VW Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Review

Launch of Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Ute

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Overview

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 – Volkswagen introduced the Amarok in 2011 and while it was late to the dual cab Ute party it met with acceptance initially. It has since established itself amongst the best on road Utes on the market, a favourite with families and workers alike.

Amarok has now set the benchmark for torque figures amongst the standard Utes. But more on that later.

As Alan last tested the VW Amarok Ultimate V6 Dual Cab Ute in August 2017, and way before that when I last drove one, I was looking forward to driving the Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 on its launch drive program. So off I headed to the Yarra Valley in Victoria for a couple of days putting the Amarok through its paces.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Exterior

While style is definitely a subjective thing, my thought is that the Amarok has one of the best grills on the market. It sits midway between the two seemingly opposite styles of design. It has a more squarish shape than most but has evolved over its time.

There seems to be two strong design influences in the Ute market. Firstly the big bold American Pick-Up style that the Colorado and Ranger follow. The second is the more subtle flowing style that the Isuzu and Mazda fall into.

The Amarok 580 edition comes with some special features that include: – 20-inch ‘Talca’ alloy wheels – New front bumper design – Long chrome sports bar – Illuminated side steps – Exclusive Peacock Green paint option for Ultimate – UV-resistant load area cover – Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

The alloy wheels running 255/50 R20 Bridgestone Dueler tyres adds not only to the overall appeal, but the ride and handling and indeed quietness of the Amarok 580.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 dash

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Interior

Inside the Amarok 580 is pretty much like all Amarok’s with some added features. The heated and 14 way electrically adjustable front Nappa leather seats are very comfortable. They have a slightly higher side bolster for support and the additional electric lumbar support was greatly appreciated by my old back.

The height and reach adjustable, thick steering wheel allows a good driving position as does the long seat slide for taller drivers. It’s amazing how the feel of the steering wheel changes the feel of the vehicle in driver’s minds, as do alloy pedals.

In front of the driver is the familiar Amarok dash with two large premium colour dials and a clear MFD between. A clear and easy to read dash also makes for safer driving. A slight niggle is the fact that there is no push button start. I am not fussed either way, but buyers are looking for these little signs of luxury.

Black headlining and pillar trims enhance the interior ambience and overall headroom for front passengers is excellent.

So it’s a big tick for the driver.

While the door arm rests and centre console bin are soft touch pints, the dash and door trims are hard plastic and while practical, seem a little out of place on a $70,000 plus vehicle. (Reference the horrible interior of the LandCruiser 70 Series).

The centre console bin, while having a large soft touch lid, was small but effective. The lid did get in the way of the handbrake lever and at this price point buyers might be wanting an electronic brake. The transmission lever, centre stack and screen all function as they should.

The centre screen, while clear to read and easy to use, could be described as a little small. But it integrates better than the Alpine system on the Mazda BT-50 or the Ranger Wildtrak.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Storage is adequate with large door pockets, central cupholders, centre console, under front seat bins and reasonable glove box. One negative is that the front central cupholders don’t really grip the bottle all that well and we had a bottle fly out under the drivers’ feet under heavy braking. The rear cup holders are little more than indents and impractical.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Rear seats are comfortable with plenty of head room, but lacking rear knee and leg room. There are also no rear air vents and only one 12V plug. They do sit slightly higher than the front seats to provide better visibility for passengers, which is clever.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Features

Being the top of the range, you would expect the Amarok 580 to be blessed with additional features.

Amarok 580 specific features include:-

  • 20-inch ‘Talca’ alloy wheels
  • New front bumper design
  • Long chrome sports bar
  • Illuminated side steps
  • Exclusive Peacock Green paint option for Ultimate
  • UV-resistant load area cover
  • Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Nappa leather trim
  • Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters
  • Premium colour instrument cluster
  • Black headlining and pillar trims
  • Heated and ergo 14-way electric front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals

Other Ultimate features include:-

  • Front fog lights with cornering function
  • Dual-zone Climatronic air conditioning system
  • Discover Media navigation system with App-Connect USB interface, inc. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™
  • Parking sensors front and rear
  • Rear View Camera
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Drivetrain and Engine

Here is where the real story is. The Amarok leads the Ute market with power and torque.

Amarok 580 is powered by a 3.0L V6 Twin Turbo Diesel engine that produces power of 190kW @ 3,250 – 4,500 rpm (with an overboost of 200kW) and Torque of 580Nm @ 1,400 – 3,000rpm. This is matched to an 8 Speed ZF Auto with permanent 4MOTION drive transmission.

This is one sweet combination!

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Ultimate’s V6 is good for a 0-100km/sprint of 7.3 second – a time not long ago attained by smaller and lighter hot hatches.

Volkswagen uses the permanent 4MOTION system that is always operating, utilising a Torsen differential to distribute optimal power between all four wheels.

With a 40:60, front to rear power distribution, the Amarok V6 is excellent on road however lacks a true low range for the rough 4WD driving that other 4WD Utes can access. It does have a hill descent control and rear diff lock though, which helps in most situations

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute What is it like to drive

Quite simply, the Amarok Ultimate 580 is probably the best performing dual cab Ute in its class on road. Its ride and handling are more premium SUV like, than Ute based. While my co-driver was heading through some tight twisty roads, I closed my eyes to experience the feel. I could have easily been sitting in a BMW X5 or Audi Q5. It’s that good, for the most part.

This obviously has a lot to do with the suspension, tyres and chassis set up. Riding on double wishbone front suspension with anti-roll bar and multi layered rigid rear axle with leaf spring (heavy duty springs). The ladder chassis in high strength steel designed for maximum rigidity also enhances the ride.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s been a while since I have driven an Amarok, and to be honest I had forgotten just how good they are on road and dirt road surfaces.

