Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
3 minute read
17 Apr 2021
9:42 am

190 kW Amarok: Is SA’s fastest bakkie worth R1-million?

Mark Jones

Volkswagen’s potent double cab has Hilux and Ranger choking on its fumes.

It has regained the title: The 190 kW Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI is South Africa's fastest bakkie


Every time I take a bakkie to Gerotek to do high performance testing on, I can feel many people rolling their eyes at the idea. But the simple truth of the matter is, we live in bakkie country and even more people than the eye rollers want to know the results, so they can claim bragging rights with their mates.

So, test I do, and at least this time though, the bakkie in question, Volkswagen’s 3.0 TDI V6 Amarok, is the most powerful double cab that you can buy off the showroom floor today. Producing 190 kW of power from 3 000 rpm all the way through to 4 500 rpm, and 580 Nm of torque from just 1 400 rpm to 2 750 rpm, with an extra 10 kW overboost thrown in for good measure, it’s a title the Amarok wears with pride.

But of course, the million-dollar question is, or in this case, the million-rand question, is Wolfsburg’s 3.0 TDI V6 Amarok Extreme worth the money? There is a short answer and there is a long answer to this question. Let’s go with the long answer.


V6 badge

The power and torque on offer ensure that the Amarok 3.0-litre V6 also remains the country’s fastest double cab. The previous 165 kW version was already slightly quicker than Mercedes-Benz’s ill-fated 190 kW 3.0-litre V6 X-Class, but now it has shifted the goal posts to the next level.

The obligatory 0 to 100 km/h sprint is done in a mere 8.14 sec, while the 400 m mark is crossed at a time and speed of 15.96 sec and 141 km/h.

To put this into perspective, if you are driving a Ford Ranger Thunder, you will need double the distance at 800 m to hit 140 km/h.

The 1 km mark is crossed at almost 180 km/h, a speed that your Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Legend RS would battle to run as a top speed on the open road.


The 190 kW power station in all its glory

The 60 km/h to 140 km/h sprint times are equally brutal on the current competition. The Amarok does this sprint in 11.79 sec, the Hilux in 18.61 sec and the Ranger in 21.89 sec. Seven and 10 seconds respectively are a long time to be on the opposite side of the road when you are trying to overtake slower moving traffic.

To see the full test results, click here.

The quality is still there, and that speaks volumes about the product itself. But this said, the Amarok is more than 10 years old, and the interior is showing its age. The tech onboard is hardly class-leading anymore, but still the bakkie offers the likes of off-road ABS, stability control and discs all round.



I loved my time in the Amarok. It’s fast and fun to drive. Would I pay R1-million for the privilege? No. But for those that have the money and want the ultimate in performance double cabs, place your order now.

The Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI Extreme comes standard with a three year/100 000 km manufacturer warranty and a five year/90 000 km Genuine Easy Drive Service Plan.