Volkswagen Amarok Review: 2014 Model | Amarok | Car Buyers Guide

Volkswagen Amarok Canyon

There aren’t many pick-up trucks on Irish roads. I’m not exactly sure as to why they’re not more visible in Ireland. I mean, we have the target audience and terrain, but for some reason the masses haven’t been drawn in. If you visit places like the USA, Canada, Australia and many other places you will find this type of vehicle is easily spotted. The pick-up truck is a very useful thing. It lifts major weight and it looks good to boot. This month we are looking at one such testosterone building machine – the Volkswagen Amarok Canyon.

At fear of sounding sexist, stereotypically this truck could be generally perceived as being a man’s machine.  I’m afraid on this occasion I have to agree with the stereotype. I’ve never wanted to don cowboy boots, a check shirt and a Stetson so much in my life. I’ve never felt the urge to till land, round up cattle and sheer sheep as much. I nearly feel bad now about complaining about the Garth Brooks concert around Croke Park. This machine is buff, it’s large, it’s angry, and even in the bright copper orange colour I got it with it’s still tough.

The curves of the Amarok Canyon are chunky, and there is zero subtleness attached to this specimen from Volkswagen. The wheel arches over the 19 inch Cantera alloys are so big that they’d look at home on a tractor and this vehicle is long. It measures in at 17 foot. In general I’m a fan of subtlety, but in this case I figure, “hey, the more the merrier”. This monstrous automobile looks fantastic, and it certainly draws the eye in.

Utility vehicles like this certainly have their uses. For example, the Amarok Canyon can haul a load of 3,000kg – this is far more suited to being a work horse, but at the same time it can double as a family wagon. Inside there are two seats to the front and three to the rear. During my test drive I managed to fill this machine with a heavy enough load.

In the trunk was some bits which I needed to take in the Wexford direction, in the rear was my wife and two children and to the front was Granddad. Initially there were no complaints, but after a bit of a journey I could hear my wife shifting in the rear. The space there isn’t amazing for adults, but for kids you will hear zero complaints. In fact I imagine that the kids will be only too delighted to sit at such height in a car like this.

The Amarok Canyon is available with a 2.0 litre BiTDI. The model I drove offers 180hp (also available with 140hp), and a nice surprise is that when you put your foot down it handles the weight of the vehicle brilliantly and will give you 0-100km/h in a little under 11 seconds. The six-speed manual gearbox is clever too. Maximum speed can be obtained in fifth gear, but sixth gear is there if you want to reduce the engine speed and save fuel – while still travelling at the same speed.

The Amarok Canyon has all the bells and whistles you’d get from a fully-kitted out regular Amarok, but it also has some items which are unique to it alone. The Cantera wheels which I’ve already mentioned are for the Canyon only. Another item found only with this model is the roof mounted spotlights (which took me an age to find out how to turn them on!). With these attached it makes this vehicle very tall at 2.2 metres. I brought the Amorak to my local Aldi, these guys have an underground car park, and I have to say I was extremely nervous driving down the ramp. The sign said nothing more than 2.2 metres, so I prayed that Volkswagen didn’t get their heights mixed up and that the tyres weren’t over-inflated. Thankfully I got down with no problems!

Overall I really liked the Amarok Canyon. This is an expensive machine though and it will set you back over €56,000. It is different from the normal Amarok in the way it has items which are completely unique to it, but I would have to ask if it’s worth the extra cash by comparison?

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