If you look ‘across the pond’, you’d see that pick-up trucks feature heavily in the best-selling vehicle lists, and have done so for decades. Here in the UK, we’re flagging slightly, although that is slowly changing, mainly thanks to favourable BiK (Benefit in Kind) rates applied by the taxman.
Pick-up trucks have never been the popular choice, even amongst the commercial sector, but that’s partly down to them being a compromise – yes, can fit quite a load in the back, but it’s not secure, they aren’t weather-proof, and seating for any more than two was always cramped. (Let’s not get into the lockable cover, load liner and truck bed toolbox argument).
Add poor road manners into the mix, often noisy, and trim materials designed to be practical rather than tactile, and it’s easy to see that buying a truck was (in many cases), done from necessity, rather than want.
Step forward the Volkswagen Amarok. The first, purpose-built pick-up from Volkswagen.
Obviously, we aren’t going to tell you that the Amarok feels like you’re driving a taut sportscar, or that it’s so plush, and rides so well that you’ll think you’ve taken the Bentley by mistake, but when compared to the competition, it’s in a different league. That’s why What Car? voted it as their Pick-up of the Year 2019.
Volkswagen have given serious thought as to the failings of the competition, and addressed those failures in true VW fashion. For instance, the bed and loading space is the widest in class, which means that a Euro pallet will fit across the bed, exactly. Depending on the spec, it can carry up to 1,154Kg, and tow 3,100Kg.
Of course, some other trucks can offer similar capacities, but simply don’t have the wherewithal to maximise that; what’s the point of having a theoretical weight limit of over 1,100Kg if the powertrain can only cope with half that? The Amarok has a 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine which offers plenty of torque – 580Nm (nearly 430 ft-lb in old money), and up to 254hp. Load lugging nirvana.
And depending on engine spec (161hp, 201hp or the 254hp), you can have a choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox, or 8-speed automatic, with the auto helping toward achieving the real-world economy of up to 34.9mpg. Add in the VW 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, and it’s unstoppable.
The Amarok comes as a 4-door double cab, so getting extra hands in the back is easy enough, and the rear seats are wide enough for three adults (just), and once inside, they’ll find it a pretty nice place to be.
While the engineers at Volkswagen have still made liberal use of ‘functional’ materials, they’ve been put together exactly as you’d expect from a VW engineered product, and it’s easy to forget that you’re driving a light commercial vehicle, rather than one of their regular cars, no doubt helped by the fact that there are touches such as a leather steering wheel, touchscreen infotainment and DAB radio.
It isn’t short on digital tech either – Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink, and of course sat-nav and voice control, even technology that you didn’t know you needed until now – electronic voice amplification for example. And then there’s the safety systems … automatic post-collision braking, trailer stabilisation, and the ParkPilot.
The Amarok has been designed to offer all things, to all men (& women!) that need a light commercial vehicle that’s capable of tackling the toughest jobs, be that on a construction site, road building or perhaps the toughest of all, farming.
In recognition of this, the NFU are able to offer a discount (of up to 21%) on the price of a new Amarok, which could see a saving of over £7,000 from the list price. No doubt you’ll agree this represents incredible value for money, and an initiative that we fully support; giving something back to the hard working people that keep this country going.
If you’d like to find out more about the NFU offer, or see for yourself just how far Volkswagen have pushed the pick-up category, contact one of friendly professionals to discuss your needs.