2017 Volkswagen Amarok Review

Volkswagen Amarok
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finder score: 85.00%

Avg. critics score: 85.00%
3 critics
How did we calculate this?
We analysed and aggregated the scores of Car Showroom, Chasing Cars and WhichCar to bring you the finder score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
Finder.com.au is personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn how we work and how we make money.

Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Car Showroom80%"And in a ute-dominated market like ours, the Amarok has gone on to become the choice of ute fans who want a more compliant and car-like driving experience." Read more
"And in a ute-dominated market like ours, the Amarok has gone on to become the choice of ute fans who want a more compliant and car-like driving experience."Read more
WhichCar90%"The comfortable and sophisticated Volkswagen Amarok handles and steers better than most SUVs – let alone other dual-cab utes."Read more
"The comfortable and sophisticated Volkswagen Amarok handles and steers better than most SUVs – let alone other dual-cab utes." Read more
Chasing Cars85%"The Amarok V6 is a superior drive to all of its rivals – on first impressions. However, we’ve touched on the lack of autonomous safety features as the only real issue here." Read more
"The Amarok V6 is a superior drive to all of its rivals – on first impressions. However, we’ve touched on the lack of autonomous safety features as the only real issue here." Read more

How does the Volkswagen Amarok compare with its peers?

PayloadANCAP RatingPrice (from)Finder Score

Volkswagen Amarok
1020kg5-Stars$35,49085.00%

Nissan Navara
930kg5-Stars$31,99075.00%

Isuzu D-Max
924kg5-Stars$34,80073.25%

Toyota HiLux
924kg5-Stars$39,49073.33%

Ford Ranger
1085kg5-Stars$31,44981.25%

Mazda BT-50
1039kg5-Stars$36,49078.00%

The complete Volkswagen Amarok review

Volkswagen Amarok Pricing

There are eight different Amarok models available, with prices ranging from $38,990 up to more than $70,000.

ModelPrice
Amarok 4x2 Dual Cab TDI420 8-Speed Auto$38,990
Amarok Core 4x4 Dual Cab TDI400 6-Speed Manual$39,990
Amarok Core 4x4 Dual Cab TDI420 8-Speed Auto$42,990
Amarok Core Plus 4x4 Dual Cab TDI400 6-Speed Manual$44,990
Amarok Core Plus 4x4 Dual Cab TDI420 8-Speed Auto$47,990
Amarok V6 Sportline 4x4 Dual Cab TDI550 8-Speed Auto$53,990
Amarok V6 Highline 4x4 Dual Cab TDI550 8-Speed Auto$59,990
Amarok V6 Ultimate 4x4 Dual Cab TDI550 8-Speed Auto$74,109 (price varies based on postcode. Pricing shown is for 2000 postcode)

Overview...

Dual-cab utes are an increasingly common sight on Australian roads, and Volkswagen’s Amarok is one of the most sought-after vehicles in this category. Available in one 4x2 and seven 4x4 model variants, the Amarok boasts a massive load bed, car-like handling and a host of premium interior features.

As its Finder score of 85% indicates, the 2017 Amarok has been highly well received by the motoring industry and new car buyers alike. Most reviewers placed it in the top echelon of utes available on the Australian market today, praising its comfortable and sophisticated handling that sets it well apart from many of its competitors. The powerful V6 diesel engine in the top-range Sportline, Highline and Ultimate models also impressed reviewers with its smooth yet frugal performance.

Utes have a reputation as tough workhorses, and the Amarok’s practical load bed and solid off-road ability (in 4x4 models) saw it earn top marks. However, it also boasts a pleasing level of interior comfort and premium features, drawing favourable comparisons with several other passenger cars in Volkswagen’s collection.

However, there are some downsides of which to be wary, such as the hefty price tag attached to top-line models and the lack of some safety features and technologies. The satnav screen also attracted the ire of some reviewers for being on the small side, while VW’s limited dealer network is also a cause for concern.

However, while these drawbacks detract from what is otherwise a very impressive package, are they enough to suggest you should look elsewhere? Keep reading to find out.

Engine and performance

VW’s Amarok comes with a choice of two engines:

  • A 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel
  • A 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel

The 3.0-litre TDI V6 engine in Sportline, Highline and Ultimate models delivers 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque. That’s some class-leading grunt right there, and there’s also an overboost feature that provides an extra 15kW of power when you really need it – perfect when you need that little bit extra to overtake.

The reviewers praised the V6 for providing smooth and economical performance, particularly on the highway, and it delivers a combined fuel consumption figure of 9L/100km. Unfortunately, this engine is only available on the three most-expensive models in the Amarok range.

The 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel, matched with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, is a little less refined compared to its bigger brother. However, it still delivers reasonable performance in most conditions and uses less fuel than the V6.

