VW Amarok – basic but still a wolf

I have been driving my new VW Amarok for about 2 months and today I have decided to tell you all about it. Let me start by saying that reviewing cars is not my usual forte but the bods at MTI want a good truck story as winter sets in and as they found out I’d recently got one they asked me what I thought of it, so here goes.

If you know anything about the German manufacturers, particularly VW, they often launch cars which nobody can get their hands on for months; cabriolets in the winter or cars which they just can’t say how much they will cost.

The Amarok is no exception; no1 they don’t do an automatic version (or in VW speak a DSG) at present, whether there are plans to introduce one let’s just hope so, no2 the other thing you need to know about German manufacturers is that if they are to venture into an unfamiliar market, such as the crew cab commercial type one, then they are usually very good at it, and to be fair this car/pick up is no different.

The name apparently means “wolf” in the language spoken by the Inuit native Eskimos in Northern Canada and Greenland and I originally got the Amarok (Startline 122PS 4motion) not because it is named after a wolf but rather because a colleague told me that it would save me money in company car tax being that it is classified as a commercial vehicle so I’m awaiting a nice rebate next year! I have had a Toyota Hilux and a Mitsubishi L200 4-life before, both of which I enjoyed but which I found slightly worrying in bad weather due to losing the back end a couple of times on slightly wet roads. The VW however is a different kettle of fish.

I suppose the best way to describe it is like driving a big VW if that makes any sense. I love the high up driving position, love the cockpit space, I love the fact that I can do a 6 hour journey and feel as comfortable finishing it as when I started and I love that my wife now loves it too! I love that it turns heads and my kids like riding in the pick-up bit. I love the performance of the 2.0 TDi engine and I love the look of it. It is to me a thing of beauty. However despite all the “I love yous” I can’t deal with the twice weekly visits to the petrol station where a full tank sets me back about £105 and has got me so far, at best, 475 miles (I’ll let you do the maths).

I don’t like how basic and Spartan the interior is although in true VW style this is the only one they had available. They wouldn’t even take a deposit if I wanted it inside 6 months with more spec. Apparently dealers have only been allocated a certain number per year (lead time lunacy – come on VW sort it out!).

I don’t like the fact that it hasn’t got a DAB radio. I don’t particularly like the agricultural gearbox although i have got used to it. The visibility at the rear is not great and because it has no parking sensors, getting used to the sheer size when parking has only reminded me how bad I am at parking.

The price is fair in my opinion (see below) and if the residuals are anything like most other VW cars (Phaeton excluded) I should be alright when I change it in a few years time.

I’m not sure about servicing costs at the moment but my communication with the dealer I bought it from has been first class.

I have also taken it off road on one of these outdoor track places and here it really does show its class. I negotiated almost vertical hills and rocks which you shouldn’t be allowed to drive over and many other thrilling obstacles and Bernie the big boy (yes I know sad isn’t it) never let me down once.

The fact that I will probably never take it off road again is quiet irrelevant but apart from all that it’s great for the dump runs and carrying medium sized furniture around for friends and family (for which I have now become the “go to guy”)

In summary I like it more each day apart from the lack of toys and would recommend the next model up if you can get one, but as they haven’t yet made the perfect car/truck as far as I’m aware, this will do for me and that feeling of looking down on the rest of the car world along with not worrying about my back when climbing out are real bonuses.

The proof ultimately I guess will be when the really bad weather hits at which time I may have completely changed my mind, but I’ll keep you posted!

When looking to insurance your Amarok, no doubt you will be looking for budget car insurance. It is best to try a number of number of companies to find the best deal, Endsleigh are one such insurance provider worth looking at.

VW Amarok price list

Model4WDRetail £VAT £Total £Retail OTR £Retail OTR + VAT £Ins Rating
Startline 122PS 4MOTIONSelectable17,995.003,599.0021,594.0018,830.0022,543.007E
Startline 163PS 4MOTIONSelectable18,995.003,799.0022,794.0019,830.0023,743.008E
Trendline 163PS 4MOTIONSelectable19,995.003,999.0023,994.0020,830.0024,943.008E
Highline 163PS 4MOTIONSelectable22,575.004,515.0027,090.0023,410.0028,039.008E
Highline 163PS 4MOTIONPermanent22,575.004,515.0027,090.0023,410.0028,039.007E


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2 Responses to VW Amarok – basic but still a wolf

  1. Tyra Shortino March 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    The Amarok is a bit pricey, but I must say it’s worth all that dough. It has a tough exterior that can weather all types of road conditions. And the interiors look great, very spacious and all. It’s nice to know that you’re having a fine time with your Amarok.

  2. Richard Haith June 22, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Looks great and will be very well built as per all VW’s. I would wait for a higher spec version and definitely with a DSG gearbox.

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