Juliet reviews…The VW Amarok Canyon

There is a massive bakkie culture here in South Africa. You’ve got your die-hard Toyota Hilux fans, your Ford Ranger fans and of course, the third top contender, your Volkswagen Amarok fans. Not to mention the Isuzu and Mitsubishi fans among others. All of these manufacturers appeal to their customer base for different reasons and most provide them with special editions every so often. Last year we saw the Hilux GR Sport as well as the Legend 50 arrive, Ford launched its Ranger Raptor…which happened to become one of my favourite bakkies. Until the Amarok Canyon that is.

This “sports” or “performance” bakkie comes exclusively in Honey Orange Metallic with Canyon decals, door handles in matte black, radiator grille painted in black with chrome trims, partly chrome-plated body coloured exterior mirror housings, widening wheels arches painted in black, new design matte black styling bar, as as well as 17-inch Aragua alloy wheels.

When you step inside the cabin, you are met with partial leather seats the same Honey Orange colour stitching, and orange trimmed seatbelts and multi-function steering wheel. The roof lining is black and you’ve got stainless steel pedal caps. Standard features on the Amarok Canyon include Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, parking distance control (front and rear) with rear view camera, featuring rear and front parking sensors and a reverse camera, Radio Composition Media and App-Connect with voice control.

The Canyon boasts a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine under the bonnet which produces 165 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque. There is an overboost that will increase the power to 180 kW for about 10 seconds. The eight-speed automatic transmission is almost faultless. This powerful and punchy engine is exactly what you want whether you are off-roading or cruising along the highway. The ride is perfectly firm and the suspension set up, which different from the standard Amarok in the rear, helps with body roll and makes for a fun and confidence-inspiring drive on dirt.

I just love the convenience of an Amarok because you just have to press the Off-Road button and the car does everything for you. It alters the traction, the power etc. and away you go. It could not be simpler.

This bakkie ticks so many boxes. It is considered a performance bakkie but adds the comfort of an SUV. In fact, the Amarok Canyon is the closest drive you will get to a car. It manoeuvres easily and one can quickly forget you’re driving a bakkie. This is something that will certainly appeal to those who want this as an everyday leisure vehicle.

The Amarok Canyon comes standard with a 3 year/ 100 000km manufacturer warranty, 5 year/ 90 000km Genuine Automotion Service Plan and a 6 year anti-corrosion warranty.

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