Handling

When you think about vehicles that provide precise handling, a smooth ride and impressive driver and passenger comfort levels, dual cab utes probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, this vehicle class has traditionally provided a driving experience that could best be described as agricultural.

However, this isn’t the case with the Volkswagen Amarok. Across the board, the reviewers were glowing in their praise for the Amarok’s on-road performance. With an agile and immediate response to your steering inputs, the Amarok handles much more like a passenger car than a big-bopper ute, and the driving experience is further improved by the comfortable and well-supported seats.

Another impressive feature is the lack of road noise in the Amarok’s cabin. Once again, this is a category where utes often don’t excel, but noise, vibration and harshness levels never become overbearing in the Amarok. However, rear-seat passengers might notice a little more tyre noise when travelling at high speeds.

All reviewers agreed that you’d be hard-pressed to find a 4WD ute that can provide better on-road handling than the Amarok, while it also performs well (by ute standards) when you want to venture off the beaten track.

TDI420 4x2TDI400 4x4TDI420 4x43.0-litre V6 TDI
Available inAmarok 4x2 Dual CabAmarok Core 4x4 Dual Cab, Amarok Core Plus 4x4 Dual CabAmarok Core 4x4 Dual Cab, Amarok Core Plus 4x4 Dual CabAmarok V6 TDI550 Sportline, Amarok V6 TDI550 Highline, Amarok V6 TDI550 Ultimate
TypeFour-cylinder bi-turbo diesel, DOHC, 16 valveFour-cylinder bi-turbo diesel, DOHC, 16 valveFour-cylinder bi-turbo diesel, DOHC, 16 valveSix-cylinder turbo diesel, 24 valve
Max power132kW @ 4,000rpm132kW @ 4,000rpm132kW @ 4,000rpm165kW @ 2,500-4,500rpm
Max torque420Nm @1,750rpm400Nm @ 1,500-2,250rpm420Nm @1,750rpm550Nm @ 1,500-2,500rpm
Transmission8-speed automatic6-speed manual8-speed automatic8-speed automatic
Fuel tank capacity80L80L80L80L
Fuel consumption8.4L/100km8L/100km8.5L/100km9L/100km
Braked towing capacity3,000kg3,000kg3,000kg3,500kg

Interior and other features

Before stepping into the Amarok, it’s worth taking a moment to admire its looks. From the outside, the Amarok is a ruggedly handsome fellow with a chunky-looking design, and first impressions indicate that this is a ute that will be able to take you wherever you want to go. Top-end models also get projector headlamps and LED-daytime running lights, adding an extra layer of refinement, while the larger wheels on top-spec models (up to 20-inch alloys on the V6 TDI550 Ultimate) further bolster the sense of style.

Once you’ve climbed up into the Amarok, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re sitting in the warm embrace of a luxury sedan. The first thing you’ll notice is the plushness of the interior, with fewer hard plastics than you might find in many of its competitors. The comfort feature that reviewers gave honourable mention to was the Amarok's seats – whether you’re sitting up front or riding in the back, all seats are well bolstered.

Drivers enjoy a high seating position with a good range of vision around the vehicle, and the dash is not only easy on the eye but also intelligently laid out. The Amarok now gets the same 6.33-inch infotainment screen as the VW Golf. Though practical and simple to use, the unit is somewhat small and some reviewers noted that a larger screen would be a welcome option.

Having said that, the Amarok supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and there were no complaints about the built-in satnav system.

Next, the reviewers praised the Amarok for its impressive levels of kit included in all variants, which is exactly what you’d want from a ute that’s one of the more expensive offerings in the class. In particular, the V6 models include a number of high-level features you wouldn’t usually associate with a ute. The V6 TDI550 even comes with heated electric leather front seats, providing a level of comfort you’d expect from a high-end sedan.

In the back, there’s enough shoulder room and leg room to fit three adults, while the firm seat can also be folded away if you want to create an additional cargo area. In fact, the interior space in the Amarok is substantial, providing ample room for four people and their stuff to travel in comfort.

Space is also in abundance in the tray. There’s enough room between the wheel arches to pack a standard pallet, while the low loading height makes access easy. Payload figures put the Amarok in the mid-range when compared to other vehicles in its class, and you can carry more than 1,100kg in the 2WD model.

If you’re towing a caravan, boat or trailer, four-cylinder models are only weighted up to 3,000kg – that’s 500kg less than competitors like the Ford Ranger and Holden Colorado. However, the V6 models are all approved to tow up to 3,500kg.

One other all-important yardstick for modern vehicles is safety. There’s an impressive list of safety technologies in the Amarok, with hill descent assist, a rear view camera, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and ABS brakes all present and accounted for.

