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V6 power real pick-up for Volkswagen Amarok

PUBLISHED: 07:12 29 September 2016

Volkswagen Amarok pick-up is getting V6 power with a new 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine.

Volkswagen Amarok pick-up is getting V6 power with a new 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen's Amarkok pick-up is about to get a new 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, making it better on road and more capable off it.

Volkswagen Amarok V6

What’s new?

Volkswagen Amarok V6

Engine: 2,967cc, 220bhp, V6 turbo diesel producing 406lbf.ft of torque

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic driving all four wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 7.9 seconds; top speed 120mph

MPG: 37.2 combined

CO2 emissions: 199g/km

A new 50% bigger engine sees the Volkswagen Amarok get a new 3.0-litre V6 diesel and six cylinders instead of four.

The larger powerplant has key advantages, coping better with heavy payloads thanks to a broader torque curve, peaking from just 1,400rpm. It also sounds better than a four-pot, is generally sweeter and real-world fuel economy should be similar to the 2.0-litre because it’s less stressed.

Looks and image

The man-size dimensions stay the same, so 5.25 metres long with the largest load bay in its class, capable of holding a Euro pallet sideways.

VW has improved and updated the extremely nice interior to the point where it’s impossible to escape the feeling that it’s all about lifestyle as opposed to dirty work.

Space and practicality

The double-cab design is good for families and working crews, although the leather upholstery of high-spec models, hard-surfaced though it is, isn’t likely to be ideal for mucky workers.

Obviously you’ll need to think about security for the load bay – either a full hard-top or a sliding, lockable cover but neither comes cheap.

Still, you can ford rivers with the 50cm wading depth and cross tricky terrain with approach and departure angles of 29 and 24 degrees. A towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes is also good to see.

Behind the wheel

The new Amarok has bundles of torque, pulling hard up to the speed limit, and it’s a revelation with some weight on board.

Slow, numb steering is par for the pick-up course and demands a good twist of the wheel before turning in.

Aside from a little gentle wind noise around the windscreen the Amarok makes a surprisingly refined cruiser, happy to sit there quietly on the motorway with a stable and comfortable ride and decent fuel economy.

It might be a posh pick-up but it can mix it in the muddy stuff too. Simply selecting off-road mode is enough to see it tackle impressively steep ascents and descents, plus serious camber and, with the help of the optional rear axle differential lock, proper axle articulation.

Value for money

Prices haven’t yet been announced but expect high-20 thousands for a top-spec model before adding VAT.

But it’s a rather nice place to be if 90% of your driving is on-road. It’s an interesting alternative to a sport utility vehicle with an epically useful boot if you live on a farm or your kids have muddy lifestyles.

Who would buy one?

Volkswagen is expecting at least as much interest from potential SUV buyers as it is from anywhere else and there’s a wealth of off-road and load-lugging talent there for the working man and woman as well. As long as they add seat covers and rubber floor mats...

Engine: 2,967cc, 220bhp, V6 turbo diesel producing 406lbf.ft of torque

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic driving all four wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 7.9 seconds; top speed 120mph

MPG: 37.2 combined

CO2 emissions: 199g/km

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