14 March 2018

Volkswagen Amarok V6 Highline 2016 Towing Review

Dual-cab 4WD utes have become a firm favourite for Kiwis, and with their growing levels of performance, interior comfort and towing capacity it’s easy to see why.

Amarok 1
VW Amarok
Amarok 2
VW Amarok
Amarok 3
VW Amarok

This was our second experience putting an Amarok through its towing paces, having previously tested the Trendline 4WD in August last year. The previous model performed well with our boat on the back, but lacked some desirable features.

Straight off the bat, we’re on to a winner with the Highline featuring the reverse camera we missed first time round. In combination with its mirrors, lining up the trailer was a much easier affair. The only issue we came across was an incompatible adapter, which resulted in an intermittent indicator fault.

At a glance
Model 2016 Volkswagen Amarok V6 HL
Engine 3.0 Turbo Charged V6
ANCAP Safety Rating 5 Star
Power 165kw at 2500rpm-3500rpm
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy 7.8L/100km
Body Style Double cab utility
Towing Capacity Braked 3500kg
Towing Capacity Unbraked 750kg
Gross mass 3080kg

 For the most part of our tow test, the vehicle was stable with only a few bumps translating to the cabin on uneven surfaces. It had good power and accelerated briskly uphill at 2750rpm to 80km/h, while the kick down was quick.

Regardless of whether the vehicle was loaded or unloaded, the ride was comfortable and the Amarok made easy work of towing the boat. Much like the Trendline, the gearbox kept the engine working hard opting for a high gear as and when necessary.

Manual mode also performed well, cruising at about 2000rpm at 80km/h on the motorway. That was until we selected 8th gear and transmission dropped back to only 1550rpm – at this point, it sounded like the engine was being overworked so we quickly reselected auto mode. The computer didn’t throw us out of a gear and allowed us to have a lot of control. Positive tracking on the motorway reassured us that this would be a comfortable towing vehicle if you had long journeys to make.

We were happy with the performance of the Amarok Highline and felt that it had managed to resolve some of our previous small complaints. This is a good example of the way the way utes are evolving from workhorse to multipurpose vehicles, offering comfort and practicality.

Rating and scoring

Item towed
Haines Hunter 660 2000kg STD
Hard braking control
Acceleration control
General comfort
Smoothness of ride
Stability on uneven surfaces
Stability when cornering
Gearbox performance
Overall result
Previous review
Hyundai Tucson 2016 Towing Review
Read more