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Amarok auto - any good off-road?

Discussion in 'General 4x4 Discussion' started by mac_man_luke, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Anyone here have experience with the 2L auto Amarok, particularly off road?

    Dads looking at moving on his Turbo territory for a 4wd.
    Wont be anything particularly challenging or extreme to start with but i know the kind of disease off roading can be haha :)
    Needs to be auto, diesel preferred (basically only option anyway), likely looking at new or near new.

    VW are pushing the dual cab 4x4 core model for around $40k with free auto.
    Seems to fit the bill fairly well, has most creature comfort and seems good value for money.

    Now the auto being only single range is a little bit of a concern, 1st is reasonably low with the 8sp box but still nothing really close to a proper low range. Im sure it will get to most places no problems but im wondering if its a good suit for an off road novice where skills are not necessarily there to compensate for the lack of capability. Also lack of low range reverse could be a little annoying.

    Anyone here have experience with them? how do they fair?

    Also how does the 4wd system go? being full time 4wd with the torsen centre diff - does it have a centre diff lock or does it go ok without? cant find much information on them.

    Also anything particular to look out for? known issues?

    80lover96gxl likes this.
  2. Jt76

    Jt76 New Member

    When I was researching I found the ausamarok forum had plenty of info . They did have a couple of issues two years back when I was looking which turned me off them but no first hand knowledge. The forum would be worth checking out.
    mac_man_luke likes this.
  3. mikehzz

    mikehzz Well-Known Member

    Pat Callinan's crew car was an auto Amarok pretty standard except for tyres and it pulled a heavy camper trailer plus the camera gear cross country through the North Simpson desert. I think that's a decent effort if you don't want something to crawl up rocks. I haven't heard much bad about that auto and some owners will fight to the death to defend the car's honour.
  4. oldlux

    oldlux Well-Known Member

    And they had a few problems with it on the dunes too.
  5. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Yea id expect sand driving should be no problems without low range - when i had my auto ranger i used to run that in 4H in sand inc a full simmo crossing.
    Ill have a look at ausamarok, thanks!
    And yea getting unbiased opinions can be hard!
    Might have to take one for an extended test drive ;)
    unko84 and 80lover96gxl like this.
  6. dno67

    dno67 Well-Known Member

    Mates been a member of the forum few years and on his second roc, went for an auto second time round. Recons the forum has all the advice you could need and a heap of good people . They have some real good group buys too.
    mac_man_luke likes this.
  7. Bomber2012

    Bomber2012 Well-Known Member

    Local builder had one a few years ago , it was at the dealers being repaired more often than not .
    He got sick of it and sold it .
  8. Kippie

    Kippie Member

    I've had the Core 420 auto for about a year now. Do regular 4wdriving (we live in a state forest), but nothing really challenging where I could damage a 40k+ vehicle. The only time I tested its limits was during a 4wd session at the Werribee proving grounds. Previously I owned a manual Nissan patrol.
    The Amarok is 21st century technology. Its technology kicks in before you'd think about it, like electronic stability control, hill descent control, ABS. Locking up the brakes in a bend on a gravel road allows you to steer along the bend, you don't end up going straight ahead. Reversing on a steep incline with hill descent control allows you to inch your way down very smoothly. Ditto going forward. There is no pucker factor. The torsen diff and electronic stability control allows you to lift one, even two wheels without spinning those wheels under power. The power gets distributed to the wheels that still have traction. It also has a rear diff lock.
    In terms of comfort, it feels and drives like an oversized sedan. It is very spacious inside. It is very comfortable on long distance drives. Recently did Sydney to Melbourne in 9 hours without feeling worn out. Best of all is the fuel economy. The 2 litre engine does 8l/100km on highway driving. Around town it does 8.4/100. Obviously I highly recommend the Amarok.
    The only issue I have is service in remote locations. There are not many VW repair centres outside regional towns. As mentioned earlier, visit the ausamarok forum. You will find lots of info there, good and bad.
  9. oldlux

    oldlux Well-Known Member

  10. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Yea that sort of thing is a bit of a concern but really could happen with any of the current dual cabs - dont ask me how i know haha
    Extended warranty will certainly be on the cards too.

