GRR Garage: VW Amarok – 4 little things we love
It’s safe to say that after a couple of months swanning around the south of England in our long-term Volkswagen Amarok pick-up we’ve become pretty fond of the big blue beast. So in the spirit of the fact that everyone loves a good list, here’s just a few reasons why we’re very happy with our VW.
You thought we would go straight onto that engine, didn’t you? Well we think that’s so good it deserves a week dedicated entirely of its own, so we won’t be discussing it today. In fact we start inside the Volkswagen Amarok, with our 14-way adjustable front seats. If you think of a pick-up you normally think about utility, ruggedness and such durable things. You don’t really think about comfort. It’s time to dispel that idea from your mind. The Amarok is fitted with a pair of seats in the front that would not be out of place in an exec saloon or estate. Leather-bound and providing an excellent amount of support in such a roll-ey vehicle, they are pretty perfect companions on a journey. Each comes with lumbar support and adjustability in almost every possible direction.
We’ve briefly touched upon this before, but if you want to feel like the true king of the road then the only type of car you can buy is a pick-up. Perhaps a Rolls-Royce Cullinan might just about edge our Amarok in terms of that feeling of being the master of all you survey (and we see a few of those round here) but it’s a close call. The Amarok is 1.8m tall and at 6’2” I sit not too far below to the tip of that verticality; therefore nothing can look down upon me. You can survey the road ahead like no one else can and, with the square nature of the cab and bonnet, you still have that satisfying feeling of a long nose spreading off into the distance in front of you as you drive along.
Hold on a sec, how can we be describing a 2.2-tonne car as light? Your scepticism wouldn’t be too far off, the Amarok isn’t exactly skinny. But given that it’s five metres long and nearly two metres tall and wide with a ladder chassis and leaf-spring rear suspension, 2.2 tonnes isn’t actually that much. However, we’re referring to how it feels. The Amarok does not feel like a bulky car at any point when you drive it. That engine (there it is again) means it’ll pull away from any trouble with no problem, the steering is finger-tip light and altogether it feels no more difficult to drive than an Up!.
Can a pick-up be good looking? We refer you to our earlier comments about rugged utility; traditionally the styling of a pick-up has been the very last point in the design process. Let’s be honest, if you need a pick-up truck then looks are probably not at the top of your list. But in 2019 no one is allowed to make a bad looking car and get away with it. In the States the styling of the multitude of pick-ups available can play a real part in whether people buy them now. In Europe we’ve always had very specific tastes when it comes to cars and it seems pick-ups are no different. So over the last decade or so, as they have become more popular on the roads, so have they become more pleasing on the eye. To that point we think our Amarok is one of the best around. It has a hint of brutality in the way it’s so slab fronted, but that’s tempered by a well implemented face graft of the current VW nose. Side on it’s rugged in the way a pick up should be, perhaps missing some slightly larger wheels given the massive overhangs, but otherwise fitting the bill perfectly. We think it’s a genuinely good-looking thing.
MPG this week: 32.4
Photography by Pete Summers.