It's better than a Ford Ranger.
For some odd reason, VW never sold the first-generation Amarok in the US, but it appears as if we'll be getting the all-new Ranger-based model.
If, however, you are obsessed with the idea of owning an Amarok, you can now buy one for $44,900 from Garage Kept Motors. It's a 2017 pre-facelift model that somehow made it into the USA from Mexico legally as an agricultural vehicle. This example has 30,000 miles on the clock and is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine. The very same engine that triggered Dieselgate and many headaches at VW's headquarters in Germany.
Your loyal correspondent has a lot of experience with the VW Amarok, most notably the high-output turbocharged V6 diesel model. The main thing you need to know is that it was utterly overengineered.
VW knew it was missing out on a big slice of the compact pickup pie in third-world countries, where the Hilux and Ford Ranger usually top sales. To compete with these well-respected pickups, it needed something special.
Unfortunately, the Amarok was ahead of its time when it was launched in 2010. Customers scoffed at its tiny turbocharged engine, which provided more power than both the Ranger and Hilux. It didn't matter, however. The Hilux had a 3.0-liter engine, and the Ranger a 3.2-liter unit. Both were bigger and therefore better.
Still, the Amarok built a small but loyal following. Even though it was supposed to be a truck, it was a VW first and foremost. That meant unrivaled interior quality (even though there are some plastic bits) and the kind of ride refinement we never thought you could achieve using a basic leaf spring suspension.
Is it worth the premium over a new Ranger? Yes, for sure. It rides better and is more exclusive than a Ford GT. You don't get a modern touchscreen interface, but the refinement will more than make up for it.
VW moved on to a permanent 4WD system in the Amarok's later years, but this model still has an old-school part-time 4WD system with low range. It's as good as any other truck in the same class off-road.
This particular example has aftermarket 17-inch alloys in a black finish, wrapped with Goodyear DuraTrac 265/65 tires. One of the main concerns current Amarok owners have is that something will be lost when Ford builds it. While the new Amarok will be more accessible, it won't have the same solid overengineered feeling the current model has.
Get this one while you can.