The Volkswagen Amarok ute stays largely unchanged for the 2021 model year, though a trio of new high-spec models headline the mildly-revised range ahead of an all new model arriving within two years.
At the pointy end of the line-up, Volkswagen has added two performance-focused models co-developed with local tuning house Walkinshaw, while also replacing the outgoing V6 Ultimate and TDI580S with a single V6 TDI580 Aventura flagship for the core range.
Now entering its second decade, the Amarok is lagging behind its key rivals in terms of assistance and safety tech but remains a standout option for those wanting more grunt thanks to its V6 diesel options.
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok TDI400 Core 4×4 manual: $44,590
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok TDI420 Core 4×4 auto: $47,590
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok TDI500 Core 4×4 manual: $49,590
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI550 Core 4×4 auto: $52,590
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI550 Sportline 4×4 auto: $56,590
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI580 Highline 4×4 auto: $61,090
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok V6 W580 4×4 auto: $71,990 (NEW)
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI580 Aventura 4×4 auto: $72,490 (NEW)
- 2021 Volkswagen Amarok V6 W580S 4×4 auto: $79,990 (NEW)
All prices exclude on-road costs
Two engines are offered in the Amarok, both available in a range of tunes.
The TDI400 and TDI420 are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel, producing 132kW of power and 400Nm of torque in the former, and 420Nm of torque in the latter.
The TDI400 is exclusively offered with a six-speed manual transmission, while the TDI420 is paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Volkswagen also offers a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 across the TDI500, TDI550, and TDI580 lines.
In the TDI500, it makes 165kW and 500Nm and is mated with a six-speed manual transmission, while the TDI550 has the same 165kW but bumps peak torque to 550Nm in conjunction with its eight-speed automatic.
On overboost, the TDI500 and TDI550 develop up to 180kW for short bursts (up to 10 seconds) in third and fourth gear.
The range-topping TDI580 (and W580) models offer 190kW and 580Nm, and once again feature an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Like the lower-spec models, the TDI580 has an overboost function, offering up to 200kW for short periods.
The TDI400 has an 8.4L/100km claim on the ADR combined cycle, while the TDI420 uses a claimed 8.9L/100km.
Meanwhile, the TDI500 has a claimed fuel economy figure of 9.7L/100km, dropping to 9.1L/100km in the TDI550 and 9.5L/100km in the TDI580.
It’s worth noting Volkswagen recently changed the Amarok’s V6 engines to a EU5-certified motor which is less efficient and emits more CO2 and NOx – but there’s no complex AdBlue injection system.
The 2020 Volkswagen Amarok measures 5254mm long, 1954mm wide and 1878mm tall, with a 3095mm wheelbase.
Payload varies from model-to-model, but the V6 TDI Ultimate has a 836kg payload and 3500kg braked-towing capacity.
When the Amarok was tested by ANCAP almost a decade ago in 2011, it received a rating of five stars.
That rating was based on a frontal offset score of 13.99 out of 16 and a side impact score of 16 out of 16. Whiplash and pedestrian protection were rated Good and Marginal, respectively.
All 2020 Volkswagen Amarok models come standard with front and front-side airbags and anti-lock brakes, but there are no airbags for rear seat occupants.
There’s also no active safety technology like autonomous emergency braking, which means the Amarok wouldn’t receive five stars if it was assessed again in 2020.
Servicing and Warranty
The Amarok ute is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty like the wider Volkswagen range.
Maintenance in the Amarok is required every 12 months or 15,000km – whichever comes first.
Volkswagen Australia offers five-year Care Plans which cover scheduled servicing for said period, and are significantly cheaper than paying as you go.
The service package costs $2200 for the four-cylinder Amarok, while V6 models are slightly dearer at $2300. Both packs throw in a complimentary first service (12 months/15,000km).
Core TDI400 and TDI420 models get:
- 6.33-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Single-zone air conditioning
- Mechanical differential lock
- Rear parking sensors
- Reversing camera
- Rubber floors
- Matte black rear step bumper
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Trailer sway stability control
- Off-road mode
- Body-coloured front bumper
- Underbody protection
- Cargo area light
V6 TDI500 Core adds:
- Fog lights
- Chrome exterior trim
- 17-inch alloy wheels
The V6 TDI550 Sportline gets:
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Dusk-sensing headlamps
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Tinted tail lights
- Lockable tailgate
- Painted door handles and mirrors
- Chrome rear bumper
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Full-sized alloy spare wheel
- Dual-zone climate control
- Aluminium dashboard trim
- Chrome air vent trims
- Carpet flooring
V6 TDI550 Highline adds:
- Bi-xenon headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- Static cornering lights
- Alarm with interior monitoring
- Side steps
- Sports bars
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Satellite navigation
V6 TDI580 Aventura adds:
- Moulded rear styling bar in body colour
- Nappa leather interior trim
- 14-way ErgoComfort front seats
- Paddle shifters
- 20-inch ‘Talca’ machined alloy wheels
- Illuminated chrome side steps
- Front skid plate styling element
- UV-resistant load liner
The V6 W580 gets:
- Walkinshaw tuned suspension (incl. front lift)
- 20 x 9-inch ‘Clayton’ alloy wheels
- Pirelli scorpion 275/50 R20 tyres
- Moulded sports bar painted in body colour
- Unique decals – bonnet & sides
- Wheel arch extensions
- Tuned twin exhaust system
- Walkinshaw grille
- Interior W580 branding including plaque with build number
- LED fog lights
- Unique front grille
- Unique lower bumper inserts and fog light surrounds
- Walkinshaw-branded headrests
- W580 carpet mats
- Bonnet protector
- W580 decal pack
V6 W580S adds:
- Branded exhaust tips
- Bonnet decals
- LED fog lights with cornering function
- Sail plane with styling bar
- Front underbody styling element
- Five-piece protective tub liner
- Vienne leather interior trim
- 14-way power-adjustable ErgoComfort front seats
- Front seat heating
- Satellite navigation
- Electric folding side mirrors
- Colour driver’s multifunction display (MFD)