New Volkswagen Amarok unveiled

07th July 2022
Seán Ward

Given that GRR spent several months with a Volkswagen Amarok, bounding around the Goodwood Estate, we were all keen to see what the new version would be like. Well the waiting is over: this is the all-new Volkswagen Amarok, a vehicle the company claims is “one of the most versatile and well-balanced pick-ups in the world”.


Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sold more than 830,000 examples of the Amarok in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, North Asia and South and Central America over a ten-year production run. So while it might not be quite the heavy hitter that the VW Golf is, for the commercial side of the business it is a huge deal.

What’s new? Well quite a lot. The new Amarok is 96mm longer than before with a wheelbase that’s grown by 173mm. VW says the vehicle is actually narrower than before, though it doesn’t say by how much, and the wading depth has jumped up from 500mm to 800mm, which for some buyers will make a massive difference. Important, too, are the approach angles, as shorter overhangs mean approach angles of 29 degrees and 21 degrees front and rear respectively, with a ramp angle of 21 degrees between the axles. Like its predecessor the pick-up bed can accommodate a loaded pallet, strapped down with eye rings on either side of said bed, but the single-cab Amarok can now accommodate two pallets. The overall load-carrying capabilities have jumped from 1,000kg to 1,160kg.

Fancy a world tour in an Amarok? It’s potentially quite a small market, but there’s now a static roof load capacity of 350kg, enough, says VW, for a four-person roof tent that’s available as an accessory. You can get bike holders, too, as well as various bars and attachments, a hardtop cover for the bed that effectively turns the Amarok into a van, and a number of off-road-appropriate accessories like underbody protection, a snorkel and all-terrain tyres.


Powering the new Amarok are four diesel engines and one petrol motor depending on the market – there’s no all-electric Amarok, at least not yet. These range from a 2.0-litre with 150PS (110kW) that’ll be sold in Africa through to a 2.0-litre with 170PS (125kW), a twin-turbo 2.0-litre with 204PS (177kW) or 209PS (154kW), a 3.0-litre V6 with either 241PS (177kW) or 250PS (184kW), and a 302PS (222kW) 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol.

Again, depending on the market and by extension the engine, there’s a ten-speed automatic transmission that replaces the old eight-speed, a six-speed auto or a six- or five-speed manual. Similarly, the all-wheel-drive system varies from place to place, with either a selectable or permanent all-wheel-drive system, with either configuration able to tow up to 3,500kg without an issue. 


On the inside, the first thing you’ll likely notice are the screens. The instrument cluster is now either an eight-inch or 12-inch display depending on the specification, while a central tablet-style screen on the dash measures ten- or 12-inches and features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. Mercifully the Commercial Vehicles team at VW has kept a mix of touch and button or rotary dial controls, so some of the frustrating features you’ll find in a Golf or ID.3 are nowhere to be seen in the Amarok. Want to change the infotainment volume or play with the all-wheel-drive system? There are physical controls for those, thank goodness.

VW talks about the seats and how they’ve been “ergonomically designed”, which makes no sense at all unless they had planned on fitting chairs that were deliberately uncomfortable, but what you need to know is that these big, robust thrones should be more comfortable than before. They’re electronically adjustable, too, again depending on the spec.

If you’re looking to store smaller items, well you’re set – there are more cubby holes in the Amarok than most houses. There are door bins, glasses holders, map pockets, shelves, cup holders, coin carriers, storage compartments and two glove boxes. Just think of all the gloves.


As for the looks, well it’s still an Amarok, quite clearly, but the “IQ.LIGHT – LED matric headlights” really do help modernise a relatively familiar appearance. It’s a handsome machine, and there are eight colours to chose from, including a base ‘clear white’ and seven metallic options. The Amarok name is embossed in the bodywork just above the rear numberplate, and you can have wheels from 16-inch steelys to 21-inch alloys.

Spec wise there are five versions, namely ‘Amarok’, Life, Style, and on an equal footing but biased towards an off-road or an on-road look are PanAmericana and Aventura. Across the board there’s more kit and safety tech (there are 20 new assist systems) – even the base Amarok has LED headlights and electric fold-in wing mirrors.

Are we looking forward to having a go? You bet. Driving a Porsche 911 Turbo is fun, but steaming through huge puddles or climbing up a steep bank, all the while with a couple of straw bales in the back is mighty entertaining.

  • Volkswagen

  • Amarok

  • VW

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