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When Volkswagen’s Amarok launched in March 2011 the relaxation of the ute market turned into placed on note.
After years of manufacturers telling us its utes had “automobile-like qualities” (they truly didn’t), the Amarok eventually lived as much as the claim. The design turned into stylish, cabins weren’t far off a Golf hatchback for best and luxury, journey proved fairly at ease and it may in fact go round corners with out leaning just like the town inebriated in a side wind.
buyers haven’t flocked to the Argentine-constructed ute as they have the Toyota HiLux or Ford Ranger but VW has offered tens of thousands here. There are a whole bunch of used examples within the classifieds and a lot of sing the model’s praises — so for those who consider a pre-adored Amarok?
The 2011-12 diesel types in some cases mandatory engines rebuilt or replaced at massive can charge due to failure of the serpentine (power) belt. In isolation this failure isn’t too problematical but within the diesel it could actually tangle with the timing belt, inflicting it to spoil or start in order that valves hit pistons — and growth, the engine’s cactus.
The power belt turned into now and again failing before its 75,000km alternative advice, and the timing belt’s cowl wasn’t advantageous in stopping the snapped troublemaker. In may additionally 2012 Volkswagen outfitted a new timing belt preserve to treatment the problem.
yet another black mark towards 2011-12 diesels is the emissions defeat gadget at the root of VW’s Dieselgate scandal. Amaroks were the first VWs recalled for a application fix and any of this old may still had been remedied (later models didn’t have the cheat devices).
funds will play an enormous half in your option of Amarok. The most cost-effective might be these earliest versions, which are not most effective neatly out of warranty but additionally stressed via the above negatives.
dual-cab utes were the main retailers so for this overview we’ll exclude workhorse cab chassis and single cab. Petrol engines, geared up for a little while, are as infrequent as unicorns and intensely few are rear-force rather than AWD.
The latitude is enormous — some 30 grades over the years packed turbo diesels of diverse torque outputs.
as much as July 2012 you might purchase handiest a 120kW TDI400 diesel with manual gearbox.
Then got here the 132kW TDI420 with pleasing eight-pace auto gearbox. Rear-drivers used the less powerful TDI340 diesels (or a TSI300 petrol).
Specification varies too — if the grade is without difficulty Amarok, Core or Trendline, don’t are expecting too much gadget, Highlines are customarily neatly-packed and Ultimates are right of the heap.
From launch, even the bottom spec had power windows, aircon and far flung critical locking. Trendlines added physique coloured bumpers, alloy wheels, cruise manage and carpet as opposed to rubber on the ground. Highlines had 18-inch alloys, chrome physique trim and better exceptional cabins and Ultimates received leather, 19-inch alloys and side steps. Bluetooth arrived in July 2012.
a first amongst utes, all models had five ANCAP defense stars. however Amaroks nevertheless lack side curtain airbags, which might be typical on virtually all opponents.
VW’s four-wheel power, dubbed 4Motion, endows respectable off-road potential. It’s selectable 4WD if there’s a crimson “four” on the badge and if there’s a black “4” it’s everlasting AWD; an electronic differential lock is normal to both.
check even if consolation suspension springs had been optioned as opposed to the usual heavy-responsibility set-up. For these riding in particular on the bitumen (most do), comfort suspension eliminated a leaf, making it a greater settled ride.
This additionally dropped payload by means of about 200kg — range-topping twin-cabs are all the way down to 769kg, as an instance.
Facelifted series II Amaroks landed in November 2016, shaking up the ute market once more with a V6 rapid diesel with 165kW/550Nm and later 190kW/580Nm.
These have been the select for outright efficiency, doing the 0-100kmh dash in and for heavy towing. at the beginning, the score became 3000kg, the same as the 4-cylinders, and from October 2017 this increased to 3500kg.
The collection IIs also introduced the desirable smartphone mirroring and the rear digital camera photograph showed on the a shade touchscreen.
showing how some distance utes have come in recent years, the flagship V6 optimal 580 — with heated, vigour seats trimmed in Nappa leather — became $seventy one,990 earlier than on-roads. proper cashed-up tradie stuff.
What to look for
as with any utes, many have been used as urban transport and lived a miles less complicated existence than work, towing and way of life motors. target the metropolis slickers.
those that have carried out things hard — having circumnavigated Australia with 3000kg-plus in tow; covered in dents and bashes underneath, or with loads of harm in the tray — may also nevertheless have a whole lot of existence left in them however are expecting to pay a long way less.
The drama with the belts makes 2011 and some 2012 Amaroks tough to suggest. make sure the timing belt cowl has been upgraded and that belts are all in sound circumstance and have been modified on time — each 60,000km is now the suggestion.
signs of a failing belt encompass squealing from the entrance end and failing vigour steerage or aircon.
be sure the engine temperature doesn’t creep up on check pressure, and seem to be below the oil filler cap for mayonnaise-class gunk, indicating water within the oil from a cracked cylinder head. investigate for coolant and radiator leaks, and for oil leaking from the engine, differential or transmission.
Some homeowners say brake pads and rotors wear out right now, so determine when these had been last replaced.
There were occasional disasters of the exhaust gas recirculation, diesel particulate filter and turbochargers, which means hugely expensive fixes and highlighting the magnitude of getting a pre-buy inspection with the aid of an authority.
investigate rear lights for any water trapped in there. This may cause hurt to the wiring loom and suggest hefty expenses.
There have been six recalls — for details, view For exhaustive counsel on complications and assistance, the forum at is a brilliant Australian-based mostly resource.
best to steer clear of early models and those with high kilometres as they’re not affordable to keep or repair. Cabins are type-leading and, for a ute, these VWs are surprising on-road and ready on the rough stuff. Get one with consolation suspension fitted if you’re an urbanite. A grunty V6 with ultimate guarantee is a pretty good all-round choose but should be priced therefore.
Pete Toy: We’ve owned a 2011 manual for five years. In its favour, gasoline economic climate and ease of riding are superb for a 4WD, i exploit it on the motorways the entire time. It feels solid at pace and round corners. There’s massive rear space for our three youngsters, and the door compartments are cavernous. On the down side, I’ve had to substitute the grab, the passenger window malfunctions, probably the most plastic’s become brittle and the paint’s bubbled in one rear corner. Gears will also be clunky and the brake pads put on early and go away loads of brown muck on the wheels. I’m no longer sure I’d purchase one more. It bothers me there aren't any rear curtain airbags.
Col: I’ve acquired 230,000km on my 2013 Amarok, a pretty good ute bar a couple of issues, specifically the dull sensors. I don’t understand why they need all that on a ute — now not each person lives in Toorak. The price would curl your toes too. I’d be happier if it turned into more convenient to repair.
The skilled says
To the end of closing 12 months, Volkswagen sold nearly fifty seven,000 Amaroks, peaking at neatly over 9000 yearly. among the many a whole lot in used listings, rear-wheel drives account for just a fraction and petrol models even fewer. there is an almost even divide between four and 6-cylinders.
The entry-stage TDI340 dual-cab rear-drive from 2011 ($31,990 new) remains valued at $13,300. The range-topping TDI400 4 wheel drive ($fifty eight,490 new) is $22,450 used.
For 2018, the base TDI420 rear-pressure ($39,990 new) is value $36,500 and the TDI580 most fulfilling 4 wheel drive V6 auto ($seventy one,990 new) fetches $64,250.
rivals consist of Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara. simplest the HiLux for 2011-18 retains cost more desirable than the Amarok.
For 2011, the Amarok’s resale price is marginally forward of the Triton and for closing 12 months it is very close to the HiLux.