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by Matt Campbell

Volkswagen Australia continues to push for better safety features in its Amarok ute, as the company counts the cost of missing the latest safety tech.

The Volkswagen Amarok doesn’t have the benchmark level of safety assistance tech that rivals such as the Ford Ranger do. For example, the Ranger has a pre-collision warning system, not to mention lane-keeping assistance and blind-spot monitoring – the Amarok misses out on all of that.

And that’s despite the fact the VW is the most expensive ute in its class, with the high-end model tickling the $70,000 mark.

Volkswagen Australia commercial vehicles director Carlos Santos told CarAdvice this week that the brand is in constant talks with the factory that produces the ute with the aim to see the kit added.

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“We’re talking with them in a firm way. It’s important, with where we sit with that model, where we are seeing in reviews that we’re getting pipped purely for lacking those systems,” he said. “We know for the performance we dominate.

“The most popular markets for Amarok are: South America; us in Australia – we’re the second-biggest export market outside of South America – and it’s not a big segment in Europe,” Santos said.

“But the ability is there definitely to do, and we are asking for it. And we will take it as soon as we can get all those driver assist systems, we will take them.”

Volkswagen Australia product marketing manager Nick Reid said the company has no timing on the potential for the equipment being added here.

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“There’s no update at this stage,” Reid said. “We’re talking with the factory about that about the demand from our end for that, the extension of the safety products.”

The Volkswagen Amarok is a five-star crash performer – but it scored those five stars in 2011, when the scoring system employed by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) was more lenient.

The company not only lacks the electronic safety aids of the Ford, it also remains the only mainstream dual-cab ute on the market without curtain airbag protection, meaning those in the back have no airbag coverage.

Correction: this article originally stated that the Ranger is offered with autonomous emergency braking. This is not the case.

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