New Volkswagen Amarok ticks all the bakkie boxes

Is the Volkswagen Amarok Pan American the best bakkie money can buy?

Reuben Van Niekerk
New model
VW Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok
Pan Americana

Built with the same DNA as the new Ford Ranger, the new Volkswagen Amarok is now tougher and more capable than ever before, but retains the Volkswagen look and feel behind the wheel. In Pan American trim it is certainly attractive too. The new Volkswagen, which was designed in Germany, is built in South Africa.

All-new design

The Volkswagen Amarok boasts a powerful look and feel. The charismatic new front end is especially striking and incorporates a straight and very upright bonnet while retaining clear Volkswagen DNA. Bars running horizontally across the radiator grille integrate concisely with the LED headlights which are standard on all models, while the Pan Americana adds IQ-LED headlights.

The word Amarok is embossed above the number plate holder and flanked by LED fog lights, while the half-round wheel arches that have become a typical Amarok design feature have been retained. At the rear, the tailgate is decorated with large, embossed Amarok lettering and the outer frame of the rear section is formed by the taillights in a C-shaped design and illuminated by LEDs.

Pan Americana models ride on cool looking 18-inch black alloy wheels fitted with Goodyear all-terrain tyres.

Ready for work and play

Boasting a payload of 1.19 tonnes, a 3.5 tonne towing capacity and a well thought out cargo box, the Amarok can master every conceivable work and leisure task, including the ability to accommodate a Euro Pallet between its wheel arches. The Pan Americana’s cargo box also features a protective bin liner along with various hooks for the securing of cargo, as well as a black sports bar and 12-volt socket.

Improved off-road abilities

As it is the off-road focused model, the Pan Americana derivative features a variety of equipment and trim that makes it better suited to the task. This includes approach and departure angles that measure 30 and 26 degrees, respectively. A diff lock and intelligent drive modes bolster the off-road driving ability, while there is also a specific mode that allows for variable distribution of power between the front and rear axles via a multi-plate clutch.

Premium cabin

The new Amarok has a wheelbase of 3 270mm, which represents an increase of 173mm. The result is more room in the double cab and improved levels of comfort.

The driver and front passenger sit on ergonomically designed seats, which are 10-way adjustable in higher specification models such as the Pan Americana. The rear seats offer improved space that can accommodate three adult passengers comfortably.

With practical controls and digital screens, the interior has been designed to be functional, while high quality materials throughout resemble those found in premium SUVs. Even on base models the display consists of an 8.0-inch Digital Cockpit as well as a portrait format touchscreen infotainment system that measures 12.3-inches on Pan Americana models in conjunction with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The new Amarok utilises a mix of digital functions and ergonomically designed buttons and rotary switches. For example, the controls for parking, the air conditioning, the assist systems and the driving modes are all controlled by physical buttons.

Under the bonnet

Top of the range models such as the Pan Americana are fitted with a 3.0 V6 TDI that boasts 184kW and 600Nm and is mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission. Performance is strong and refined and Volkswagen claim that this model will use just 8,4 litres per 100km.

A wide variety of driver assistance systems

Depending on the model, up to 25 active and passive safety assistance systems make driving easier and safer, ultimately ensuring that the Amarok is one of the safest bakkies that money can buy. These features include a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, rear traffic alert, electronic parking brake, blind spot detection, lane assist, park assist, light assist, evasive steering and front assist.


Thanks to its enhanced capabilities, interior comfort and technologically advanced features, the new Amarok is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated double-cab bakkies on the market today.

Warranty and pricing

The Volkswagen Amarok is built in South Africa at Ford’s Silverton manufacturing plant and is sold as standard with a four-year/120 000km warranty and a five-year/100 000km maintenance plan.

To find a new Volkswagen Amarok to suit your needs, make sure to visit and browse through our selection of new, as well as more than 10 000 used cars, all backed by our own dealer franchise consisting of more than 300 dealers.