Volkswagen's Classy Rubble Remover
WE LIKE the Amarok bakkie because Volkswagen's upper class German build quality standards translate well into the leisure-type double cab. But now, the Amarok also comes in a more work-oriented single cab body style capable of hauling a heifer at the back and a pair of dusty cowboys at the front. So, is it still as likeable in blue-collar application?
Right off the bat I noticed that the single cab's floors, instead of cushy carpet as in the double cab, are made of a rubbery material so that mud (or manure) can be more easily wiped out of the cabin after a hard day at die plaas. Where the double cab's swish cabin can do its duty equally well as a comfy nine-to-fiver or as a convenient weekend warrior, the single cab is clearly intended to cater more for working class purposes only. Go to VW's website and you'll find pictures of double cabs towing quads, and single cabs delivering hay.
But I've never hauled hay and I can't remember the last time I had manure on my takkies. For most of my test duration with the single cab Amarok I was commuting to work and back, with an odd shopping trip thrown in for good measure.
Even so, I'm pleased with the single cab Amarok's quality levels. The doors open and close with the same solid gadunk you'll find in the brand's flagship Touareg and Passat models, and the fit and finish of interior items is way beyond what I'd consider acceptable for a workhorse vehicle.
The model we tested was the 2.0 BiTDI 4Motion selling for R335 000, the flagship of the eight-model Amarok single cab range. It has the more powerful of two turbodiesel engines (120kW/400Nm versus 90kW/340Nm), four-wheel drive, and Trendline specification which means things like aircon, power windows, cruise control and alloy wheels. It was also equipped with a R2 000 optional radio/CD player with handy SD card slot and USB port and, like all Amaroks, comes standard with a 3-year/100 000km warranty and 5-year/90 000km service plan.
On paper this biturbo engine makes good power but it's been heavily criticised, by us and other motoring media, for its narrow powerband. …