The Volkswagen Amarok is one of our favorite forbidden-fruit pickups available in overseas markets, but regrettably, not the U.S. VW's handsome midsizer is even more desirable for 2013 with greater power and improved fuel economy. If that's not enough, it also gets increase payload and towing capacity, as well as added comfort and convenience features.
The entry-level 122 hp 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel four-cylinder is still offered on the base Startline model, but all other Amaroks get an upgraded engine with 180 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, up 17 hp and 15 lb-ft from the 2012 model with the upgraded TDI engine. VW claims fuel economy increases by 3.9 percent with the new engine, helped by the addition of an eight-speed automatic on the Highline model. The high-output TDI is available in the other Amarok models, but with only a six-speed manual.
Maximum payload capacity for the Amarok goes from 2405 pounds to 2524, and maximum towing capacity is now a hefty 7055 pounds. New features for 2013 include front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth handsfree calling, heated windshield washer jets, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The base Startline Amarok with the 122 hp TDI starts at the equivalent of $30,018, with the lowest-priced model with the 180-hp engine starting at the equivalent of $31,615. The topline Highline model with the Technology package, eight-speed automatic and full-time 4Motion four-wheel drive will set you back the equivalent of $40,095 before VAT and fees. All in, you're looking at a stiff $49,667 for a loaded Amarok in the U.K. You can get a mighty-nice F-150 EcoBoost or Sierra Denali for that coin, so maybe it makes sense the Amarok is not sold in the States. But we still want it.