On the move, the Amarok combines excellent off-road abilities with solid, predictable car-like handling. The combination of a solid, leaf-spring rear axle, mechanical locks on the centre and rear diffs and traction control means that most extreme off-road situations require little more than pressing the accelerator and adjusting the wheel so that it goes in the correct direction.
Where VW’s achievement is much more impressive is the on-road refinement. The Amarok does not ride over broken surfaces with the sophistication of the Freelander, but the ride is exceptionally good for a vehicle with a payload of 1150kg. The steering is well weighted, though devoid of much feel, but provides enough feedback on what’s going on beneath the tyres to allow fluent, quick progress on the paved Patagonian highways and dirt tracks that made up the 170 mile test route.