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2017 Volkswagen Amarok Review

The comprehensive Volkswagen Amarok review

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Volkswagen Amarok
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.

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?

1 - 11 of 11
Name Product Payload ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Review
Ram 1500
845 kg
5 stars
$82,950
86%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Ford Ranger
945 kg
5 stars
$29,190
85%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Volkswagen Amarok
1,020 kg
5 stars
$38,490
85%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Isuzu D-Max
935 kg
5 stars
$31,200
81.5%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Mazda BT-50
1,039 kg
5 stars
$33,650
81%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Mitsubishi Triton
855 kg
5 stars
$22,490
80.5%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Holden Colorado
1,029 kg
5 stars
$29,490
80%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Nissan Navara
1,013 kg
5 stars
$32,300
79.8%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Toyota HiLux
995 kg
5 stars
$29,850
79.67%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
GWM Ute
1,050 kg
5 stars
$34,990
78%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
1,188 kg
5 stars
$45,450
72.5%
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website

Read Review
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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.

Thanks to its "bulk buying power", OnlineAuto.com.au is able to help you buy the car you want and potentially save you money too.
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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

1 - 7 of 7
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
IMB New Car Loan
4.88%
(fixed)
5.23%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.88% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.88% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
RACV New Car Loans
From
5.99%
(fixed)
6.68%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
NRMA New Car Loan
From
5.99%
(fixed)
6.68%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 3 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 3 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From
4.44%
(fixed)
5.76%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.44% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with.
Apply for up to $300,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.44% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with.
Apply for up to $300,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
OurMoneyMarket Car Loan
From
5.85%
(fixed)
6.47%
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.85% p.a. to p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 7 years.
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.85% p.a. to p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 7 years.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From
6.99%
(fixed)
7.68%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.99% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.99% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Stratton Finance Used Car Loan
From
4.99%
(fixed)
6.41%
You'll receive a fixed rate loan from 4.99% p.a. with a comparison rate of 6.41% p.a.
A used car loan of up to $300,000 with quick approval times and balloon payment options.
You'll receive a fixed rate loan from 4.99% p.a. with a comparison rate of 6.41% p.a.
A used car loan of up to $300,000 with quick approval times and balloon payment options.
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Compare car insurance products side-by-side and get quotes

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Bendigo Bank Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Bendigo Bank’s comprehensive policy offers up to $30 million in liability insurance, cover for your personal items and the option of a replacement car if your vehicle is being repaired after an accident.

Who it might be good for: Those who seek the peace of mind that comes with high legal liability and a range of cover benefits.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder’s summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Get free roadside assistance* for 12 months when you sign up by 30 June. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
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Pictures: Volkswagen.com.au

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