It’s also pretty dam quiet inside, with little road or tyre noise and only a small amount of wind noise around the large external mirrors, which given the visibility they provide, is acceptable.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

On the launch we had the opportunity to drive on a closed section of road, the entrance to the Lake Mountain Alpine Resort. This road is about 9km long and has multiple twists and turns climbing all the time. In short the exact type of road you wouldn’t want to take a 4WD Ute on for fun.

Well, my readers, it was huge fun. The combination of SUV like ride and handling, flat torque delivery, 8 speed automatic transmission and permanent 4MOTION drive system meant that the Amarok 580 excelled in this situation.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Make no mistake, it is no sports car, but handled this drive better than any other Ute I have driven would. The ability to keep the engine within the torque band combined with the matching of gears meant that the Amarok 580 powered up the climb without fuss.

Now driving the Amarok up a closed section of road is fun but how does that relate to everyday driving. Glad you asked!

The flat torque delivery that comes in at a low 1400 rpm means that in everyday driving you have a smooth and linear delivery, not peaky like some petrol engines or some smaller diesel engines. It makes for relaxed driving, towing and cruising.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Dimensions

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute has an

  • overall length of 5254mm,
  • wheelbase of 3095mm,
  • width of 1954mm and
  • height of 1834mm
  • Unladen ground clearance is 226mm.
  • Approach angle is 28 degrees, rampover is 23 degrees and departure angle is 23.6 degrees.
  • Wading depth is 500 mm
  • Turning circle is 12.95m
  • Fuel Tank is 80L
  • GVM of 3080kg, GCM of 6000kg,
  • Kerb mass of 2196kg and Payload* of 884kg,
  • There is 1222mm between the wheel arches
  • Towing capacity is 3500kg,
  • Tow ball rating is up to 300kg**

*Includes occupants, fuel and fitted options/accessories. The weight of these must be deducted from the payload to determine load carrying   capacity. Front and rear axle loads must not be exceeded

**must be accounted for in the payload calculations

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Safety

Key safety features include:-

  • Airbag – Driver, Passenger, Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front)
  • Headlamps – Electric Level Adjustment
  • ABS (Antilock Brakes)
  • Hill Holder
  • Brake Assist
  • Parking Assist – Graphical Display
  • Brake Emergency Display – Hazard/Stoplights
  • Camera – Rear Vision
  • Control – Electronic Stability Control
  •  Hill Descent Control
  • Park Distance Front and rear Control
  • Rollover Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Daytime Running Lamps – LED
  • Disc Brakes Front and Rear Ventilated
  • BD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution)
  • Electronic Differential Lock
  • Speed Limiter
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring – with logging/display
  • Warning – Speed Alert

 

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Fit for Purpose

Even amongst the Dual Cab Ute brigade, there are different Utes that are better suited to different purposes.

The Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 is suited to those drivers that will spend most of their time on normal roads, with an occasional adventure or outback touring to country towns. It makes an excellent towing vehicle as well.

I can see a lot of cashed up tradies or retirees buying these for recreational purposes that want extra performance for towing or normal driving.

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute Summary

VW Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 is a bit of a mixed bag. The story is all about the smooth ride and handling, the almost SUV like driving, the beautiful engine and transmission combination and some added luxuries.

However for $72,000 plus extra costs, buyers may be expecting more bling for their buck. Little things like soft touch dash, push button start, rear air vents and USB/12V plugs, heads up display, electronic brake etc. are things that are becoming expected.

However, once you drive the beast, those things are overlooked and the enjoyment takes over. The premium section of the Ute segment just got more crowded.

Let’s leave the final words to Carlos Santos, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “The Amarok is our third biggest seller across the entire Volkswagen range, making Australia the biggest export market in the world for it,” Mr. Santos said. “The V6 Amarok makes up around 70 per cent of all Amaroks sold in Australia, and with our new 580Nm Ultimate launching, we expect that percentage to grow to more than 80 per cent,”

Good:-

  • Ride and Handling
  • Smooth engine
  • Towing capacity

Not so good:-

  • No dual range 4WD
  • Interior plastic dash etc.
  • Lacking some features for a $71,000 plus vehicle

Also look at

Amarok V6 Ultimate 580

Model:   Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Dual Cab Ute

  • Model Price $71,990 RRP*
  • Engine 3.0L V6 Twin Turbo Diesel
  • Drivetrain 8 Sp ZF Sport Automatic with Permanent 4MOTION
  • Power 190kW @ 4,500rpm (200kW overboost)
  • Torque 450Nm @ 1,400 – 3,000rpm
  • Safety TBA
  • CO2 234g/km
  • Economy ADR 8.9 L/100 km
  • Servicing Fixed Price 12mths/15,000kmn fixed $
  • Tow Rating 3,500 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 300 kg
  • Warranty 3 Yrs. / Unlimited km with Roadside Assist

*excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Optional metallic paint at a cost of RRP $610

 Overall Rating: 84/100

  • Behind the Wheel 9
  • Comfort 8
  • Equipment 8
  • Performance 9
  • Ride & Handling 9
  • Practicality 8
  • Fit for Purpose 9
  • Towing Ability 9
  • Off Road Ability 7
  • Value for Money 8
VW Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 Ute Review
4.2

Summary

VW Amarok V6 Ultimate 580 is a bit of a mixed bag. The story is all about the smooth ride and handling, the almost SUV like driving, the beautiful engine and transmission combination and some added luxuries.

About Rob Fraser 125 Articles
Rob first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, many years ago. He has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive.