A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing? Find Out In Our VW Amarok 2014 Review

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For nearly twenty years Volkswagen produced a cute little pickup called the Caddy. It was based on the Rabbit platform making it anything but macho. In 2011, VW released a truck that could eat the caddy whole – the VW Amarok 2014. Unlike its predecessor, the Amarok is rough and rugged just as its name implies. In addition, it also provides the creature comforts demanded by today’s truck buyer.

The German-built VW Amarok 2014 stands out in the sea of Asian pickup trucks that dominate the UK market. VW has produced 4×4 passenger cars for many years, so producing a four-by truck was a natural choice. In addition to its off-road prowess, the VW Amarok 2014 is economical, practical and can haul whatever you need.

Although the VW Amarok 2014 has a utilitarian solid rear axle, it still provides most of the car-like attributes of a modern SUV. Performance it definitely not typical of a pickup truck either. The 2.0-litre TDI engine offers plenty of scoot despite the fact the rig tips the scales at over two tonnes. The 2.0-litre TDI often finds its home in commercial vehicles and therefore, is designed to produce a generous amount of torque. The entry level 122PS single turbo variant of the TDI develops 340Nm of twisting power, whereas the 180PS bi-turbo version makes 420Nm. With two turbo’s strapped to the engine, the Amarok chugs to sixty in around 11s and tops out at 112mph. Not sports car figures, but more than adequate for a 4×4 truck.

VW Amarok

VW Amarok

Of course, pickup trucks are more at home in the mud than on the tarmac, and the VW Amarok 2014 does a fantastic job navigating rough terrain. The majority of the line-up is based around a selectable version of the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system fitted with a truck-worthy leaf sprung suspension. There’s also a ‘Permanent’ 4MOTION set-up if you plan on relegating your truck to city streets and car parks.

The VW Amarok 2014’s styling is certainly unique, resembling something like a Jetta on steroids. The lumbering pickup proudly displays the Volkswagen emblem and grille, like every other vehicle in the manufacture’s lineup.

Inside it’s easy to forget you’re piloting a truck. The gearshift is handy, the instruments are attractive and easy to read, the steering wheel has adjustable reach and rake and everything is finished in typical VW quality soft-touch plastics.

Whether you’re hauling the crew to a job site or picking the kids up from school, there’s lots of storage for everyone’s goodies. There are large bins in all the doors, a lidded bin, a lockable glovebox, a compartment for sunglasses, two cupholders between the front seats and under-front-seat drawers on most models.

On crew-cab variants, the back row is a perfect fit for younger offspring and adults can be shoehorned in if need be. All occupants get proper three-point seatbelts and if the rear bench isn’t in use, you can tip the backrest forward to free up extra loadspace.

If you want to explore the backwoods in an Amarok of your very own, expect to pay between £24,500 and £38,000 for a double-cab bodystyle. Whether you choose the entry-level 122PS 2.0-litre TDI or the 180PS BiTurbo equipped model, you’ll find that all Amarok’s well equipped. All of the double-cab trucks get alloy wheels, Climatic air conditioning, daytime running lights, power windows, power heated mirrors, a 12v power socket, a CD stereo, alarm and immobiliser. If you want to add a little luxury to your rock-crawler, opt for the fancy model with options like cruise control, a trip computer and front foglamps. One neat feature that all manual gearbox equipped vehicles should have, is a hill holder Clutch to prevent drifting backwards – no more stress when that supermini behind you is bumper riding. There’s also Hill Descent Control to keep you in check when you’re frolicking off road.

Of course, no construction workers chariot would be complete without a wide range of bed accessories. The Amarok offers a lockable toolbox, a choice of tonneau covers or a complete matching hardtop.

Need to haul a bunch of lumber, a heap of crap metal or a herd of standard poodles? The VW Amarok 2014 has got you covered. There’s 2.52m3s of volume in the bed and a payload allowance between 1064 and 1119kgs for Selectable 4MOTION models, which have a high rear axle load limit of 1,860kgs. With the Permanent 4MOTION variant, the payload drops to 750kgs.The Gross Vehicle Weight is 3170kg for the true 4×4 and 2820kg for the sissy AWD. Oh, and the dimensions of the bed measure 1555mmx1620mmx508mm, in case you were wondering.

Not only is the VW Amarok 2014 a virile workhorse, but its Greenpeace friendly too. The fuel economy numbers are 37.2mpg for the 122PS variant and as much as 37.2mpg for the 180PS model. There’s also an 80-litre tank on board, meaning you will probably need to make a bathroom pit stop before the Amarok needs to refuel.

Volkswagen’s return to the pickup market after decades of absence has been fruitful. The Amarok can climb like a mountain goat and haul like a Clydesdale, but it’s nothing like its rabbit based ancestor.

If you like our VW Amarok 2014 review of this rough and ready then find out about our VW leasing deals,  leave us a message on our contact form or just write a comment below.

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