Wednesday 17 January 2018

Amarok brings a touch of class to the pick-up with sublime automatic version

Philip Hedderman

IN a man's world size matters.

Yes ladies, in the beer-guzzling, footie-filled, car-obsessed vacuum we call home there is only one MAN-tra – bigger is better.

On planet Man there is no place for cosy nights in, snuggling (uuggh), meaningful hugs or getting in touch with your feminine side.

In fact, 'Rom Coms' are deemed the work of the devil, Barbara Streisand is his mistress and Michael Buble is queen of the fat karaoke singers.

We balk at the idea of housework, view shopping as a draconian punishment and laugh in the face of map reading (after all, we have photographic memories).

Needless to say we're better drivers too and it's been scientifically proven that the ability to parallel park is, I'm afraid, genetic.

We don't want or need vanity mirrors, seats that slide all the way to the windscreen and an old-style handbrake is for impressing your mates – not an extra-long scrunchie holder.

No Mam.

In Blokesville, we do man things and drive man cars with really macho names.

Top of the wish list is the mighty moustachioed VW Amarok – a three-tonne pick-up that runs on pure Testosterone.

Sitting at over 3 metres in length, this flat-bed monster is no shrinking violet but the German car giant has several fingers in several pies here.

Not content with going after the traditional commercial trade, the Amarok (which means Wolf in Inuit) is also targeting the 4X4, the MPV/SUV segment and may even take a few scalps in the luxury end of the market too.

You see, this beast is all things to all men. Being a double cab, there is room for five adults/kids, has on-demand all-wheel drive and now comes with an 8-speed automatic gearbox – a first in the pick-up segment.

It's twinned with an awesome 2.0 litre, bi-turbo 180bhp diesel unit, generating 420Nm of torque at 1,750rpm.

In lay man's terms it means that it has the ability to tow a massive 3.2 tonnes and has enough low range power to pull a block of flats down.



And when you're not driving over mine fields and ripping buildings down, the auto box will give the same cruising experience and fuel efficiency as that of a similar-sized limo – monstering motorway miles with the same ease.

Inside, the cabin offers all the creature comforts of a mid range Touareg and the build quality is top notch.

Standard kit on the top of the range Highline includes permanent all-wheel drive; 18 inch alloys; climate control, cruise control; leather steering wheel/gear knob/handbrake; chrome mirrors and flared wheel arches.

We were a little disappointed at the absence of Bluetooth and parking sensors although the tow bar at the rear and chrome bull bars were more than enough to ensure we didn't scuff the bumpers.

What didn't disappoint was the economy which is nothing short of breath-taking.

Considering its bulk, the Amarok auto is returning an amazing 35mpg (8.2l/100kms) while emissions are kept to 216g/km – meaning commercial road tax of €330 or private tax of €710 a-year.

It drives exceptionally well too keeping body roll to a minimum and has surprisingly good turning circle.

The only thing missing is the anti aircraft gun bolted to the rear.

Prices for the VW Amarok start at €31,154 ex VAT & VRT.


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