VW has added a new derivative to its Amarok double-cab bakkie range. The Amarok Dark Label is a cosmetic upgrade, without featuring any significant mechanical changes, and is positioned between the standard and Extreme Amarok double-cabs in VW’s local bakkie range.
Using the 2-litre Amarok Highline as a platform, this Dark Label derivative features a matte finish which is on the darker side of the colour spectrum, but not quite black – which is of course the worst colour imaginable for a bakkie.
Beyond its colour the Dark Label features tinted rear windows and blacked-out B-pillars, to create a seamless silhouette of the cabin when viewed from the side. Continuing the Dark Label theme are smoked taillights and badging on the lower door panels.
Perhaps the easiest way to distinguish this new Amarok from its range siblings are the 18-inch ‘Rawson’ style alloy wheels and South African made Maxe rollbar behind the cab. Inside this Dark Label Amarok all passengers benefit from the comfort of Vienna leather seats and a Composition Media infotainment system which pairs to devices with app-connect.
Trading at a R35 000 premium over VW’s equivalent 2.0 BiTDI Highline derivative, the Dark Label offers some differentiating styling bits and slight cabin upgrades for a total price of R674 600. Using VW’s proven 2-litre turbodiesel engine, boosting 132kW and 420Nm, combined with ZF’s outstanding eight-speed automatic transmission makes for bakkie which drives more like a passenger car than a workhorse. This drivetrain gifts the Dark Label Amarok excellent throttle response, economy (averaging 8.6l/100km) and cruising ability.
Potential customers who require greater workhorse capability or cabin comfort can increase the purchase price by adding options such as automatic climate control, heated seats (a real boon for South African farmers in winter) and satellite navigation. There’s a heavy-duty rear suspension configuration which is optional too, increases load carrying capacity from 867- to 1010kg.
The wisdom of finishing this Dark Label edition in a deep and quite neutral shade of grey, as opposed to black, makes a lot of sense in South Africa’s notoriously dusty motoring environment – where keeping a pure black bakkie clean is nearly impossible day-to-day.
For those Amarok customers who don’t quite require the outlandish styling and outrageous paint options of an Amarok Extreme, yet want something a touch more individualistic than the standard Highline, this Dark Label strikes a choice compromise.
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