GRR Garage: Volkswagen Amarok – eating up the miles

21st March 2019
Ben Miles

It’s very nearly time for our long-term Volkswagen Amarok to disappear into the great blue yonder and out of our lives forever. But before that sad day, we’ve taken the big blue beast for some proper long-distance driving, spanning pretty much all the country, to see how it fairs as a motorway cruiser.


Pick-ups are rarely made as wafting-mobiles, built first and foremost for picking things up, hence the name. However, if you own one, there is likely to be a time when you’ll need to travel a great distance in one hit, so we’re here to let you know what to expect.

What should you expect then? Well it isn’t a Mercedes S-Class, but that won’t come as a shock to you. The big engine (have we mentioned it has a 3.0-litre V6 before?) is perfect for smashing away those motorway miles with minimal fuss, but the rear suspension (reinforced leaf springs) is not exactly supple, so a luxurious cruiser this is not. However, what it is, is something that does the job much better than it should. With an interior more like a car than most pick-ups and a rather decent infotainment and navigation system the Amarok will help you while away the hours very well.


That engine settles down very nicely and doesn’t clatter much for a big oil-burner – on some proper cruising we even managed to get close to 40mpg, which considering it has such a big lump up front and weighs 2.2 tonnes is quite impressive. The lightness of the steering, slightly unnerving when you first experience it, is quite handy on the motorway, leading to minimal effort to head in a straight line.


It's just those leaf springs that let the side down. They’re very good for filling the back with a tonne of stuff (or a deceased Christmas tree), but unladen they make the Amarok just a teeny bit… bouncy. It’s a minor problem, and the Amarok is probably less jittery than a lot of smaller cars, but it just means the refinement isn’t quite there. 

MPG this week: 35.6

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