    thanks, ill have a read

    Nice to hear. Sounds like you have still given it a bit of a work out.
    Honestly i dont see him doing more than a few weekends a year of fairly moderate driving.
  11. dno67

    dno67 Well-Known Member

    My understanding is, the biggest issue with things going wrong with vw marque is they (the dealer) don't know how to
    fix $hit.
    TPSSA likes this.
  12. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Sounds just like Ford - or maybe they know how to fix it but will do anything to not pay for it!
    dno67 likes this.
  13. Jt76

    Jt76 New Member

    Im. It sure if this has been addressed but when I was looking owners complained about issues with towing and reversing. Reverse was taller then 1st and would go into tranny fault from trying to back up a driveway uphill while towing. Getting stuck in sand and trying to reverse out had a similar problem. As I do a little of each (towing and beach driving) this was an issue for me. You didn't mention towing so might not be an issue.

    Funny thing was, even the owners with multiple Issues with their cars on the forum still seemed to love them and there were more then a few that seemed to trade it in on a new one just before warranty ran out.

    The amarok was the most car like to drive and the core version seemed like good value too. So I'm sure if he drives one he would be impressed, just study that forum for a while before he jumps in
    mac_man_luke and dno67 like this.
  14. Synchro

    Synchro Active Member

    Why you looking at the 2 litre and not the V6?
  15. smitty_r51

    smitty_r51 Well-Known Member

    Cost i would assume... The v6 had a big premium on $$$
  16. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Would be nice but its about an extra $20k+ and not really needed. Wont be towing or heavily loaded.
  17. jacnden

    jacnden Well-Known Member

    Ime interested in the lack of low range, how does it compare to the patrol you had?
    Have you been anywhere you that the patrol needed low range and done it in the amarok?
    mac_man_luke likes this.
  18. mac_man_luke

    mac_man_luke Well-Known Member

    Yea thats my biggest concern, i know how scary it can be to go down something steep not in a low gear. HDC works but it feels very unnatural (and noisy!)
  19. Kippie

    Kippie Member

    There is no lack of low range. The Amarok auto has 8 gears. I have found that the first gear is only used to take off. I have not had a 4wd situation (even when testing at the Werribee proving grounds) where it did not upshift to second gear in automatic mode. You can use it in standard mode, special mode (up shifts later) and manual. The latter I use when tackling steep slopes. I manually lock it in second gear and use HDC. It is a very smooth operation, not unlike the old style hand throttle control (which I had in my first 4wd, an old FJ55).
    It is not fair to compare the Patrol with the Amarok, because the latter is a far more capable vehicle particularly with the torsen diff and rear diff lock. Let's say the Amarok is the next step in evolution.

    I noticed a number of references regarding sand driving and in particular reversing when bogged. I believe that those issues have more to do with driver (in)competence than with the vehicle. I have been through very soft sand and deep mud without any issues other than cleaning off the damn mud! There are lots of discussions on those topics in the ausamarok forum.

    There were also some comments about its towing capacity. I don't tow, because the tow bar reduces my departure angle. But the discussions in the ausamarok forum suggest that the Amarok appears to hold its own.

    Other than installing extra lights, I have kept my Amarok bog standard. So far I have found no need for extra lift or ecu tuning etc. For me, the car is far more capable than I need. I found that out at the Werribee proving grounds. I would never subject myself to such extreme 4wd in the real world on my own. Too risky!

    A good video of what the standard Core can do is here
  20. callmejoe

    callmejoe Active Member

    Interesting video. I would like to see them with some weight though. Little deceiving using what looks like empty vehicles. We all know a weighted 4wd can act dramatically different. An lets be honest what 4wd going cape york or any holiday destination wouldnt be "up" their on weight.

    Not discrediting the amrock but thay video in my eyes was just a blurb on the net.
    Airstrike likes this.

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