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Volkswagen Amarok 2024 review: lift kit and accessories tested


Got your eye on a new accessory to take your Amarok to the next level? Chasing Cars has sampled the range and here are the ones you should buy

Good points

  • Broad range of accessories
  • Lift kit has few downsides
  • Long warranty as standard
  • Quality products overall

Needs work

  • Quality comes at a cost
  • Some accessories still on their way
  • Tent mattress won’t suit everybody

The second-generation Volkswagen Amarok‘s honeymoon period is almost over.

Launched this time last year, the Amarok built in a partnership with the T6.2-platform Ford Ranger , raised the bar in a stagnant segment and has held up well after multiple rounds of testing.

But for a great share of ute buyers, the showroom purchase is just the beginning. Unlocking its true potential, and making it suit your needs is a matter for the accessories.

Like many brands, Volkswagen has recognised Australia’s internationally renowned off-road accessory industry and worked with them on many products to create a laundry list of lifestyle, general use, camping and off-road accessories.

Most notable among these is the addition of a 40mm lift kit, developed by Volkswagen’s local division alongside ARB’s Old Man Emu suspension subsidiary which aims to retain the Amarok’s famous road-holding while also increasing its breadth of ability off-road.

Chasing Cars sampled Volkswagen’s accessory range both on and off road, towed a 3.1-tonner caravan and spent the night in a roof-top tent to find out which accessories are worth considering, and those that fall short of the mark.

Lift kit and other off-road accessories

Let’s start with the fun stuff first. We sampled the mid-spec Amarok Style grade with a multitude of goodies such as the V6-only snorkel ($1120), full underbody protection ($1655) and the 40mm lift kit ($3820). All prices include the cost of fitment.

It’s worth noting that the snorkel is technically a raised air intake and doesn’t affect the Amarok’s 800mm wading depth, you’ll need to relocate the diff breathers if you plan to use your Amarok as a submarine. Still, it’s certainly peace of mind and can keep your intake away from corrosive red when you head out bush.

Volkswagen Amarok accessories 2024 snorkel

To test out the rest of the equipment, we travelled up to Toolangi State Forest in Victoria to tackle some tracks that I highly doubt would’ve been conquerable in a stock Amarok.

The lift kit and underbody protection are a match made in heaven, the latter is somewhat of a no-brainer, and by covering all the crucial mechanical components it gives the driver the freedom to explore safely.

In stock form, the Amarok already has some impressive ground clearance at 235mm with the 40mm lift elevating the gap to 275mm, which is some 15mm more than a Nissan Navara Warrior and 3mm more than the all-conquering Ford Ranger Raptor.

Naturally, the wading depth rises from 800mm to 840mm as well.

Volkswagen Amarok lifted 2024 off-road

The kit doesn’t appear to be poorly engineered for the sake of achieving those billboard-friendly numbers either; the front driveshafts are still remarkably level, meaning your CV joints shouldn’t be under too much strain when you experience those full compression moments.

The need for clearance quickly became obvious on our route, as the tracks began to sink deeper into the earth and picking your line became the deciding factor between traversing an obstacle, and not.

With the Panamericana’s all-terrains fitted on each corner, our Amarok scrambled up the hill with the sort of confidence that comes from a driver who is no longer afraid he’s going to crack the oil sump open on stray rock.

Volkswagen Amarok lifted 2024 off-road rear

Perhaps more impressive, is what we didn’t use. Things like low-range and the rear diff locker (and even the tyre pressures) were left alone in favour of the ‘4A’ or automatic 4×4 mode.

With ten transmission ratios up its sleeve, the Amarok feels penalty capable in 4A and it saves the driver from frequent stopping and shifting between 4H and 4L as the terrain shifts between fast-flowing dirt roads to technical rocky hills on certain tracks.

But a lift kit enhancing a ute’s performance off-road is hardly groundbreaking, what’s perhaps more impressive is how it behaves on the bitumen.

Volkswagen Amarok lifted 2024 corners

Over the years I’ve sampled many aftermarket 4×4 suspension systems and many come at a great sacrifice to general road holding and/or comfort.

While the setup produced by Old Man Emu is a bit more ‘ponderous’ when driving on the highway, and will reach the limits of handling capability quicker than a stock Amarok, the vast majority of turns feel quite similar – and it might even be a bit more forgiving over poorly laid bitumen.

Volkswagen wisely offers this lifted setup with a heavy-duty option at no extra charge for those who opt for the heavier V6 engine and/or those who are looking to add a bullbar.

Volkswagen Amarok lifted 2024 off-road towing

A similar option for the rear axle is designed to accommodate an additional 300kg of constant loading, say from the downball weight of a heavy trailer, though this does cost an extra $195.

