Volkswagen Amarok (2011–)

Last updated 24 September 2019

Impressive on road and easy to drive off road, refined, six-speed transmission with low range. Vastly improved V6 TDI from 2016 can tow 3.2 tonnes and has outstanding AWD system.
Original 2.0 TDI has low CO2 and is reasonably economical but not really strong enough for tough work.
Updated 2 November 2018
Amarok Aventura launched

The Amarok Aventura features 20-inch Talca alloy wheels, body coloured sports bar with Aventura badging and chrome-plated side bars with step and LED spot lighting. Customers can specify their Aventura...

Read more


Volkswagen isn't a make you'd associate with the traditionally rough and ready pick-up truck. It's a market that's dominated by Japanese brands such as Mitsubishi and Toyota whose reliability and tough build quality has made them favourites among plenty of owners. Volkswagen hasn't been deterred though.

It leads the way for commercial vehicles in Europe with models like the Transporter and Caddy, so the Amarok is a logical step.

It may not have the tough image of the Toyota Hilux but the Amarok majors on comfort and refinement. It's very quiet on the move, rides well and has a comfortable interior with a quality finish that's on par with Volkswagen's car range. It's very easy to forget you're in a pick-up truck and inside it's a cut above most of the competition.

At launch the Amarok was offered with a choice of 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engines. Designed for efficiency the common rail unit is quiet and pulls well enough thanks to 340Nm of torque in the standard version (the BiTDI has 400Nm) but it doesn't quite feel strong enough compared to some of its rivals. 

In 2016 Volkswagen replaced the 2.0-litre turbodiesels with a 3.0-litre V6. Smooth, powerful and quiet, the V6 gives the Amarok the punch it was lacking with the older four-cylinder units. The 3.0-litre is offered in 204PS and 224PS (240PS with overboost). Early 2018 would see VW add a 258PS version of the V6 engine, it featuring an overboost function for 272PS for short periods under heavy engine loadings.   

It has a good sized load space though with 2.5 square metres and a length of more than 1.5 metres so it can carry a Euro pallet sideways. The maximum payload is in excess of one tonne in the majority of models. It's well equipped too with even the standard model getting 16-inch alloy wheels, 4MOTION Selectable four-wheel drive, electric front and rear windows, semi-automatic air conditioning and a CD radio.

Used Buying Guide - Volkswagen Amarok 

From the powerful V6 to the early 2.0-litre turbodiesels, we explain what you should look out for when buying a used second-hand Amarok one-tonne pick-up truck. 

Read our used buying guide here >>

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