The Volkswagen Amarok has defended its title as 4×4 Australia Magazine’s 2012 4×4 Ute of the Year, confirming its benchmark position in the segment.

4×4 Australia’s Ute of the Year award, judged by Australia’s most experienced 4×4 road testers, comprises of a mix of freeway, secondary back-roads, dirt roads and very steep, challenging national park and state forest tracks during a rigorous four-day test route.

Throughout judging, the Amarok was praised for its effortless off-road abilities and remarkable new eight-speed auto transmission; while its roomy interior, class-leading dimensions and car-like handling sealed the Amarok’s position in the top spot.

On the Amarok’s success, the judges commented:

“It was no surprise that the Amarok auto, like the manual last year, impressed with its roomy cabin, large tray, composed and comfortable on-road handling, car-like refinement, and quiet, smooth and effortless bi-turbo engine’’.

The Amarok launched in Australia in February 2011, and saw the 8-Speed Automatic transmission along with Single Cab Amarok variant join the range in July this year. Loaded with specialist features such as ESP with brake assist, “Off-Road Mode” – activated by the press of a button, Hill Descent Assist – which holds driving speed constant on steep descents by means of targeted brake actuations, electronic differential lock (EDL) and a standard mechanical rear diff lock, the Amarok is equipped to withstand the toughest challenges off the beaten path; all while claiming one of the best fuel consumption figures in its class, as well as being the first dual cab ute to receive a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Philip Clark, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, was delighted with the Amarok’s consecutive Ute of the Year win.

“Despite increased competition in the ute segment, the Amarok still sits in a class above its rivals. Thanks to its versatility, efficient drive technology and new eight-speed automatic transmission, the Amarok has again staked its claim in its category, and 4×4 Australia’s accolade proves this even further.”

The contenders for 4×4 Australia Magazine’s Ute of the Year award were assessed on five different criteria, including value, doing the job, breaking new ground, built tough and ‘bushability’; which determined each vehicle’s suitability for off-road and outback travel.

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