Despite all major, mainstream competition featuring second row airbags, the updated and powered-up 2017 Volkswagen Amarok V6 will land in Australia later this year without that basic safety feature.
While airbags will not be standard in the second row, Volkswagen representatives told CarAdvice in Germany this week it is ‘considering the feature’ currently.
Dennis Haustein, head of product marketing for the Amarok, says the company can add rear seat airbags to this generation’s platform. “It is possible, for sure,” he said. “And we would like it, certainly, but [for now] it is under investigation for this generation.”
Interestingly, the Amarok V6 will be the only mainstream, dual-cab combatant with four-wheel disc brakes as standard. It’s an impressive addition for a segment where rear drum brakes are still considered acceptable.
But, while the jump to all-round disc brakes is a boon, buyers may have another grievance to consider. Despite rumours the braked tow rating would lift from 3000kg to 3500kg for the V6 Amarok, hot-weather operating parameters mean Australian V6 Amarok models will still only tow 3000kg braked. Overseas models will get a 3500kg braked rating.
The switch to a 3.0-litre V6 engine – in 120kW/150kW/165kW states of tune for Europe – was made necessary by the current four-cylinder engine not meeting Euro VI emissions regulations. That means European buyers will now only be able to buy an Amarok with a V6 engine.
Australian buyers will still be able to opt for the four-cylinder alongside the new V6 though for the foreseeable future.
Carlos Santos, Director of Commercial Vehicles for Volkswagen Australia, also confirmed that our market will initially get only the top-spec V6 turbo-diesel engine in two trim levels: Highline and Aventura. Both V6 grades will sit above the most expensive four-cylinder Amarok currently on sale in Australia.
Volkswagen has concentrated on off-road ability with the updated V6 Amarok and as such, the dual-cab comes standard with off-road calibrated ABS, off-road focussed ESP and hill descent control.
Extra safety kit such as radar cruise control, lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking is not standard. According to Haustein, those features are “not possible yet, but definitely under consideration”.
Australian pricing and full specification for the 2017 Volkswagen Amarok will be announced closer to the local launch date.
Watch for our review of the 2017 Amarok on Monday.