The four airbags protect the driver and front-seat passenger from head-on and side impacts, but there is no airbag protection for rear passengers. This is one of the Amarok’s biggest drawbacks, and one every potential buyer should consider before parting with their hard-earned cash.

Amarok Dual Cab 4x2Amarok Dual Cab Core 4x4Amarok Dual Cab Core Plus 4x4Amarok V6 TDI550 SportlineAmarok V6 TDI550 HighlineAmarok V6 TDI550 Ultimate
Driver and front passenger airbagsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Driver and front passenger side (head and thorax) airbagsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Child seat top tether anchorage points (3)YesYesYesYesYesYes
ISOFIX child seat anchorage points, outer rear seatsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Mechanical differential lockYesYesYesYesYesYes
Off-road modeYesYesYesYesYesYes
Front and rear parking distance sensorsNoNoYesYesYesYes
Rear view cameraOptionalYesYesYesYesYes
Rain sensing wipersNoNoYesYesYesYes
Lockable rear tailgate with “comfort” closingNoNoYesYesYesYes
Electronic engine immobiliserYesYesYesYesYesYes
Wheels16-inch steel and optional 16-inch alloy16-inch alloy17-inch alloy and optional 19-inch alloy18-inch alloy18-inch alloy20-inch alloy
Composition Media audio systemYesYesYesYesNoNo
Discover Media audio and satellite navigation systemNoNoOptionalNoYesYes
Apple CarPlay and Android AutoYesYesYesYesYesYes

The verdict

All in all, the reviews gathered together to create the Finder score at the top of this page painted an overwhelmingly positive picture of the Volkswagen Amarok. With its blend of go-anywhere versatility and premium interior, not to mention wonderful engine performance and refined handling, the Amarok is one of the best dual-cab utes going around at the moment. If you think utes are rugged work vehicles that are short on comfort, visit your nearest VW dealer and take a look at the Amarok in person – you’re sure to be surprised.

However, no car is perfect and the Amarok does have its shortcomings. The biggest is the lack of airbags for rear passengers, while the fact that VW can’t boast the same dealer network as some of Australia’s more popular brands could be cause for concern if your Amarok breaks down on a weekend away.

Despite these caveats, there’s still a whole lot to like about this practical, comfortable ute. Whether on the highway or in the city, at the worksite or on a relaxing family getaway, this big dual cab is right at home. Make sure you test drive it alongside the competition, including the Nissan Navara and Toyota HiLux, before deciding whether it’s right for you.

Compare some options to finance a Volkswagen Amarok

Rates last updated May 25th, 2018
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Monthly Service Fee Application Fee Product Description Monthly Repayment
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 5.29% (fixed)
6.56%
$18,000
1 to 7 years
$8.90
$459.20
Apply for up to $100,000 and have up to 10 year(s) to repay. You can use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit.
IMB New Car Loan
5.99% (fixed)
6.34%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$250
Borrow up to $75,000 for a new car up to two years old. Competitive 5.99% p.a. rate available to all approved applicants.
RACV New Car Loans
From 5.99% (fixed)
6.53%
$15,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$380
A competitive rate car loan from RACV with no monthly fees and 5-hour loan approval.
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan
From 5.69% (fixed)
5.97%
$25,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$175
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
MyState Secured Personal Loan
From 7.99% (variable)
8.96%
$10,000
1 to 10 years
$10
$200
Apply for a loan up to $75,000 and benefit from loan terms up to 10 years. Your choice between secured or unsecured.
CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79% (fixed)
6.92%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$0
A competitive car loan for new or used vehicles up to 7 years old that offers flexible repayment options and no account keeping fees.
Heritage Bank Car Loan
From 8.99% (fixed)
9.62%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$5
$200
Apply for up to $100,000 to finance a new or used car at a competitive fixed rate.
IMB Secured Personal Loan
6.89% (fixed)
7.24%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$0
$250
All approved applicants can access this competitive rate and use the loan to finance a range of purposes. Loan amounts up to $60,000 available.
Westpac Car Loan
8.49% (fixed)
9.67%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$12
$250
Finance a new or used car and benefit from great features for car buyers including a car search tool and the option to borrow extra for on-road costs. Borrow funds to purchase a new or used car before 28 June 2018 and receive a $200 fuel voucher.

Compare up to 4 providers

Pictures: Volkswagen.com.au

Car Loan Offers

Important Information*
Stratton Finance New Car Loan

Apply for up to $100,000 and have up to 10 year(s) to repay. You can use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit.

IMB New Car Loan

Borrow up to $75,000 for a new car up to two years old. Competitive 5.99% p.a. rate available to all approved applicants.

Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"

Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.

RACV New Car Loans

A competitive rate car loan from RACV with no monthly fees and 5-hour loan approval.

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