2020 Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 BiTDi Dark Label Review

2020 Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 BiTDi Dark Label Review

At DRIVEtorque we love special edition vehicles.

Come to the dark side

Many of our local suppliers of trucks have at one point or another released a special edition of their standard offerings. For Toyota, it was the Hilux Black Edition, for Isuzu, the X Rider Black and VW, well, theirs was aptly named the Dark Label (Not to be confused with a locally produced beer) and much the same as the others, it is a styling package.

We happily took the latest version of the Amarok Dark Label on a foray through the city and lush countryside and found it to be as agreeable as ever. Courtesy of a friend who imported it from South Africa.

As mentioned before the Dark Label is really just a styling package and as such you will get a host of dark themed styling accoutrements.

The striking Iridium Metallic Grey paintwork is a great base to start with, VW has then strategically placed matte black touches across the upper body line, covering the mirrors, door handles, grille and B-pillars. They have then also included matte black finished side sills and as VW calls it, a rear styling bar (it’s not a real roll bar).

A set of 18-inch, black and polished aluminium wheels offset what would otherwise be a somber exterior. The whole package reminds one of the mean looking bouncer outside a nightclub who is actually a very agreeable chap that likes kittens and unicorns.

The Drive

It is everything you would expect from a VW. The engine and drivetrain are perfectly matched to haul the bulk of the Amarok around on and off-road. NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) levels were as low as can be expected for a double cab, keeping comfort levels high. The steering was pin point accurate while acceleration away from a standing start was surprisingly quick. Overall the Amarok was, as always, a pleasure to drive.

Performance

The Dark Label is equipped with Volkswagens 2.0l Bi-Turbo, 4 cylinder, TDi diesel engine, mated to an 8 speed DSG transmission. The combination is good for 132kW and 400Nm. That will get you from 0-100km in roughly 8 seconds and you can expect a top speed of 183km/h, although we don’t recommend trying to get there.

Space and Comfort

The interior of the Amarok is a roomy affair with more than enough space for 4 large, burly fellows and a dog or two. Dogs should really stay out though, as the Dark Label interior comes resplendent in Vienna leather with heated seats. Contact surfaces are soft touch while other areas receive high quality plastic trim. The standard host of interior fitment is present such as climate control, multi-function leather steering wheel for the Bluetooth enabled audio system that is Apple Car Play and Android Auto capable and multiple 12v and USB outlets.

Safety

Volkswagen takes safety seriously and with that said the normal alphabet soup is fitted to the Amarok. ABS, EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), EBA (Electric Brake Assist), TSC (Traction Control), Hill Start Assist, Decent control, 4Motion AWD off-road assistance, park distance control with rear camera, tyre pressure monitoring and 4 airbags for peace of mind.

Fuel Consumption

VW claims, a paltry, 9l per 100km of consumption. With our mixed driving, we managed to get very close with 10.7l / 100km. This means that from the 80l tank, you should get very close to 900km’s.

Verdict

Daft naming aside, the Amarok Dark label is as VW as it gets. A superb drive, just the right amount of power and drive with all the styling bits and pieces you will need to cut a striking pose at the next braai. We do like this one and can’t wait to see what’s offered in their other special edition, the Canyon.

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