Volkswagen: 2015 Amarok Canyon 4Motion review

Volkswagen: 2015 Amarok Canyon 4Motion review

If you are a shrinking violet or prefer your daily driver to be a bit discreet then the Amarok Canyon in all of it’s metallic copper orange glory, with the flared wheel-arches, 17-inch Roca alloy wheels, gloss black Canyon sport bar, Canyon roof light bar, and colour coded bumpers and mirrors, plus gloss black sill bars and rear bumper – isn’t going to be your cup of tea.

2015 Amarok Canyon front grilleIf, however, you want to make a statement, this VW has “look at me” written all over it and you won’t ever loose it in a car park. There’s a Canyon graphic which runs above the lower door sills which is complemented by another on the tailgate, least anyone not realise what you are driving.

The Canyon is kitted out with a New Zealand produced hard lid from Ute Master in black to complement the gloss black sport bar, and the metal load tray is protected by a very hard wearing and functional fitted ‘bed rug’ which is secured to the tray by velcro strips which means it can simply be ‘unhooked’ 2015 Amarok Canyon rear tray openand lifted out for cleaning.

I’d never come across a ‘bed rug’ before and I have to say that it beats spray-on or plastic liners hands down, because loose items don’t seem to slide around on it, and the ability to be able to pull it out and wash it with a hose is absolute genius.

With the bed rug, you still have access to the four tie down 2015 Amarok Canyon rear three quarterpoints in the bed if you need them.

Inside the car the orange theme continues with metallic orange accents around the circular internal air vents, and orange stitching on the Vienna art grey and anthracite leather upholstery, as well as the gearshift gaiter and steering wheel.

Our test vehicle had covered more than 8000km and while the engine and transmission are not even yet worn in, the lighter 2015 Amarok Canyon interiorcoloured upholstery on the height adjustable ‘comfort’ front seats was beginning to look a bit grubby, though all the other plastics and the interior in general was immaculate and nothing squeaked or rattled.

I can understand why many New Zealand buyers tend not to go for the lighter interiors even though they would be more preferable in our blazing summers than the funereal grey and charcoal interiors of many European vehicles.

The driver and front passenger both get one-touch seat heating, and the Canyon is fitted with semi-automatic climate 2015 Amarok Canyon side profilecontrolled air con, as well as cruise control, electrically operated mirrors with defrost function, daytime running lights, rear camera, as well as front and rear parking sensors, which make placing the orange beast a lot easier in tight parking spots.

There’s a factory Bluetooth system which hooks up quickly and 2015 Amarok Canyon front three quarterthe sound quality from the RCD 510 audio system is pretty crisp and clear.

Unfortunately, because of the height of the Canyon roof light bar (of which the lights work solely when full beam is selected by the driver) there were a number of parking buildings around Auckland that we had to forsake due to their height restrictions or we would have been coughing up for a replacement at $3000. Ouch.

Cleverly the rear bench seat in the Amarok Canyon is elevated higher than the front seats for increased visibility and the bench also has a 1/3 – 2/3 split upwards which allows extra storage space, or the back rest will fold down as one piece. There’s also a small storage compartment for small items behind the bench seat, too.

Our test Canyon was specified with the 8-speed automatic transmission and a permanent four-wheel-drive system which VW refers to as 4Motion. Should you prefer an on demand part time four-wheel-drive system, this is available with a six-speed manual transmission.

As the automatic Canyon is allowed another 20 Newton metres of torque to make a total of 420Nm from the 135kW 2-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine, rather than the 400Nm of the manual, you’d have to ask the question of why bother?

The combination of the maximum torque at 1750 rpm with an 8-speed transmission allows the Canyon to sprint away from standstill with very little fuss and drama. The beauty of the permanent 4Motion all-wheel-drive is that it makes the Canyon extremely car-like to drive and you need not worry about fish-tailing around corners in the wet, as leaf sprung pick ups are often known to do.

The Canyon does retain the traditional ladder frame chassis and rear leaf suspension as its competitors, which it needs to in order to be able to offer a decent payload of 929kg and a braked towing capacity of 3000kg.

Our week with the Canyon coincided with a number of outdoor social events and the vehicle was put to good use easily carrying trestle tables, portable BBQs, boxes of food and alcohol, as well as humans hither and yon.

Everyone who rode in it complimented its ride comfort and amount of leg and head room.

Parting with the Canyon was bittersweet, its user friendliness and functionality as well as high specification and good on-road driving dynamics had won me over. This is one luxury workhorse that really does deliver the goods.

Facts and figures: 2015 Amarok Canyon 4Motion 

  • Price: $69,990
  • Warranty: 36 months/100,000km
  • Service interval: 20,000km or 12 months
  • Safety: driver and front seat passenger airbags, head protection airbags
  • Crash rating: ANCAP 5-star
  • Engine: Inline 4-cylinder twin turbodiesel 2-litre
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Thirst: 8.3L/100km
  • Dimensions: 5254mm (L) 2228mm (H) 1834mm (W)
  • Towing capacity: 3000kg (braked)
  • Payload: 929kg
  • Weight: 2111kg (unladen)
  • Spare tyre: full size alloy with OEM tyre
  • Fuel tank capacity: 80 litres

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