THE double cab pick-up sector emerged in the UK only in 2002 when benefit-in-kind tax rules finally classed pick-ups as commercial vehicles for the first time – and a cheaper alternative to tax than a company car.
In the early days all the contenders were slow, noisy and pretty uncomfortable places to be, some with such hard suspension that occupants risked losing their fillings on rough ground.
Although newer, quieter and more refined models showed themselves over the years, but it was not until the arrival of the Volkswagen Amarok in 2011 that we finally saw a vehicle which was as smooth and refined as a car and yet tough enough to get its feet dirty.
Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 BiTDI Highline 180PS 4MOTION
- Gross vehicle weight: 3170kg
- Payload: 1077kg
- Load volume: 2.5 cu m
- Fuel economy (combined): 35.3mpg
- CO2 emissions: 211g/km
- Price (ex-VAT): £25,495
- Contract hire rate (per month): £545
Our judges were so impressed with this vehicle that they awarded it the titles of Best Double-Cab and Best Utility Pick-Up, proving that VW has managed to straddle two sectors in style.
This trophy was awarded for the more upmarket variants in the range, such as Trendline and Highline, where customers can choose car-like levels of comfort and specification in a lifestyle vehicle.
Thus business users can effectively have a tough cookie that will also look smart and upmarket outside a client’s premises.
The key attributes that make the Amarok the best double-cab are true of any Volkswagen – quality, durability and low wholelife costs, with the support and professional services from the Volkswagen Van Centre network and a range of easy finance and service plans.
There are two power outputs available, a top of the range 180PS BiTDI or a 140PS (which was upgraded from 122PS this year). The towing limit has also increased to 3000kg, or 3200 kg for automatic models.