We did get the chance to tow a 3.1-tonne off-road caravan with the stand lift kit setup and it seems to perform fine enough in some challenging windy roads, though our in-cabin payload was unrealistically light for your typical weekend away and occasionally wallowing from the rear end on high-speed dips is likely where you’ll see the greater stability of the beefier setup.

It wasn’t available to sample on the day but Volkswagen does offer a nudge bar with an integrated LED light bar ($1600), though this is no replacement for a fully-fledged bullbar which Chasing Cars understands is not likely to join the accessories list anytime soon.

Volkswagen Amarok lifted 2024 off-road front close

Pedestrian safety is understood to be the key holdup but that’s of little comfort to those heading out into remote areas of the bush. Volkswagen’s promising new ‘Roo Badge’ technology is a nice stop-gap but it’s hard to beat a hunk of iron hanging off the front end for peace of mind.

For those interested in a proper bullbar, aftermarket supplies like ARB offer fully safety-compliant options in a range of styles.

Camping accessories

So that’s the ‘getting there’ part of your weekend away taken care of, what do you do when you arrive? Well, Volkswagen has looked into this too.

Roof top tents are a common option for weekend adventures and with good reason, they’re a relatively easy solution that is easy to setup/pack down, they provide a beautifully ambient view from an elevated position and, perhaps most importantly, keep you off the ground and away from nasties like deadly snakes that we can encounter in Australia.

Volkswagen Amarok accessories 2024 roof tent 2

Volkswagen’s solution costs $3345, plus the roof racks (between $465 and $605), which isn’t cheap but you do get what you pay for.

Material quality is excellent, the entry ladder feels solid and there are a good amount of storage pockets inside and out to convincingly make it your home away from home.

Also appreciated was a lighting system that feeds back into the car to illuminate the inside and also the ladder below, along with generally solid ventilation including a star-gazing hatch above.

Volkswagen Amarok accessories 2024 roof tent
Volkswagen Amarok accessories 2024 roof tent 3

My only real complaint was the mattress was a bit firm, I’d be investing in a mattress-topper personally, however, Chasing Cars contributor Dan Gardner has also spent a few nights in one of these on a 4000km trip to the Big Red Bash and found the firmness to his liking.

The Amarok isn’t quite ready for full off-grid living right out of the showroom but the promise of tray-located power outlets, a secondary battery system (either under the bonnet or in the tray) and a solar panel blanket are in the works and we hope to see them soon.

Lifestyle and general accessories

Utes can be very practical machines but not necessarily for every task. It’s here that many people opt for a few options that can make their life easier.

The electric roller or tonneau cover has become a staple of the ute market in Australia. It’s only sold standard on the top-spec Aventura grade but Volkswagen will offer it as an accessory for $4690.

The unit itself doesn’t compromise too much tray space and the motor is fast without being too fast for stray fingers. A manual version is also offered for $4255.

Volkswagen Amarok accessories 2024 cargo tray

It’s a shame that Volkswagen isn’t able to retrospectively program the open/close button into the key as they do with the Aventura from the factory, with buyers instead given a separate remote.

An assisted tailgate option is also available for $240 which is a nice touch, but a bit expensive when you can pick up a similar option for the aftermarket for almost half that.

Volkswagen also offers a range of canopy setups with prices ranging from $5650 to $6185, with swing and sliding window options and a hidden electric button on the slide for opening the former. A range of Amarok colours are also available for that added OEM effect.

Volkswagen Amarok accessories 2024 canopy

All of the swinging windows are assisted by gas struts and the canopy itself feels like a quality item, you can also go further by mounting a third roof rack up to for better load-carrying stability.

By having the tray undercover it also frees up the ability to tap into the draw systems offered by Volkswagen, with a general setup costing $4255 but you can also opt for extras such as a fridge slider ($765). An in-built toolbox ($985) and cargo slider ($3055) are also available.

Why buy genuine accessories?

In the past, car manufacturers have often made a weak attempt at offering accessories right out of the showroom but with the growing love for 4WDs, and modifying them to personal needs, the tides have well and truly turned.

Volkswagen Amarok lifted 2024 off-road static

By choosing to work alongside well-known aftermarket accessory suppliers, buyers appear to gain the best of both worlds; benefiting from not just a quality product but also one which is covered by Volkswagen’s full five-year, unlimited km warranty. A length of time that is far longer than what’s typically offered by aftermarket suppliers.

It’s also worth noting that you can often package in accessories with the cost of your vehicle loan, and depending on how desperate the salesperson is that day you may even be able to convince them to throw it in with the cost of the ute.

Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

2993 cc
Diesel Turbo
184kW at 3250rpm
600Nm at 1750rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
80 litres
8.4L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
952km (claimed)
All Wheel Drive
5350 mm
1910 mm
1886 mm
Unoccupied weight
2393 kg

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