Car review - Volkswagen Amarok

Motoring writer Syd Taylor needs a little pick-me-up after driving the Volkswagen Amarok

Only the brave and bold are in the fortunate position to pick up a pick-up. It helps if you happen to be a gentleman farmer or a well-heeled chap or chapess who likes sitting high and mighty above the run-of-the-mill traffic.

Manufacturers who seek to steal a march on their rivals in the challenging pick-up sector need more than the bare essentials of size, load-bearing capacity, grunt and a Goliath-like appetite for fuel. You’ve got to be a little cleverer than that.

When a venerable manufacturer like Volkswagen enters the fray you can be sure that there will be Vulcan-like striking of hammer on anvil plus fiery sparks. Think hammer; think rock. Put them together and you’ve got the Amarok.

Here is a refined beauty of a beast (Amarok, as you Greenlanders will know, is Inuit for wolf) that is tame to the touch, yet throbbing with potential.

As well as being formed and stylish it is also rugged and powerful. In the back you can load a pallet, take a pig to market or mount a machine gun.

Not content with combining the most reliable, economical and responsive engineering in a package, the Amarok is a true eye-opener when it comes to providing a hitherto inconceivable level of ease of use and comfortable appointment.

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Anyone who makes its acquaintance will be swept off his or her feet. The driving position in the car-like cabin is a world apart from the pick-up trucks of a few years ago, with lots of adjustment for seat and steering wheel plus intuitive instruments and controls.

The �22,566 Amarok Startline four door five-seater double cab with the 122PS 2.0 litre 4 cylinder engine that offers sub 200 g/km is paired to a six speed manual gearbox. It’s a flyer if you want it to be, yet at the same time you get about 37mpg. It has, as standard, semi automatic air conditioning, electric front and rear windows and a good sound system . The Startline is the ‘entry level’ Amarok yet it’s very car-like and comfortable.

On-road handling is surefooted and safe and if you want to chase a fox across the fields, then you’ll probably keep up with most ‘posh’ Land Rovers.

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