Tinashe Makichi : Motoring
The 2015 Volkswagen Amarok has officially arrived on the Zimbabwean market where it will compete with other brands for the king of the cabs title. Other top brands which introduced latest models last year include the new Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, updated Ford Ranger, revamped Mazda BT-50 and the big selling Toyota Hilux.Volkswagen was one of the latecomers to the party in 2011 when it introduced its first-ever 4×4 one tonne Amarok during the course of the years, it has proven to be a steady earner for Volkswagen and one of the better performers in the segment.
Unveiled by CFAO Motors Zimbabwe two weeks ago , the Amarok 2015 from its general look is likely going to be a force to reckon.
I had the chance to test drive the vehicle along Bindura highway and afterwards I went through Polo grounds just before the tollgate to experience its performance of a rugged terrain.
Without taking anything away from the vehicle, the Amarok 2015 is the real deal for the Zimbabwean terrain.
The Amarok’s cabin is large for a dual cab, offering acres of head, shoulder and leg room for four adults. Even the rear bench is not bad for three beefy blokes, with the flat bench not as supportive as more contoured seats but allowing the centre passenger to feel relaxed.
Volkswagen has imbued the interior of its commercial ute with a whiff of passenger car refinement in terms of fit and finish too.
“It doesn’t shout luxury, but neither does it feel cheap.” said one of staff at CFAO during the test drive.
The Amarok TDI 420 auto’s 2,0 litre diesel is fitted with two turbochargers that work sequentially one for low revs, the other for higher revs.
Normally manufacturers supply their diesels with just one turbocharger, but Volkswagen’s take on turbo charging gives more consistent throttle response and peak torque should be available even lower in the rev range, reducing turbo lag.
While manual Amarok variants have a selectable 4 Motion four wheel drive system, the automatic only Amarok high line has standard permanent 4 Motion four wheel drive and you can tell it has more traction than utes with switchable systems that tend to chirp the rear wheels in 2 wheel drive mode.
It also has an off road mode that controls hill descent speed, and there’s a locking rear diff that you won’t find in any specification of the country’s best-selling ute, the Toyota Hilux.
The eight speed auto slides through its ratios well, with decisive changes and none of the befuddlement that can mark the operation of some autos.
The vehicle has an electronic stability control with brake assist and an anti-locking brake system which make it the safest vehicle on the market so far.
When it comes to comfort the vehicle is furnished with comfort seats, adjustable in height for driver and passenger. Also there is adjustable lumbar support for both passenger and driver.
The Amarok 2015 is being sold under the dealership of CFAO Motors Zimbabwe. The company is the official distributor of Volkswagen in Zimbabwe, and as such CFAO Motors is responsible for all VW passenger and commercial vehicle sales, after sales, support/maintenance and warranties on behalf of Volkswagen group.