Volkswagen Amarok: beast of burden for sandbags

The VW Amarok is the pick-up that was extended by the importer by 31 centimeters to compensate for the loss of cargo space due to the double cabin. That double cabin or King Cab, bargoen for pick-up with a rear seat, eats a part of the cockpit of the five-seater Amarok that obviously can’t be big enough for handymen.

After surgery it measures five meters sixty-three, making this my longest test car ever after a single Rolls-Royce. He’s huge. At 1.83, it is man-high and VW could only keep the width below two meters by not counting the mirrors. But you do have a body of 1.22 meters wide, according to VW a record. The heavy tailgate with a load capacity of 200 kilos can be used folded down as an extra loading floor and the beast can tow 3,500 kilos.

It is therefore a company car, beast of burden for sandbags and concrete mixers, which in principle has nothing to do with a passenger car section. VW is fiercely competing for the favor of ‘groundworkers, gardeners, construction professionals, landscapers or other heavy-duty industries where ‘a little more’ is often an absolute necessity. For a four-wheel drive heavy duty truck it’s a tight sales story, but not the whole one. VW throws stimulants into the battle that seriously put the worker ideal into perspective. This premium pickup, as VW calls it, has the lifestyle market in its sights. In the tested top model, the worker gets a leather interior with electrically adjustable front seats and a multimedia system – those who do not pay bpm and VAT can leave it wide. But the real bit more is under the hood. The four-cylinder diesel engine that has powered the Amarok until now has been replaced by a three-liter V6 TDI, available with outputs of 163, 204 and 224 hp.

A tuber of a six-cylinder

This sounds insane. Has the industry been telling us for years that downsizing the perfect recipe for a clean environment, the cheating diesel concern of all places wraps a six-cylinder tuber in the suspicious promise that it smells just as fresh as its thin predecessor. On paper, it’s almost right. Just like the two-liter version with 180 hp, the V6 with 224 hp is eligible for a D environmental label, because the CO2 emissions are marginally higher at 203 versus 197 grams. Don’t think that gardeners will dwell for one second on that good news. With the V6, they can finally take the battle axe against the superior motorized Chevrolet pickups that used to be the free boys’ first choice. A sprint from zero to one hundred in 7.9 seconds and the significantly increased pulling power will attract customers who until now have left it alone because of the unmanly four-cylinder. He is the childhood dream of the professional exhibitionist.

Nevertheless, I tested it for the construction professional in Amsterdam. To that end, I dived from the Nassaukade into the Jordaan in the direction of Bloemgracht. Between the canals runs a labyrinth of narrow streets for modern people with the priceless nice monuments that Amarok contractors have them dazzled by.

It turned out to be an absolute disaster. Taking a turn means entering three times. Skipping past the scotch and crookedly parked cars, you can drag a cyclist along with those floppy ears of mirrors. Suppose I had to put it there with a container full of cement plus a trailer with concrete mixer? How do Jacobse & Van Es do it? Finally I was able to get rid of him on the Nassaukade, where I almost had to drive him into the canal so as not to block the public road. By the way, it drives fine. On the highway, you’d swear you were in a big SUV. I’m just a kid too.

Nevertheless: a good time to take a closer look at the size of cars. In all its extremity, this Amarok is the whistleblower of the worrying trend of cars becoming longer and wider. The width in particular becomes a nuisance in traffic. Depending on genre and class, it increased between fifteen and thirty centimeters within decades. There must be airbags and thick loudspeakers in the doors, they want to win crash tests and seduce the people. As a result, you do indeed become that elephant in the china shop in the city center and in parking garages – and not just there. You can imagine what happens when two Amaroks meet on old B-roads once built for Beetles and Kadetjes. Even in the countryside, I had to carefully plan the route to the supermarket. But I was able to move the entire Albert Heijn. With my cargo box.