10 August 2016

Volkswagen Amarok Trendline 2016 Towing Review

A strong towing experience that could be improved further with some of the higher spec add-ons

Amarok Tdi 1
VW Amarok
Amarok TDI 2
VW Amarok
Amarok Tdi 3
VW Amarok

With its wide stance and high tray out back, the Amarok is an eye-catching vehicle. Inside there’s plenty of space - sure, the interior of the cabin is relatively sparse and the finishing is functional rather than flashy, but this is a ute targeted primarily for the commercial sector. That said, it’s got comfortable seating, and the steering wheel and gauges sharpen up the overall look.

At a glance
Model Volkswagen Amarok Trendline 4WD
Engine 2.0 Twin Turbo Diesel
ANCAP Safety Rating 5 Star
Power 132kW at 4500rpm
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy 8.3L/100km
Body Style Utility
Towing Capacity Braked 3000kg
Towing Capacity Unbraked 750kg
Gross Mass 3040kg

With some difficulty, we backed the Amarok up to the trailer. Why so tough? Well, the rear is raised high and the model we tested, while featuring a good parking sensor system, lacked a reverse camera which would have made coupling easier. It’s definitely worth spending the extra to have this fitted, especially if you’re considering towing on a regular basis. An adapter to convert the round trailer plug to our conventional New Zealand trailer plug was located in the front door pocket, and visibility from the side mirrors was good for maneuvering

We began our circuit and on the hill climb the Amarok geared down responsively and accelerated from 60km/h to 80km/h at around 3300rpm. This vehicle has gears in spades, we even found a mysterious 8th gear on the motorway at cruise.

Under hard braking the Amarok stopped well and it also revealed its strong performance when we firmly put our foot down. A number of safety features came to life when testing uneven surfaces – features like the Traction Control System and Trailer Stability Assistant System, which are hidden in normal driving conditions – and, other than the typical ute bounce, we felt safe and stable and traction was solid both then, and when cornering.   

For the day to day, the Amarok Trendline is a ute with the finishing to match. The interior surfaces appeared hard wearing and ideal for a tradie’s work gear while desirables like Sat-Nav and a reverse camera are available on the higher spec models. The performance when towing was good while the gearbox was surprisingly responsive. 

Thanks to SeaCraft Miller Moyes for the test boat & trailer.

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Rating and scoring

Item towed
Haines Hunter SF600LE 1500kg STD
Hard braking control
Acceleration control
General comfort
Smoothness of ride
Stability on uneven surfaces
Stability when cornering
Gearbox performance
Overall result
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