Volkswagen Amarok Review 2024

Volkswagen Amarok At A Glance


+Versatile pick-up with big load bay and generous cabin space. Standard equipment akin to passenger car alternatives. Easy to drive with long list of assistance tech.

-Retail prices top out at more than £57,500. Portrait infotainment screen looks like an afterthought. Limited range line-up compared to the Ford Ranger.

We've been waiting three years for the new Volkswagen Amarok to arrive, but it's finally here. The upmarket pick-up truck puts its own stamp on its Ford Ranger underpinnings, with bold looks and a generous amount of standard equipment. Read our VW Amarok review for the full lowdown.

The old Volkswagen Amarok entered the pick-up truck segment in 2011, offering car-like refinement and even a touch of style compared to utilitarian rivals. Production ended in 2020 and its successor has only just hit the market - the question is, has it been worth the wait?

Let’s start by looking at the relationship between the new Amarok and the Ford Ranger. A commercial vehicle partnership between Volkswagen and Ford means the two pick-ups are mechanically very similar (and even share a factory) - much like the Volkswagen Caddy bears a distinct resemblance to the new Ford Transit Connect.

It’d be unfair to describe the Volkswagen Amarok as a rebadged Ford Ranger, though. For a start, there are only a handful of shared cosmetic parts - it certainly has its own style, with a bold, upright radiator grille and flat-top wheel arches.

The Volkswagen Amarok range is a little more streamlined than the Ford Ranger’s. It’s only available as a double-cab pick-up, while there are four trim levels to choose from: Life, Style, PanAmericana and Aventura. Our choice would be the Volkswagen Amarok Style - it’s got a few more luxuries than the entry-level Life (dual-zone climate control, a 12.0-inch navigation system and adaptive cruise control, to name a few), without being quite as expensive as the higher-spec PanAmericana and Aventura models.

Talking of which, the Volkswagen Amarok is quite expensive as far as pick-up trucks go. The cheapest Volkswagen Amarok you can buy is more than £40,000 (including VAT), while some of the priciest models exceed £55,000. That’s significantly pricier than a SsangYong Musso or Isuzu D-Max.

The engine range is pretty limited, too. There are three to choose from: all turbodiesels, with power outputs ranging from 170PS to 240PS. We’d go for the punchy 3.0-litre V6 if budget allows; its extra low-down torque will prove useful when carrying a full load or towing a heavy trailer.

All but the most affordable Amarok come with a 10-speed automatic gearbox as standard. This seamlessly changes through its (many) ratios, while a selection of drive modes can alter the behaviour of the engine and gearbox to the situation. We’ve sampled the new Amarok on a range of off-road tracks and it’s pretty capable, especially considering the tarmac-focussed tyres fitted to our test vehicle.

On the road, the Volkswagen Amarok drives pretty well for a commercial vehicle, although you might be in for a shock if you’ve chopped in your SUV for one. That’s mainly due to the ride quality - it’s pretty crashy without any weight over the rear wheels, although that’s true for most pick-up trucks.

There are 20 new driver-assistance systems fitted to the Amarok, while its five-star Euro NCAP safety rating will be reassuring if you’re planning to use it as a family car.

Despite its upmarket image, the new Volkswagen Amarok does the workhorse thing pretty well, too. There’s a huge load bay, capable of carrying a Euro pallet sideways, while it’s rated to tow a braked trailer weighing up to 3500kg.

Inside, the Volkswagen Amarok is more spacious than a lot of the competition, with space for up to five adults in relative comfort. It's a well-finished cabin - a few brittle plastics aside - while technology like the huge portrait infotainment screen and digital dials give it a more car-like look.

What does a Volkswagen Amarok cost?