

Volkswagen Amarok
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Road test: Volkswagen Amarok

Is it any good?

It's refined and feels dependable if a bit too dull. But the Amarok is let down badly by a poor steering feel and engines that feel too underpowered.

Any rivals?

Mitsubishi's L200, the Nissan Navara and the Toyota Hilux all spring to mind. But the Volkswagen does manage to feel a step up from the Japanese offerings.

The AOL Cars verdict

This is a quality product from Volkswagen and shakes up a sector dominated by the Japanese. There are a few gripes but otherwise it impresses.

The knowledge
Model: Volkswagen Amarok Trendline 163
Price: £24,943
Engine: 2.0-litre, diesel
Power: 161bhp, 400Nm
Max speed: 112mph
0-60mph: 11.1s
MPG (comb'd): 35.8
Emissions: 209g/km
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