Volkswagen Amarok Canyon review

New Volkswagen Amarok Canyon adds 19-inch alloys, extra body cladding and optional spotlights

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Find your Volkswagen Amarok
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
9/10 sellers got the price they expected
Advertisement

If you’re after an alternative to a large SUV, don’t choose the Volkswagen Amarok Canyon. It may be a luxurious and stylish pick-up, but it’s still a commercial vehicle and feels unrefined compared to something like a Hyundai Santa Fe. If you’re buying it as a workhorse then we’d definitely recommend it – it’s nice to have creature comforts in a practical and rugged package.

The Volkswagen Amarok was introduced in 2011 as a pick-up that felt more car-like any other. This new Canyon version – limited to just 350 units – is designed to bring even more style and luxury to the class.

A mid-spec Trendline Amarok is used as a starting point for the Canyon, which is then packed with £8,500 worth of extras, like 19-inch alloys, all-round parking sensors, privacy glass, leather interior, heated front seats and rugged body cladding. If you want those four spotlights mounted on the roof, you’ll have to pay £1,134.

The only engine on offer is a 178bhp 2.0-litre BiTDI with permanent all-wheel drive. A six-speed manual is standard, but for £2,000 extra you can get an eight-speed auto, like in this car. It also ups the towing capacity from 3,000kg to 3,200kg.

We never expected blistering performance, but the acceleration is impressive nonetheless. The Canyon takes 11.3 seconds to get from 0-62mph and it does a good job of disguising just how big and heavy this car is. It’s a bit gruff when you turn the key and it continues to make its presence known while you’re accelerating. Add the less-than-aerodynamic shape and huge wing mirrors and it’s not the most refined motorway cruiser.

Yet, what remains most impressive about the Amarok, given its size, is its car-like manners from behind the wheel. That’s not to say it’s as sophisticated as a modern day SUV, but the light controls make it easy to drive, plus a cabin which mimics those of conventional VW passenger cars makes you feel at home inside. In turn, it gives the impression that you’re driving a much smaller car. The ride is also a lot more forgiving in the Amarok than in other pick-ups.

Another area where the Amarok scores highly is practicality. In the UK it’s only available as a double cab, meaning you can carry five adults with little fuss. The Canyon’s load bed is larger than the one offered in both the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, and it’s wide enough to carry a euro-sized pallet. There’s space in the back seats for adults, too.

Most Popular

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance
MG3 on Geneva Motor Show stand - front
News

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance

New MG3 features the company’s first full-hybrid powertrain; pricing to be announced in March
26 Feb 2024
New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class
Renault 4EVER concept car in 1962 4L paint - front 3/4 static
News

New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class

The forthcoming Renault 4 is likely to offer a four-wheel-drive option, helping it to stand out in the market for baby all-electric SUVs
27 Feb 2024
Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’
Dacia badge
News

Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’

As big names vacate the traditional C-segment, Dacia sees an opportunity for its new petrol family car
27 Feb 2024