Eight years is a long wait, but the Amarok finally has the engine to silence even its harshest critics
THE bakkie crowd hasn’t exactly made it easy for Wolfsburg’s leisure pickup, has it? When the Amarok was unveiled eight years ago with a 2,0-litre turbodiesel under the bonnet, the khaki set cried foul. Where was the 3,0-litre oil-burner to match the engine sizes of its rivals?
Global sales have been middling; VW’S people candidly admitted as much when we visited the company’s headquarters to sample its newest product. In South Africa, likewise, doublecab versions of the Hilux and Ranger have resoundingly outsold the Amarok.
And I find that perplexing. Where leisure bakkies see the most use – on-road and in urban settings – the Volkswagen is the most comfortable vehicle of the lot, especially when hooked up to the slick-shifting eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. Concerns about the reliability of the 2,0 BITDI engine have proven largely unfounded, too. We’ve heard of isolated issues, but we’ve also been informed of Rangers, Hiluxes and KBS experiencing the odd hiccup.
Whatever the reason might be why local buyers take a sho’t