Pick-ups haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory at past Tow Car Awards, but we’re so impressed with the Amarok that we’ve given it a gong.
In still air in particular, the big VW made a very secure and reassuring tow car. Only at speeds which would earn licence points on the motorway did we notice any slight sway. The Amarok wasn’t quite as stable in a stiff breeze, but certainly gave us no worrying moments.
The VW’s performance on the brakes also impressed, especially as this has been a weak point for many pick-ups in the past. The stopping distance of 10.8m from 30mph is shorter than the stops recorded by many of the big luxury 4x4s in this year’s tests.
When you want to go rather than stop, the Amarok obliges. There’s real punch from the V6 engine, and even the heft of a big twin-axle caravan in tow can’t disguise it.
So long as the handbrake was pulled on firmly, the Volkswagen held still on a 1-in-6 slope. With so much pulling power, there was no trouble towing to the top of the hill.
The load bay offers lots of space for luggage, and it’s reassuring to see a trailer stability control system fitted.
However, there’s no getting away from the Amarok’s high price compared with most pick-ups.
One other word of warning – some caravan warranties warn against towing with commercial vehicles, so check before you decide to use a pick-up like the VW Amarok as a tow car.