The 2023 Volkswagen Amarok boasts a commanding presence on the road. With its unmistakable VW grille and bold AMAROK lettering on the tailgate, it leaves no room for ambiguity about its identity. In contrast to its predecessor, this second-generation model has grown in size. It’s 96mm longer with a 173mm longer wheelbase, providing better off-road capabilities and a spacious cargo bed. The Amarok is exclusively offered in a double-cab configuration with seating for five, making it versatile for both work and leisure.
When it comes to towing and payload capacity, the Amarok impresses with the ability to tow up to 3,500kg and carry a payload of up to 1,113kg. Its increased wading depth of 800mm (up from 500mm in the previous generation) adds to its off-road prowess. Plus, Volkswagen has introduced over 20 new driver assistance systems, enhancing safety and convenience.
Step inside the Amarok, and you’ll find a posh interior that’s a departure from traditional pickup truck standards. Volkswagen has ensured that the cabin offers a premium experience with high-quality materials and thoughtful design. The driving position is excellent, with plenty of adjustability, and tall side windows provide a clear view. Even rear-seat passengers enjoy ample legroom, accommodating four six-footers comfortably.
The Amarok’s interior comes equipped with a 10.1-inch or 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system powered by the latest Sync 4A operating system. While it retains some elements of familiarity, such as Ford’s key, the reskinned front end gives it a distinctive Volkswagen feel. There are even physical buttons for added convenience, including a volume knob.
Under the hood, the Amarok offers a choice of engines shared with the Ford Ranger. In companies, diesel engines dominate, with options ranging from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to a robust 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. These engines are available in various power outputs to suit your needs, with the most potent V6 delivering 237bhp and 443lb ft of torque. Gearbox options include a six-speed manual for the 2.0-liter engine and a 10-speed automatic for all other powertrains.
The Amarok’s driving experience lives up to its posh pickup reputation. The V6 engine provides ample power, and the automatic gearbox delivers a smooth ride. Whether you’re towing, carrying cargo, or tackling off-road adventures, the Amarok excels in performance and capability. It offers various driving modes, including those for off-road situations, hill descent control, and a rear differential lock for added control in challenging terrains.
On-road, the Amarok handles surprisingly well for a pickup, with responsive steering and minimal body lean. While it may not match large SUVs in cornering, it provides a comfortable and relatively quiet ride on the highway, thanks to reduced wind and road noise.
The 2023 Volkswagen Amarok is a formidable contender in the posh pickup truck market. It successfully combines premium interior comfort with robust performance and off-road capabilities. While it may come at a higher price point compared to some rivals, the Amarok offers an appealing alternative to traditional SUVs. With various trim levels to choose from, including the off-road-focused PanAmericana and the range-topping Aventura, there’s an Amarok to suit various preferences.
In summary, the Amarok is a compelling option for those seeking a versatile and upscale pickup truck that excels both on and off the road. Its larger size, improved features, and enhanced driving experience make it a worthy successor to its predecessor and a formidable contender in the pickup truck arena.