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PORT ELIZABETH, Eastern Cape – “Bakkie” is a term fully owned by South Africa. Yet, when applied to a V6-powered Volkswagen Amarok, it doesn’t seem to fit. Indeed, “pick-up” works better, but feels, well, a little too American.

Whatever constitutes the most appropriate label, the Canyon is the latest special-edition version of the Amarok, the Dark Label having been previously released.

While we wait for the now-confirmed collaboration between Ford and VW on the next generations of the Ranger and Amarok, due in a couple of years, we remain impressed with this car-like, sporty workhorse. Could that be the best moniker? Sports workhorse?

Anyway, the Canyon introduces a new colour scheme called “honey orange” … which I would describe as a deep bronze. One of my favourite shades, this is complemented by model-specific exterior trim, hefty wheel arches and a roll-over bar (mounted to strange U-shaped brackets to raise it slightly) all finished in black. Black-and-silver wheels are also part of the package, as are decals.

Inside, the black upholstery echoes the exterior trim and also gains orange stitching (a treatment repeated on the steering wheel). While the interior may lag behind those of more modern vehicles by not offering the latest trends – such as large screens and digital instrumentation – everything you need is there.

There’s permanent four-wheel drive, an off-road button which alters the traction mode in one push and, of course, all the power and poise that makes this 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel version the most impressive and sought-after of its type. For the record, there's 165 kW (or 180 kW on overboost), bags of it low-down pulling power (550 N.m from as low as 1 400 r/min) and, should you need to stretch out journeys between fill-ups, surprisingly impressive fuel consumption if you take it easy with the right boot and enjoy SA’s amazing scenery.

The ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission is one of the best and I do hope the engineers working on the next Amarok resist the urge to keep adding more and more ratios until you have the virtual equivalent of a continuously variable transmission.

The ride quality is firm over poor-quality roads common in the Eastern Cape but is needed to allow for the loading of a tonne of goods in the loadbay. On decent gravel and tar sections, the firmness provides a near-perfect setup that in turn delivers safe handling when you decide to make use of the impeccable powertrain.

There was one feature missing from the Canyon that I would have appreciated: paddle shifters. With this amount of power and the sporty characteristics of the V6 and the ZF gearbox, it’s plenty of fun to flick through the gears, choosing shift points both up and down.

At R799 000, the Amarok Canyon is certainly pricey but it’s also capable of ticking a variety of boxes, from workhorse to luxury SUV. And even (almost) sportscar...

Manufacturer Specifications

Standard - standard Optional - optional
  • Leather upholstery: Standard
  • Seats quantity: 5
  • Folding rear seat: folding bench
  • Air conditioning: Standard
  • Climate control automatic air conditioning: Optional
  • Cup bottle holders: front + rear
  • Lumbar support adjustment: front
  • Front armrests: Standard
  • Antilock braking system (ABS): Standard
  • Electronic brake distribution (EBD): Standard
  • Brake assist (BAS/EBA): Standard
  • Traction control: Standard
  • Stability control: Standard
  • Hill descent control downhill brake control: Standard
  • Tyre pressure sensor monitor deflation detection system: Standard
  • Driver airbag: Standard
  • Front passenger airbag: Standard
  • Front side airbags: Standard
  • Airbag quantity: 4
  • Automatic drive away locking: Standard
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings: outer rear
  • Hillstart assist hillholder: Standard
  • Alloy wheelsrims: Standard
  • Power steering: Standard
  • Multifunction steering wheel controls: Standard
  • On board computer multi information display: Standard
  • Cruise control: Standard
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Standard
  • Voice control: Standard
  • Aux in auxiliary input: Standard
  • USB port: Standard
  • Powersocket 12V: front + rear
  • Central locking: remote
  • Remote central locking: Standard
  • Electric windows: front + rear
  • Rain sensor auto wipers: Standard
  • Electric adjust mirrors: Standard
  • Heated exterior mirrors: Standard
  • Daytime driving running lights: LED
  • Light sensor auto on off lights: Standard
  • Xenon headlights: Standard
  • Frontfog lamps lights: Standard
  • Highlevel 3rd brakelight: Standard
  • Rear fog lamps lights: Standard
  • Park distance control PDC: front + rear (opt rear camera)
  • Camera for park distance control: opt rear
  • Metallic pearl escent paint: Optional
  • Fuel Type: diesel
  • Fuel range average: 941 km
  • Driven wheels: all
  • Driven wheels quantity: 4
  • All wheel drive: permanent
  • Gearratios quantity: 8
  • Gearshift: automatic
  • Transmission type: automatic
  • Diff lock: electronic + rear
  • Front tyres: 255/60 R18
  • Reartyres: 255/60 R18
  • Spare wheel size full: alloy
  • Length: 5254 mm
  • Width excl mirrors incl mirrors: 1954 mm
  • Height: 1834 mm
  • Wheel base: 3095 mm
  • Ground clearance minimum maximum: 237 mm
  • Turning circle wheels body: 13.0 m
  • Approach angle: 29.5
  • Break over ramp angle: 21.4
  • Roll over / tilt angle / lateral inclination / slope: 49.7
  • Departure angle: 23.6
  • Wading/fording (water crossing) depth: 500
  • Load volume / capacity: 2520 L
  • Load volume / capacity: 2520 L
  • Unladen/tare/kerb weight: 1982 kg
  • Load carrying capacity / payload: 838 (opt 1041)
  • Gross weight (GVM): 2820 (opt 3040) kg
  • Towing capacity - unbraked: 750
  • Towing capacity - braked: 3200
  • Fuel tank capacity (incl reserve): 80l
  • Fuel consumption urban: 10.1 l/100km
  • Fuel consumption extra urban: 7.6 l/100km
  • Fuel consumption average: 8.5 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions average: 224g/km
  • Power maximum: 132 kW
  • Power maximum total: 132 kW
  • Power peak revs: 4000 r/min
  • Power to weight ratio: 66.6 kW/ton
  • Torque maximum: 420 Nm
  • Torque peak revs: 1500-2000 r/min
  • Torque maximum total: 420 Nm
  • Torque to weight ratio: 212 Nm/ton
  • Acceleration 0-100 kmh: 11.3s
  • Maximum top speed: 179 km/h
  • Engine position/ location: front
  • Engine capacity: 1968 cc
  • Engine size: 2.0l
  • enginedetailshort: 2.0TD
  • Engine + detail: 2.0 turbo diesel
  • Cylinder layout: inline
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder layout + quantity: i4
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Valves quantity: 16
  • Turbocharger: Standard
  • Warranty time (years): 3
  • Warranty distance (km): 100000 km
  • Service plan: Standard
  • Service plan time (years): 5
  • Service plan time (distance): 90000 km
  • Maintenance plan: Optional
  • Maintenance plan time (years): opt 5
  • Maintenance plan distance (km): opt 90000 km
  • Service interval (distance): 15000 km
  • Brand: Volkswagen
  • Status: c
  • Segment: LCV
  • MMcode: 64072448
  • MMintrodat: 2017/04/01
  • Limited edition: ltd ed
  • Introdate: 2019-08-01
  • DuoportarecordID: VolkAmar1Fd32

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