Is Volkswagen Amarok a good car?

Volkswagen Amarok

The Volkswagen Amarok is a VW pickup released back in 2010. Ever since it was released the Amarok continued to live in the shadow of many more popular pickup trucks. The Amarok never made it to the US because it was too premium and too expensive to compete with the likes of the Ford Ranger, the Chevy Colorado, and the Toyota Tacoma.

This meant that the VW Amarok ceased production in 2020 because VW repurposed its Hanover factory where the Amarok was built in order to make the VW ID BUZZ. The Amarok is indeed a fairly expensive car compared to most pickups, but is Volkswagen Amarok a good car?

The VW Amarok is a good car, but it was never able to compete with some of its more affordable competitors and because Europe is not really a pickup kind of market. The engines the Amarok offers are efficient and sophisticated while the design is rugged, utilitarian, but still premium-looking.

Reliability-wise, the Amarok is all over the place because some models are better than others. Due to severe depreciation, the Amarok is now fairly affordable while also being practical thanks to a fairly large bed area.

VW Amarok – The powerplant

The VW Amarok comes with a few different engines and the only gasoline-powered Amarok is the 2.0L TSI with 165hp. The most popular Amarok engines are the 2.0L TDI diesel engines with power outputs ranging between 122hp and 180hp for the BiTDI models.

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The best VW Amarok engines are the 3.0L TDI units with up to 272hp. The 3.0L TDI 6-cylinder engine is a staple engine for the entirety of the VW Auto Group because it is being used in many other more premium cars such as the Porsche Cayenne, the Audi A6, and so on.

The Amarok is able to return a maximum of 30MPG combined for the most efficient diesel engines which makes it fairly economical when compared to most pickups. The Amarok starts with a FWD platform while the more powerful models come with 4MOTION AWD.

Finally, the Amarok is also available with a TipTronic automatic transmission and low range gearbox for certain markets.

VW Amarok – Design and chassis

The Amarok borrows a few design touches from its more desirable cousin, the VW Touareg. However, the Amarok is more rugged-looking because it is a body on frame off-roader. The interior if the VW Amarok is fine, more premium than most pickups, but still not all that exciting when compared to the Touareg.

The Touareg comes with a dual wishbone suspension at the front and leaf bars at the back. This makes the Amarok feel floaty and more like an off-roader than a luxury SUV. The Amarok is not all that dynamic which means that it is far from being anything close to a sports pickup truck.

VW Amarok – Reliability and common issues

The VW Amarok is all over the place when it comes to reliability as some models are more reliable than others. The most common VW Amarok issues are associated with the timing chain tensioner, the ignition coils, the high pressure fuel pump, the water pump, and the PVC valve.

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Most of these can be solved by preventive maintenance which is a necessity for cars such as the Amarok. If you fail to maintain it early enough, it is likely going to cause all sorts of issues down the line. All in all, the Amarok is as good as is the maintenance the car is getting.

VW Amarok – Value and practicality

The flip side to the Amarok being relatively unpopular is that depreciation makes it popular on the 2nd hand market. As such, a used VW Amarok commands a really value-oriented price which is why these can be seen rolling around European streets where hardly any other pickup truck does.  

Pracitality-wise, the VW Amarok is more or less in line with trucks like the Toyota Tundra. The interior space is plenty thanks to a boxy design while the cargo area is huge. If you don’t like placing your cargo in an open bed, you should invest in a high-quality bed cover that is able to hide your cargo while maintain a huge cargo space.

FAQ Section

Why is the VW Amarok discontinued?

The last few years have seen many brands discontinuing even more popular cars. A great example of this is the fact that VW discontinued the VW Passat sedan which is one of the longest running and arguably best VW models. So it comes as no surprise that a car such as the Amarok is also discontinued.

The reason why is because the Amarok simply didn’t belong in a VW lineup. Not many people were interested in buying it while many newer VW models (especially electric ones) are being revealed left and right. If you pair this with the dreaded Dieselgate scandal and the fact that it cost VW huge amounts of money, it is rather apparent while the Amarok had to go.

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Is the VW Amarok a good off-roader?

A body on frame design, double wishbone suspension, low range gearbox, all of these sound like they belong to a really capable off-roader, but the Amarok is not a really capable off-roader. Even though the Amarok is easily to easily tackle light to moderate off-road courses, the 195mm ground clearance is simply to low for anything more challenging.

The Amarok actually offers the lowest ride height out of almost all double cab pickup trucks which means that there is a great deal of chance that any serious off-roading could damage the Amarok.

Should I buy the VW Amarok?

The Volkswagen Amarok is a good car because it enjoys a somewhat cultlike status in Europe. If you are someone who likes driving country roads and you love adventures, the Amarok is a great car for it. Even though it is not designed to tackle any serious off-roading, the Amarok is able to stand its ground in the more ordinary stuff.

The Amarok is also comfortable and it offers a decent interior. The value proposition is strong while the practicality is great.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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