This is the new Amarok, the second generation of Volkswagen’s pickup. It’s bigger than before offering more space in the cabin and in the load bed. The interior is more car-like than before too (especially in the leisure-oriented range-toppers), but the off-roading capability has improved thanks to shorter front and rear overhangs and a wading depth of 800mm (it was 500mm previously). If you think it looks a bit like the new Ford Ranger, your eyes don’t deceive you, as beyond the familial VW nose, both pickups are largely the same, being built together in the same factory in South Africa and having engines and their structure in common.
What will its rivals be?
The Amarok’s closest rival will obviously be its half-sibling, the Ford Ranger. Pickup buyers aren’t exactly spoiled for choice in Ireland though, and with the Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara no longer on sale, that only really leaves the rugged Toyota Hilux and tough Isuzu D-Max in the one-tonne pickup segment.
Any tech info?
Inside, there’s a choice of 10.0-inch or 12.0-inch display screens for the infotainment system and, in front of the driver, there’s a choice of 8.0-inch or 10.0-inch screens for the instruments. High-end PanAmericana and Aventura models get more in the way of luxuries such as a Harmon-Kardon stereo system. Other features include active cruise control and switchable driving modes to best exploit the Amarok’s off-road potential.
What will the range be like?
First off, there’s a broad range of engines, mostly from Ford, including 150hp, 170hp and 209hp four-cylinder diesels and VW’s own 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 241hp. There’s a petrol option in the line-up too in the guise of a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit, also from Ford. As well as Amarok, Life and Style variants aimed at mainstream pickup buyers (tradespeople, farmers and the like) there are also the aforementioned top-of-the-line PanAmericana and Aventura models, the former featuring beefier, off-road styling, the latter more demure and luxurious.
With such a small number of competitors, the Amarok has forged a considerable niche for itself in the Irish pickup market where it currently holds a 20 per cent share. The new model, which is due to arrive here around the middle of 2023, takes all the virtues of the old model, particularly its car-like manners, and builds on them, adding more off-roading ability, more interior room and more cargo space in what should prove to be a highly competent package.