The VW Amarok has won several tests, mostly based on people’s opinions. But would our new, more comprehensive format deliver a different result? Nope.
- Handling: 100%
- Towing: 100%
- Weight carrying ability: 100%
- Judges’ call: 100%
- Fuel consumption: 91.1%
- 4×4 ability: 88.7%
- Interior: 84%
- Safety: 72.7%
- Long-term ownership: 69.4%
- Tare: 2 310kg (full tank & driver)
- GVM: 3 080kg
- Load permitted to GVM: 770kg
- Price: R799 000
- Sales (December 2019): 209 (range)
Thumbs up: Handling
Thumbs down: Long-term ownership
We call it “the GTI). That’s because this bakkie can sprint from 0-100km/h faster than most modern turbocharged hatches.
In-gear acceleration is another virtue. Stand on the go-faster pedal, and this Volksie shoots forward like a, well… like a GTI.
So we knew it was fast. But this test was not about 0–100km/h sprint times. It was about practical, real-world ownership, like lugging a heavy load, fuel consumption, handling, and so on. Things the VW may not be so very good at.
And true as toast, it wasn’t perfect. It finished second last in the 4×4 ability segment, the lack of a transfer case and limited ground clearance costing it points. On the safety front it was also found slightly lacking, with less standard supplementary restraint systems than some of its competitors, resulting in a relatively low 72.7%.
It racked the up third-lowest score in the long-term ownership segment, recording 69.4% An expensive parts bin and a relatively low score for service levels and resale value saw it plummet further down the leader board in this segment.
For the rest… well, it was in a league of its own.
It received top marks (100%) in four segments. This included weight-carrying ability, handling, towing and our judges overwhelmingly chose the VW as their favourite bakkie to drive. It may have a leaf-spring rear suspension set-up but our judges were highly impressed by the bakkie’s stability and comfort.
It even came in fourth overall in the fuel consumption test, recording 10.53 litres/ 100km. Not too bad for a bakkie with up to 180kW of power. In-gear acceleration was outstanding, with or without a load. With a power to weight ratio of 70.69kW/ton, that’s not surprising. The all-disc braking system performed well, too.
It was the fastest through the ISO 3888-1 handling test, tester Jakes Jacobs waxing lyrical about the steering feedback and the bakkie’s poise, even with the stability control coming into play.
The cabin could be described as bland, especially when compared to the posh Fords and the Benz, but the quality is good, and the comfort levels high.
Interestingly, the Dastek dynamometer showed a loss of 9.3% from the engine to the driven wheels so that, in part, explains the performance potential.
The VW Amarok 3.0TDI V6 Canyon 4Motion may not be the ultimate 4×4 weapon, but as an overall package, it really is a tough act to follow.
It is our inaugural Bakkie of the Year.