VW Amarok against Ford Ranger: pick-ups in the first driving comparison
Created: 2022-12-15 04:48
By: Rudolf Boegel
Amarok and Ranger don't look the same - but they are technical twins.
What are the differences between the VW truck and the Ford pickup?
This comparison is a comparison, but not a comparison.
And it is.
But you can explain.
It's about two pick-ups: the Amarok from VW and the Ranger from Ford. Actually, the two are fierce competitors because they hunt their customers in the same area.
However, the deeper truth is: Amarok and Ranger have been almost identical since this model year.
Except for the bodywork and some details in the interior.
So the question "Who is better?" is something like asking what color a white horse is.
Amarok is Ranger and Ranger is Amarok.
Doesn't look like a commercial vehicle, but it is - the new VW Amarok.
VW Amarok against Ford Ranger: pick-ups in the first driving comparison
Again for clarification.
The bulky platform truck from VW had sold well in its ten years of model history (830,000 copies worldwide).
However, the cost-income ratio was so unequal that Volkswagen was looking for a partner.
You've found what you're looking for where the greatest pick-up expertise in the world is at home.
With the colleagues at Ford.
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And so a small, fine deal was agreed with the Americans.
The US boys and girls are developing the Amarok for the Wolfsburg company, and in return VW will build two new compact electric cars for the European Ford subsidiary on the ID3 electric platform.
As far as the Amarok is concerned, it's just a genuine Ford writing of its own success story.
Is that a Ford move?
VW Amarok against Ford Ranger: pick-ups with US technology
Enough banter - back to the duel, which isn't one.
No matter in which version the Amarok rolls to the customer, it is a genuine Ami.
From the ladder frame to the engine.
There isn't even a separate Volkswagen engine under the hood.
Four and six-cylinder Ford power the new Amarok, alternately with petrol, diesel - always with all-wheel drive.
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The new Ford Ranger Raptor is a real beast - even off-road.
VW drives Ford. With a subtle, small difference.
The top model PanAmericana from VW gets a V6 diesel with 240 hp and 600 Nm of torque, of course also from Ford.
We drove both and were impressed by both units.
VW Amarok vs Ford Ranger: diesel or petrol - who pulls off better?
The six-cylinder diesel works quietly and quite encapsulated, we had to listen twice to clarify the question beyond a doubt: Is that really a diesel?
Especially since we hardly feel the concentrated power of 600 Newton meters.
The solution to the riddle: Because the diesel has to meet the new, strict emission standards in Europe, the ten-speed automatic transmission shifts gears in such a way that CO₂ emissions are kept within limits.
That's perfectly legal.
You can only trick it by shifting gears by hand and turning it higher.
Then the flatbed truck pushes more powerfully.
But it's no fun with the Amarok, since you can only do it on the shift lever with the plus-minus buttons.
Advantage Ford: The Ranger Raptor has shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Speaking of gear levers.
There's a nice gag here.
If you turn off the engine, it automatically jumps into park position.
US drivers are just comfortable.
During the test drives, the Raptor's petrol engine seemed a bit more dynamic and snappier, of course, it also has a few more horsepower.
It can't be the weight.
Amarok PanAmericana and Ranger Raptor weigh an impressive 2.5 tons.
The VW can pull more than the Ford. 3.5 tons beat 2.5 tons.
The point clearly goes to Wolfsburg.
Also in terms of consumption.
It was 10.8 liters during our test drive, the Raptor swallows 13.8 liters according to Ford.
VW Amarok versus Ford Ranger: The pick-ups can do that off-road
As far as off-road capability is concerned, there is nothing to complain about either way.
The Amarok, like the Ranger, comes with switchable all-wheel drive, which is set using a rotary wheel in the middle.
The top version has a fourth option here.
In addition to 2H, 4H and 4L there is also 4A.
This means that the power is distributed between the front and rear wheels via a clutch.
There is also a lock for the rear axle - and the Amarok rumbles over hill and dale, absorbs potholes and crosses deep fords.
Off-road, the new VW Amarok is a real climber.
The pick-up with all-wheel drive and locks copes with sand, rubble and mud.
This is superior even for a flatbed truck, which with its long wheelbase tends to have disadvantages off-road.
Speaking of flatbed.
When unloaded, this causes the typical jerking on asphalt, because the springs and dampers hardly keep up to keep the violent body movements in check.
But it is typical and, depending on the tar quality, hardly noticeable anymore, at least on Central European roads.
In addition, the chassis will be optimized for local conditions.
VW Amarok against Ford Ranger: Volkswagen increases in length
The raptor is also an off-road beast.
Equipped with the downhill assistant, we throw ourselves down a slope in a gravel pit near Austria like Franz Klammer once did.
Feet off the pedal and let the 2.5 tons work independently.
The Raptor drives stoically to Thale at the set speed of 2 km/h.
And the ranger can do something else.
The steering is supported by targeted braking interventions on the wheels in order to be able to drive even smaller angles.
Developed in Australia, built in South Africa - that alone underlines the off-road competence and ability of the German pick-up.
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The wading depth has increased to an impressive 80 centimetres, and the ground clearance is now 24 centimetres.
Only in terms of the angle of departure does the VW lag behind with 30 (front) and 26 degrees (rear), each one degree less.
The body of the Amarok has increased significantly.
It has grown by ten centimeters in length (now 5.35 meters) and the wheelbase by a whopping 17 centimeters.
This benefits the seating comfort in the double cabin (there are no single cabins in Europe).
With a farm animal on wheels?
This is perhaps the biggest difference to its predecessor.
VW Amarok against Ford Ranger: livestock on four wheels becomes a luxury truck
The driver sits in the new Amarok like in a car. Digital speedometer, 12-inch display, Harman Kardon sound system, electrically adjustable seats, 360-degree camera - it no longer sounds like a commercial vehicle and doesn't look like it anymore .
Because there are also clear advances in plastic.
The plastics have designed surfaces and therefore no longer appear so artificial.
On request also with imitation leather.
More luxury from the operation.
Both the tailgate and the loading area roller blind can be operated electrically.
Of course, this all depends on the equipment.
VW has five of them.
Aventura (fast road cruiser) and PanAmericana (off-road optics) rank at the top.
It is not yet clear how expensive the individual models will be.
A base price of around 40,000 euros is expected.
Whether the top model then reaches the price level of the Ford Ranger (around 80,000 euros) remains to be seen.
VW Amarok vs. Ford Ranger: which pick-up should it be?
Raptor or Amarok, VW or Ford - at least when it comes to technology, the decision as to which pick-up to choose is made for you.
Mainly the optics.
And the Ranger is pithy, self-confident.
If you will, maybe a little rough.
The new Amarok, on the other hand, looks elegant and pleasing.
A real Ford in VW fur - maybe the best of both worlds.