VW Amarok 2023: Five key improvements

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A lot has changed for the new 2023 Volkswagen Amarok. Here are the top five things you can expect to be better in the second-generation ute.

The first-generation Volkswagen Amarok was introduced in 2010 with a large utility loading bed, plenty of versatility, a powerful V6 diesel engine, and full-time all-wheel drive. More than a decade later, with over 830,000 models sold globally, it has been overhauled and shares an all-new platform with the Ford Ranger.

Set to hit showrooms soon, the second-generation Amarok builds on every element of its predecessor – offering more load space, the latest advanced in-car technology, an expanded range of engines, a wealth of new driver assistance systems, a high payload and impressive off-road credentials.

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Of course, many elements are shared between the new Ford Ranger and the new Volkswagen Amarok, but of everything the new ute is bringing, here are five key improvements you can expect.

Alternatively, we have now reviewed the new VW Amarok V6.

1. More load space, more payload, more versatility

With a big tray and good payload, the first-generation Volkswagen Amarok was always perfect for hard-working businesses and adventurous families alike, with enough space to fit a Euro pallet lengthways in between the wheel arches.

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Now, the new Volkswagen Amarok is even more spacious and even more versatile. At 5350mm long and 3270mm wide, it is 96mm longer and 173mm wider than its predecessor, making for a bigger and even more practical loadbay. Lashing rings keep things tied down (up to 500kg each), while an optional retractable roll cover keeps everything dry and secure.

The new Volkswagen Amarok’s increased dimensions mean more passenger space, too. Its double-cab offers ample space for up to five occupants, while plenty of cubbies and storage space mean the Amarok can transport luggage, tools, packages and passengers in equal measure.

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You can also carry more on the roof than the previous model – up to 350kg, a 150kg increase.

2. Improved comfort and advanced technology

The new Volkswagen Amarok adds a wealth of intuitive advanced in-car technology to make every journey a joy. Top-spec models feature a 12-inch digital driver display that provides vital information right in your eyeline, while the 12-inch tablet-like navigation touchscreen makes browsing settings on the fly pretty straightforward.

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Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard, while Volkswagen Connected Mobile Services is available to link the new Amarok to your smartphone. Wireless phone charging is also available, while a further two USB-C ports mean even more devices can stay topped-up.

New materials cover the interior of the new Amarok, while getting comfortable is even easier with 10-way adjustable electronic seats available in higher-spec models.

Top-spec Aventura models offer ambient lighting and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with surround sound. Outside, Aventura models boast the new X-design front bumper, and IQ.LIGHT LED front headlights that cut through the dark, along with head-turning LED rear lights.

There’s also plenty of storage inside the new Volkswagen Amarok with the interior boasting up to 20 individual cubbies and trays. Door bins can swallow up to 1.5 litres, while the overhead compartment is perfect for sunglasses.

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3. On road refinement and improved off-road credentials

The first-generation Amarok was lauded for its great off-road capabilities, and the new Volkswagen Amarok takes that to the next level. Its new platform boasts shorter front and rear overhangs, which in turn means better approach angles when heading off the beaten track; 29 degrees at the front, and 21 degrees at the rear. It can also wade deeper than the old model, too – a total of 800mm, up from 500mm.

The new Volkswagen Amarok also comes with two versions of all-wheel drive system: permanent and selectable. Permanent comes as standard on all models, yielding greater confidence and safety on the road, and better traction and stability when heading off it. Four modes are available via a switch on the centre console: standard 4MOTION all-wheel drive, 4H which relays engine power at a reduced ratio for passing over snow and loose gravel, 4L which offers higher torque at lower speed, and the efficient 2H mode in which power is sent purely to the rear axle.

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Power to the 4MOTION system is sent via either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission (full Australian specifications are yet to be announced), while braked towing capacity is a class-standard 3.5 tonnes.

4. A wider range of engines

In terms of the Amarok’s traditional Euro 6-compliant diesel engines, there’s a choice of two 2.0-litre four-cylinder units in Australia with two different outputs: 125kW of power and 405Nm of torque, or 154kW and 500Nm.

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The diesel jewel in the Volkswagen Amarok’s line-up of diesel engines, though, is a 3.0-litre V6 delivering 184kW and 600Nm of torque which will be perfect for towing and some off-road applications.

VW will also offer a 222kW and 452Nm 2.3-litre TSI four-cylinder petrol in Australia, which is a rebranded version of Ford’s EcoBoost four-cylinder engine previously seen in the Ford Mustang and Focus ST/RS.

5. All-new and more advanced safety features

Ute’s are no longer agricultural driveway ornaments for bushbashing and most are daily driven by both tradies and families, so safety is a very important factor. Included in the new Amarok’s wealth of safety features is intelligent IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, Adaptive Cruise control, Dynamic Road Sign Display, Intelligent Speed Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Front Assist that lends an extra pair of eyes around town. A key improvement is also rear curtain airbags that the first-generation ute never had.

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Overall, the new Volkswagen Amarok amplifies the success of its predecessor immensely, offering even more space, better technology, a wider range of engines (including an attractive petrol turbo option), a wealth of needed safety upgrades and an almost endless list of accessories. So, those are all the ways the new Volkswagen Amarok brings a significant upgrade over the old model.

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