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VW Amarok TDi420 Highline Dualcab Ute (2013)
Volkswagen’s introduction of an auto transmission to the Amarok ute will add buyer appeal.
It’s a ZF design and, with eight ratios, it’s sophisticated, even by passenger car standards, and a ‘first’ for a ute.
Automatic dual cab Amaroks feature the new TDi 420 engine and permanent 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. The auto’s spread of ratios work effectively to reduce fuel use and keep revs low at highway speeds (a low 1650rpm at 100km/h, just below the revs at which maximum torque is available), while still providing low gearing for off-road use, towing and the like.
Our first exposure to this drivetrain was at launch in the Flinders Ranges, where it proved its off-road abilities crawling up and down steep rocky ridges, and ploughing through red sand dunes and rutted tracks turned to mud by recent rain. It’s no shrinking violet, despite lacking the conventional low-range transfer box.
On road, Amarok is very car-like to drive compared to most dualcab utes. Its ride quality is pretty much class-leading, and dynamically it’s adept.
The TDi420 performs well, despite being only 2.0-litre capacity, and with minimal turbo lag.
Folding the rear seat backrest is awkward, requiring the release tabs at both extremities of the backrest to be pulled up simultaneously. Three child restraint points are located on the seatback.
Ride and handling, safety, eight-speed auto, off-road ability
Price, rear seatback awkward to fold
Dual-zone climate control, 17” alloys/full-size spare, security alarm, bluetooth with audio streaming, CD, rear park sensors, differential lock
Dual front/front side, head and thorax airbags, electronic stability/traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, daytime running lights
||TDi420 Highline Dualcab Ute
||Dual Cab Utes
|Price when new
||$53,990 (auto) MLP
|Current price range
$ - $
|ANCAP crash rating
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||2.0-litre, common-rail bi-turbo-diesel 4-cyl
||132kW @ 4000rpm
||420Nm @ 1750rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
|Braking from 80 km/h
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.