Work and play Amarok

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I DON’T drive commercial vehicles too often so getting behind the wheel of Volkswagen’s Amarok pick-up was a bit of a novelty for me.

VW say the four-door five-seater double cab is an important new model in its growth plans for commercial vehicles but pick-ups are now very much in the leisure sector market as well.

You don’t have to be a builder or whatever to run a pick-up as this vehicle will suit those whose leisure activities involve taking bicycles or even a jet ski to their favourite park or loch.

It’s a big muscular truck though and wouldn’t be ideal for every day town driving or parking at your local supermarket where its length means a parking bay and a half is required.

There are three trim levels – Startline, Trendline and Highline – with just the one diesel engine, a 2-litre TDI with two power outputs, 120bhp and 161bhp.

On the road prices range from £22,543 to £28,039 and the test vehicle was a Trendline model with the higher powered engine, costing £24,943.

The Amarok is a bit more upmarket than your normal working pick-up but not quite as polished as VW’s passenger cars.

There is plenty of torque and power in this engine and unladen it was surprisingly smartish going up through the six-speed manual transmission.

Handling was okay on open roads but this is a vehicle that won’t jiggle into even a big-car size space.

I didn’t get the opportunity to go off-road but I am reliably informed that it is quite at home in that environment.

There is a choice of permanent or selectable 4MOTION all-wheel drive and it comes with all sorts of safety features which as you would imagine includes Hill Hold Assist and Hill Descent Control.

If this is the type of working vehicle you need it does offer the largest loadspace in class at 2.5 square metres.

When work’s over you can then pack up the back and get your family or friends into the cabin and head off to your leisure haunt.

But if you want to buy a pick-up just for the fun of it you might find the Amarok a bit on the big size.