Local Businesses Review the Amarok

We love the Amarok, but we appreciate that – as a Volkswagen dealership – we may come across as biased. So instead we contacted some of our customers and asked them to share their honest opinions. Check these out below along with extracts of reviews by professional motoring journalists and 4WD experts.

We are really looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the new Amarok. If you have any feedback you’d like to share, please contact our team.

Lands & Survey's Amarok

Jeremy Elrick, Lands and Survey

Why did we choose the Amarok? Easy, I drove one! Initially I was slightly put off thinking they would be too pricey but really there’s no difference with the other leading brands. But get behind the wheel and the difference is massive.

Lands and Survey's Amarok Fleet

I hear a lot of folk say they are ‘city’ 4×4’s, let me tell you that 90% of our work is rural based on farms and irrigation projects. Whilst I was unsure at the start I need not have been, I’ve always owned the other main contender and wouldn’t go back now! Oh, and yeah around town they go alright…!

Lands and Survey now have 13 Volkswagen Amaroks in their fleet.

Customer's Amarok on Desert Road

“Thought you’d like this pic of my Rok on the Desert Road. Averaging under 8l/100km now for 2000km. I kid you not. This is a truly great vehicle, regardless of whether or not a Ute. I would recommend to any buyer. Love it. Love driving it.”
– Neville, Miles Continental Customer, March 2020

Pete Ritchie's Volkswagen Amarok

Pete Ritchie, Professional 4WD Instructor

This vehicle is built to last – with heavy off-road use as well… It has features way above its pay-grade, because it came from way above its pay-grade… It’s got all these electronics, but the base ute is incredibly solid. The electronics just happen to be the most refined in their class.

When you look at this ute as a mechanical beast, it is way stronger than any other ute on the market… you’re not going to have to replace silly things because of bad design. These guys built a ute right from the ground up. I can’t speak highly enough about it.

I had a look at the suspension geometry and I just thought this is beyond any other ute I’ve ever seen. And then I started looking at all the other things I could see underneath and from that I just thought there is no other ute that comes close to the build of this. No matter how many fancy gadgets they want to stick on it, they have a rock solid ute underneath it. I’ve done over 100,000km in mine and all I do is put diesel in it.

View our video of Pete Ritchie driving the Amarok.

Hellers Amarok

Brydon Heller, Hellers

It is different to all the other utes around. There are so many Rangers and Hilux’s but none looked as good as the Amarok. There was one down the road from me when they first came out, it looked great and I thought that was the model for me.

Why did you purchase the Amarok over competitor utes?

It was big but drove like a car. Nice and spacious, comfortable and very quiet inside. Other utes were a lot bouncier and noisier than the Amarok. I do have the back empty more than full so was keen to have something that drove well.

During your ownership of the Amarok, what’s really stood out?

It is so comfortable, easy to drive and while you are up nice and high it doesn’t feel like a big bulky 4×4. I love driving it and keen to explore more of NZ and get it off-road. Stereo and integration is great too

Southern Fishing Amarok

Southern Tide Fishing, Chatham Islands

We spoke to Mark Rogers from Southern Tide Fishing regarding his custom Amarok flat deck. Mark told us he purchased the Amarok for use on the Chatham Islands over other leading ute brands because the permanent 4WD system offered with the Amarok range is greatly superior in terms of traction and safety on the Island’s rough gravel roads. The Amarok has a full galvanised body and panels, offering superior corrosion protection in the harsh salt air environment on the Islands. It’s easily serviced by the local workshop, and the 20,000km service interval is hugely convenient.

Mark opted to have a custom alloy flat deck built by a local supplier, as well as alloy front and side protection. Additional LED roof work lights and a snorkel were also fitted to complete the package. Mark also had our Duraseal paint protection applied to assist with the protection of his new Volkswagen against the harsh Island conditions. All of this is packaged up in a robust commercial vehicle with the best on road and off road comfort he has experienced while testing new utes. We had to make a special point of test driving the Amarok on gravel roads during his selection process!

The Hunter’s Club, Sky TV

The team at the Red Stag Timber Hunters Club wanted the best of both worlds; a do-anything/go-anywhere off-road vehicle, but they also had to do huge mileage and the producer and chief cameraman Dave Shaw, has a young family so they needed a vehicle with the highest safety ratings and one which was hugely comfortable to travel the length and breadth of New Zealand because Dave lives in the Far North and parts of the show are filmed in the lower South Island.

Functionality, of course, is one thing, but if the truck doesn’t turn heads and make mouths water on TV then we haven’t done our job.

Rokky is not just a tool to get places, but an advertisement for the show itself so appearances also count for a great deal.

– Grant Doull, Head of Commercial Vehicles at VWNZ on Dave Shaw and The Hunter’s Club Sky TV Show

Professional Amarok Reviews and Awards

“In the rough-and-tumble world of pick-up trucks, the rugged Volkswagen Amarok still stands head and shoulders above its rivals. For the third year in a row, the versatile Volkswagen has squared up to the competition and carried off a coveted Auto Express New Car Award. How has it achieved this impressive feat? It’s simple, really: by combining the relentless work ethic of a commercial vehicle with the kerb appeal of a desirable SUV, the Volkswagen is essentially two cars rolled into one.

– Auto Express New Car Awards / source

“One thing we’ve always believed about the Amarok is that it sets the benchmark in terms of comfort and driving manners in the ute segment, and that remains the case…. the way the Amarok shrugs off big bumps and potholes puts its rivals to shame… the Amarok’s 2.0-litre betters all and sundry in terms of its refinement when motoring around town, with smooth power delivery and ultra-clean shifts from the eight-speed automatic. It will always aim to get to the highest possible ratio in order to save fuel, and it is one of the most frugal of the hardcore workhouse utes on the market, with claimed consumption rated at 8.3 litres per 100km – the equivalent five-cylinder auto Ranger and BT-50 models use a claimed 9.2L/100km… the interior is arguably the best in its class. There’s a quality feel to the cockpit, aided by new seat trim, dual-zone climate control and some nice piano black finishes that are hard to find in any other utes on the market.”

– Matt Campbell / Senior Editor CarAdvice.com.au / source

“Short of tipping it off a cliff or getting dictatorial on it with a Kalashnikov, we have done everything in our power to break this pickup. Yesterday, I drove up the side of a 1-in-1 rubble canyon wall, breadknife-edged stones pinging off the tyres and clattering into the Amarok’s underbody. This morning, I dropped the VW 500 feet down a near-vertical sand dune and squealed like a trapped pig all the way to the bottom. The Amarok handled both with unblinking, camel-like resilience. Sand, cliffs, rock fields, the Amarok has devoured the lot, and all on standard, fully inflated road tyres.”

– Sam Philip / Top Gear / source

Volkswagen Amarok, Farming Show Challenge

Volkswagen New Zealand loaned a couple of Amaroks to some hard-working farmers to challenge their opinions about what makes a good ute. The results speak for themselves.

“It wasn’t until a week into my experience that I looked into it and found out it was a 2 litre. Just by driving it you’d think it was at least a 3 litre. The power’s just phenomenal from a 2 litre diesel and with the 8 speed transmission you’ve always got plenty of grunt – very peppy – so yeah, really impressed.”

“We’ve been looking at the top sellers in the class – test driven a few of them – and it definitely ranks highly amoung them, so yeah we’ll be talking to the boys at Volkswagen to see if we can cut a deal.”

Form your own opinion

Interested? In that case, it’s time to experience the Amarok for yourself and form your own opinion! Get in touch today.

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