VW Amarok from £16,995 ... maybe 24 | 02 | 2011

    VOLKSWAGEN HAS announced the pricing of its good-looking, rugged Amarok pick-up; but while much of the build-up has been focused on a 'starting price' of £16,995, that figure is just slightly misleading ... by £4338.

    VW has, understandably, been very clever with its headline-grabbing entry-level price. You can, quite rightly, buy a base level Amarok for £16,995, but that price excludes both VAT and the cost of putting the vehicle on the public road — a not insignificant £939. So, chuck in VAT and the on-the-road cost, et viola, the entry cost rises to £21,330 for the 2.0-litre TDI 120bhp Startline model with selectable 4WD.

    The Amarok is available in three specs — the Startline, Trendline (£23,733) and Highline — with the latter two only available with the more powerful 2.0BiTDI 161bhp unit. The bigger engine, accompanied by permanent 4WD, is also available in the Startline for a £1200 premium.

    The Highline is the only model in the range to come with a choice of selectable 4WD or permanent 4WD. Both are priced identically at £26,829, so the decision to opt for the permanent 4WD model appears a no-brainer; it also comes with a different suspension set-up which improves the ride quality.

    Electric front and rear windows, six airbags, air-conditioning and a wide range of electronic safety aids including Trailer Stability Control, Hill Descent Control and an ABS system suitable for off-road motoring are fitted as standard across the range.

    But while the entry-level Startline will be the generic workhorse, it's the Highline which carries luxury goodies including heated front seats, leather upholstery and parking sensors. It also gets chrome detailing on the front grille elements, door mirrors and rear bumper, plus polished stainless steel sidebars, privacy glass and 18in alloys (17in on the Trendline and 16in on the Startline).

    The Amarok will be sold through Volkswagen's Van Centre network in Scotland, rather than the retail dealership network, though the staff in the car dealers should be able to answer most of your enquiries. Order books are open now, with first deliveries scheduled for May.

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    Jim McGill

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