Pick-up trucks have become particularly big business in the UK, which has traditionally been a tough market for open-reared commercial vehicles, but their popularity is growing and manufacturers are releasing some really high-end workhorses. Two of the most popular pick-ups on the market come from Volkswagen, with their Amarok, and Ford with their Ranger. So, which is better? Well, today we’re pitting the two against one another and we’ll let you decide which comes out on top.
The Volkswagen Amarok
So, starting with the big VW. The Amarok is on sale with a big 3.0 V6 diesel engine available with 3 power outputs, 163PS, 204PS and 259 PS. The medium-powered one is the model to go for as it is the most economical of the lot while also packing plenty of power and torque. You can expect up to a claimed 34.9 mpg from this engine, which makes it one of the most economical pick-ups on the market.
Inside, there’s no denying that the Amarok positions itself right at the top-end of the pick-up segment. The plush leather seats are suitably luxurious and certainly comfortable enough, but also hard wearing and durable - as pick-up drivers will demand. The only the other pick-up that is more ‘high-end’ than the Amarok is the Mercedes X-Class, but that costs the best part of £15,000 more than the Volkswagen and is a bit posh to be treated like a proper workhorse.
Obviously, loading capacity and towing capacity is a big deal for pick up trucks. The Amarok has a maximum towing weight of 3,100 kilograms from the V6 Diesel engine, which is pretty impressive and ensures that it is up to most tasks. In terms of loading space, the bed of the Amarok is class-leading with 2.5 square metres of space to throw stuff in. Not bad…
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The Ford Ranger
While the Amarok is available exclusively as a 4-door 5-seater, the Ranger is available with a lot more flexibility. The Ranger is most affordably available as a 2-door, 2-seater XL model, which starts from £20,845, but we're most interested in the ‘Wildtrak’ model which competes directly with the Volkswagen.
The Ranger Wildtrak is available with a 2.0-litre diesel engine or a 3.2-litre diesel engine, and both can be paired to either a manual or automatic transmission. Plenty of choices then, in contrast to the Volkswagen. Inside, the Ranger boasts a slightly more functional and utilitarian cabin. While the orange-accented ‘partial-leather’ seats are pretty cool-looking and certainly comfortable, they’re not quite as nice as the leather in the VW. The dashboard is fit-for-purpose, though, in the Ranger. All buttons are big and plastic-y and will certainly stand the test of time. The contrast stitching on the leather dashboard is a really nice touch that elevates the sense of classiness of the car considerably. All other surfaces are hard wearing and easy to wipe clean, which owners will certainly appreciate.
So, down to the nitty-gritty. Pick-up buyers will be happy to know that the Ranger Wildtrak beats the Amarok in terms of towing capacity, with a maximum towing weight of 3,500 kilograms, which is 400 more than the Volkswagen. The bed-space of the pick up isn’t quite as large as the Amarok though, with a loading length of 1.5 metres - which is still pretty sizeable.
Which should you buy?
Well, it depends on what you’re after. You’re more likely to find a Ford Ranger that suits what you’re after as it is available with more body shapes at more accessible price points, but the Amarok will be slightly nicer to own thanks to a higher-quality interior and greater load space. Of course, if you’re looking for a pick-up to be used for towing, the Ranger rules supreme in that field.
Both models are on sale now and both are similarly priced. The Amarok starts from £32,739 and the Ranger starts at £29,745. We’d always recommend test driving the pair of them back to back before making a decision, but whichever one you go for, these are two really stellar options on the pick-up market.