DRIVEN: Volkswagen Amarok V6 with 190 kW takes the crown

The Amarok with its 3.0-litre V6 that gushes out a hearty 190 kW and 580 Nm is one of the very best bakkies I have sampled by far. 

The bakkie segment in South Africa is an interesting one, thanks to offerings that are not only handsome to look at, but offer a great balance between private and business needs. 

The Amarok with its 3.0-litre V6 that gushes out a hearty 190 kW and 580 Nm is one of the very best bakkies I have sampled by far. 

The last time I got acquainted with the Volkswagen Amarok V6 with 165 kW was at its local launch some four years ago and I was taken by surprise as to how capable and powerful the bakkie is. 

With 165 kW available on tap, that sounded like an impressive figure until the manufacturer announced the arrival of the 190 kW that I got to test a few weekends ago. 

Being the most potent and probably the fastest production bakkie in Mzansi, the Amarok employs a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine with 190 kW and 580 Nm – an increase of 25 kW and 30 Nm more than the previous model. The engine is paired with a standard 8-speed automatic gearbox plus a permanent AWD system. 

The Amarok is one bakkie that is difficult to fault. It has been truly amazing on the road when compared to other key rivals in the bakkie segment. It features one of the most accurate steering inputs, a comfortable drive and is fast. 

There is an acceptable amount of body roll when attacking even the slightest corners due to its size and weight. 

The over-boost function that increases power from 195 kW to 200 kW for short spurts came in handy during overtaking. 

Volkswagen claims the Amarok V6 190 kW sprint to 100 km/h can be dispatched in 7.6 seconds, but off the line it felt quicker and I won’t be surprised if the sprint time dips below the claimed figure. The top speed is capped at 207 km/h. 

The overall quality remains impressive yet the interior is decked out with hard plastic material. This did not come as a shock to me taking into account that bakkies are built for functionality.  

There is a 6.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that allows Apple CarPlay, that was easy to use. 

A week with the car, I managed to average 10.1l/100km which was distant from the manufacturer claimed 9.5l/100km. 

When the Volkswagen Amarok was introduced in South Africa in 2010 with 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines, it stood no chance of fighting the top-end bakkies. The V6 variant has been a redeemer and it remains the most potent, all-around impressive bakkie. 

  • Amarok Double Cab 3.0 V6 190kW Highline R921 900
  • Amarok Double Cab 3.0 V6 190kW Extreme R996 000

The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Amarok comes standard with a 3-year/100 000km manufacturer warranty, 5-year/90 000 km Genuine Easy Drive Service Plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty, which is the best in its class. 

The service interval is 15 000km.

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