Sprint Review: Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDi

A revered new bakkie, lots of info in short paragraphs

What you need to know: The Volkswagen Amarok was launched in 2010, mostly for a few bakkie-mad countries in the southern hemisphere. After its makers and owners had to endure cringe-worthy jokes about two litre milk and juice bottles, Amarok finally got a flagship 3-litre V6 model with its recent refresh.

The 2L TDi is still available from 103 to 132kW (BiTDi) in single or double cab bodies but the 2L TSi turbo-petrol has left the bakkie party. You may also choose between a six-speed manual or 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox, rear-wheel drive or 4Motion as well as four escalating trim levels. This V6 is only shipped in auto 4Motion but appears to be slightly sold out.

Some more facts: The 3-litre motor kicks out maximum figures of 165kW (224hp) or a mountain-moving 550Nm from just 1,400rpm. VW claims average Diesel use of 9L/100km from the 80L tank. Top speed is 193km/h and 0-100 should take around 8 seconds; our performance tests at sea level confirmed this.

We found a mild launch control and left the 2,820kg double-cab in automatic Sport mode, resulting in 0-100 times of 8.3 or so. However, its short first gear kept grazing the 5,000rpm redline and the equally tight second ratio always met its 5,200rpm limiter; resulting in a loss of momentum. Changing the first few cogs manually (via shift paddles) at about 4,500rpm resulted in a better time of 7.81 seconds.

Where we drove: Although I’m not a bakkie person, I managed to wrestle this Amarok V6 TDi from my colleagues and took it to a farm, my home, a stable yard, some suburban roads, an office complex and a bit of open road. The solid cabin and reasonably firm ride are commendable for pick-up / leaf-sprung standards.

Watch out for: Full throttle may catch you off guard! With eight gears and so much torque, the engine never passes 2,000rpm in daily traffic. Overtaking is pure bliss, even in non-bakkie terms. The Amarok’s size is challenging in confined areas – expect a length of at least 5,254mm, 1,834mm height and 1,954mm width without side mirrors.

Why you’ll want one: Duuude, that V6! What was once the reserve of Navara owners has now come to the refined Volksie bakkie – six-shooter Diesel power. And as an added bonus, this motor sounds nothing like its growly relative in, say, an Audi A6. It makes husky, whistling noises like a bus or truck… which suits the Amarok well.

More Happy Snaps


Engine:                   3L turbo-diesel V6

Transmission:        8-speed Auto, AWD

Max. Power:           165kW @ 3,000-4,500rpm

Max. Torque:         550Nm @ 1,400-2,750rpm

Avg cons.:               9.0 L/100km (claimed)

0-100km/h:           8.0 seconds (claimed)

Top Speed:             193km/h (claimed)

List Price:               Starting at N$$748,600


0-10km/h: 0,44 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,89 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,30 seconds
0-40km/h: 1,97 seconds
0-50km/h: 2,80 seconds
0-60km/h: 3,62 seconds
0-70km/h: 4,44 seconds
0-80km/h: 5,42 seconds
0-90km/h: 6,52 seconds
0-100km/h: 7,81 seconds
0-110km/h: 9,24 seconds
0-120km/h: 10,87 seconds
0-130km/h: 12,90 seconds
0-140km/h: 15,42 seconds
0-150km/h: 18,57 seconds
0-160km/h: 22,88 seconds

0-100m: 6,68 seconds @ 91,32km/h
0-200m: 10,14 seconds @ 115,72km/h
0-300m: 13,05 seconds @ 130,72km/h
0-400m: 15,70 seconds @ 141,16km/h

100-0km/h: 3,16 seconds @ 41,99 metres (once-off)


0-10mph: 0,73 seconds
0-20mph: 1,42 seconds
0-30mph: 2,69 seconds
0-40mph: 3,96 seconds
0-50mph: 5,46 seconds
0-60mph: 7,34 seconds
0-70mph: 9,65 seconds
0-80mph: 12,60 seconds
0-90mph: 16,82 seconds
0-100mph: 23,35 seconds

1/4 mile: 15,76 seconds @ 87,81 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,80G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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