2023 Volkswagen Amarok assessment | CarExpert

2023 Volkswagen Amarok assessment | CarExpert

It’s lastly right here, people.

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 stress 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 automotive shares its underpinnings and engine with the newest Ford Ranger for starters, and the cabin options the form 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 symbolize 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 price?

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 automated 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 automated.

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

2023 Volkswagen Amarok pricing:

  • Volkswagen Amarok Core
    • 2.0 TDI405 4Motion handbook: $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 Fashion
    • 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 seems 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 Fashion feels fairly premium, and the range-topping Amarok Aventura is a really good place to spend time.

Volkswagen gives a variety of finishes on provide to make distinctive variants really feel… distinctive. The mid-range fashion 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. This can be 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 you should 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 telephone mirroring – however falls into a number of the traps afflicting different Volkswagen Group merchandise.

There are not any dials for the local weather management, for instance, so you should take your eyes off the street and prod the display screen at twice to vary the temperature, and there are many sub-menus while you begin diving into the driving force help screens.

It’s not far off being wonderful, however greater icons and a better structure can be welcome in a number of locations. It’s additionally lacking the helpful front-facing digital camera that prompts while 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 skin of the automotive utilizing an app, for instance, could be very helpful, as is the power to regulate your zone lighting.

The digital instrument show is standout, nevertheless. It seems fashionable, and provide the fitting mix of data and legibility. The splashy graphics while you change drive modes add a touch of aptitude, and the very 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 telephone charger beneath the sprint, and a deep central bin – though the trailer brake controller does make it more durable to place a telephone in that charger, and means the USB-A and USB-C ports are recessed to the purpose of being laborious to succeed in.

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 automotive.

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 youngsters are susceptible to carsickness, and the inclusion of air vents will little doubt be welcome throughout sizzling Australian summers.

ISOFIX factors characteristic on the outboard rear seats, and there’s a trio of top-tether factors for youngster seats. There are not 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 provided relying on the mannequin, and the range-topping Aventura has a powered curler cowl that may be operated from the important thing.

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

What’s beneath 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 street by way of a six-speed handbook or automated 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 automated 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 automated 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 automated and full-time four-wheel drive.

All fashions may have an 80L gasoline tank, and TDI fashions now have a 19.3L AdBlue tank as an alternative of the 6.3L unit on the outgoing automotive.

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
Fashion TDI500 10AT Bi-Turbo 2.0L four-cylinder 154kW and 500Nm Diesel 7.2L/100km
Fashion 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 a great 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 automated transmission.

It’s laborious to know what gear you’re in at any given time as a result of they’re stacked intently – and since for essentially the most half you simply get what you want, while 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 while 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 automotive it replaces, and the surround-view digital camera (on the Fashion and above) is welcome while you’re attempting to park such a giant beast.

The broader suite of lively driver assists is welcome. Adaptive cruise management is clean and good, and the lively 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 Fashion, and the second is a tauter setup with monotube dampers provided on the PanAmericana and Aventura.

The Fashion is extra relaxed on the open street, 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 while you hit bumps at velocity, and occupants aren’t jiggled relentlessly.

Swapping into the Aventura reveals a special 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 all the time pitched the Amarok as an ‘SUV with a tray’ quite than a piece automobile on the prime 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 sluggish, 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 way in which 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 in the event you may maintain it within the energy band… in the event you 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 choose. 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 journey.

It’s designed to be essentially the most succesful Amarok off-road, and dealt fairly effortlessly with every thing 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 benefit with which it dispatched the off-road course we drove would counsel 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 telephone 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
    • Automated headlights

Amarok Fashion 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
    • Palms-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
    • Tender 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 ranking primarily based 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 weak street 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.

Customary security tools consists of:

  • 7 airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise management
  • Lane-keep help
  • Velocity 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 price 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 price $1800 to service for 5 years or 75,000 kilometres with one among its pay as you go Care Plans, undercutting the worth of the equal package deal 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 worth over 5 years, however paid for on the time of service quite than being bundled into the automotive’s buy worth.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Volkswagen Amarok

The brand new Amarok improves on its predecessor in a variety of key methods.

It’s greater and extra fashionable inside, lastly encompasses a aggressive suite of lively security options, and drives with the polish you’d count on of a Volkswagen dual-cab ute developed alongside the present standard-setter from Ford.

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

What stands in its means? 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 Fashion to be the best-seller, and there’s little doubt it represents a candy spot within the vary. However an optioned Fashion 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 pieces Volkswagen Amarok

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