Agri-wheels focus: The Amarok Single Cab – luxurious workhorse

VW impressed the motoring world with its first-ever one-ton bakkie, the Amarok Double Cab. Now the Single Cab smaller version has roared onto the South African market, offering the farmer a winning combination of comfort and durability. Lloyd Phillips was in the driving seat

There are few vehicle types that VW has not produced in its long and illustrious history.

Passenger cars of every description, kombis, camper vans, panel vans, dropside pickups, you name it, have rolled off the production lines – and have usually been met with acclaim.

Two years ago, the motoring giant added its first-ever one-ton bakkie to this list in the form of the Amarok Double Cab. And, judging by the number I’ve seen driving through the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands town where I live, they’re proving as popular as other vehicles in the marque.

With successful sales of its Amarok Double Cab around the world, VW seems to feel confident enough to launch the Amarok Single Cab model – clearly aiming it at the farming and general load-hauling market.

What makes the Amarok Single Cab so appealing is that it combines the luxury and high-tech features of its Double Cab sibling with the no-nonsense functionality of a single cab workhorse.

The VW Amarok Single Cab comes in four variants:
The 2.0 TDI 4Motion 90kW Basic, the 2.0 TDI 4Motion 90kW Trendline, the 2.0 BiTDI 120kW Trendline, and the topof- the range 2.0 BiTDI 4Motion 120kW Trendline.

I was given the opportunity to test drive the 2.0 BiTDI 4Motion 120kW Trendline for a week, and while I cannot comment on the other three variants, I thoroughly enjoyed test-driving this model.

Starting off with the exterior, this bakkie looks as if it’s designed for hard work. Wolfish headlights and high-visibility rear lights complement the robust yet sleek lines.

But looks don’t carry the load, so VW has appealed to farmers’ needs by designing a class-leading 0,508m-deep, 1,62m-wide and 2,205m-long load bin capable of easily accommodating two Euro pallets crossways. Six lashing eyes in this 3,5m² bin help to ensure that the load stays put, while the sturdy, if rather heavy, tailgate can be used as an extension of the bin.

The Amarok Single Cab Basic variant measures 5,181m in length, while the Trendline models are 5,254m long. All four variants are 1,82m high and 1,944m wide. The ground clearance of the 2.0 BiTDI 120kW Trendline is 265mm, while that of the others is 249mm.

VW maintains that the 2â„“ TDI Biturbo engine, fed by an 80-litre tank, is one of the most efficient on the road, and that the two exhaust turbochargers produce impressive vehicle response at lower engine speeds and increased power output at higher speeds.

The 90kW engine achieves peak power at 3 750 rpm and maximum torque of 340Nm between 1 750 and 2 250rpm. The 120kW engine hits peak power at 4 000rpm and cranks out an impressive 400Nm torque in the 1 500-2 000rpm range.

What is truly remarkable about the Amarok Single Cab is its fuel consumption. In an urban environment, the 90kW engine reportedly averages 9,1â„“/100km, while on the open road this drops to 6,7â„“/100km.

The overall average is 7,6â„“/100 km. For the 120kW engine, average urban consumption is 9,5â„“/100km, the open road figure is 6,9â„“/100km, and the overall average is 7,9â„“/100km.

The Amarok Single Cab’s tough suspension plays a major part in the vehicle’s competent load-carrying capacity, roadholding and traction.

The front features independent suspension with A-frame arm, double wishbone and spring dampers. The rear has rigid axle with multilayer leaf springs. All variants come with front and rear stabilisers.

Safety and driver assistance features abound in the vehicle. These include an anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control system (TCS), electronic differential lock (EDL), and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD).

All variants have a driver’s airbag and the 2.0 TDI 4Motion 90kW Basic is the only model without a passenger airbag as standard.

Cosseted in comfort
The cabin of Amarok Single Cab oozes the same luxury that has helped to make its larger sibling so popular. The bucket seats are height adjustable and covered in durable fabric.

The Trendline models come standard with a radio/CD player, air-conditioner, electric windows, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, and leathercovered steering wheel, handbrake and gearshift lever.

Added features include a height- and depth adjustable steering wheel, cruise control, headlight range adjustment, and plenty of storage space.

In summary, the Amarok Single Cab’s combination of driving comfort, lively handling and impressive safety features brings a new dimension to the often mundane task of hauling loads around the farm or countryside.

Add the sizeable, well-designed load bin, remarkably low petrol consumption and VW’s excellent reputation for reliability, and the Amarok Single Cab is certainly worth a closer look.

All variants of the Amarok Single Cab come with a three-year/100 000km manufacturer’s warranty, a five-year/90 000km service plan, 15 000km service intervals, and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

For prices and more information on the VW Amarok Single Cab, visit your nearest VW dealership. Alternatively, log on to www.vw.co.za.