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Ford Ranger Wildtrak vs VW Amarok Highline

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Ford Ranger Wildtrak and VW Amarok Highline go head to head in this comparative review.

VALUE from $59,390

VALUE from $53,990

Package includes 5-inch satnav screen, a six-speaker sound with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, heated and power-adjustable front seats, 18in wheels, rear camera and parking sensors, voice control, towbar, three 12V outlets, cruise, capped servicing and dual range.

The big Volksy has plenty of gear -- 17in alloys and stainless steel rollbar (with cargo light), low-slung side steps (which reduce the average ground clearance), mud flaps, Bluetooth (but no USB) phone and audio link, dual-zone climate control, heated wing mirrors, cruise control and leather-wrapped steering wheel.


The 3.2-litre five-cylinder engine uses common-rail direct fuel injection and a variable geometry turbocharger to generate 147kW/470Nm. The 6-speed auto makes most of twisting force and there's clever sound insulation, though VW's engine noise is quieter.

The 2.0-litre twin-turbo four is quieter than the Ranger's, employing two turbos, as well as common-rail direct-injection to produce 132kW/420Nm. The drivetrain has no low range but gets permanent 4WD, smart 8-speed auto and off-road electronic aids.



A little heavier, the Thai-built Ranger is a big, square-jawed tradie-machine that doesn't try to hide its muscle. It's a truck, but that's not to say it isn't a quiet and comfortable (once a load is in the tray) conveyance to the work-site or the sports ground.

From the same plain-wrapping design school of thought as the Ranger, the Amarok (built in Argentina) is all straight lines and blunt corners. The cabin has less flair but good storage and comfortable seating with built-in childseat anchor points on the rear seats.


Five-star safety is not common in this segment, but both vehicles have it. The Ranger has six airbags, rear sensors and camera, stability and traction control, hill start and descent control, an auto-dimming centre mirror and trailer sway control.

First in this segment to wear five stars from NCAP, due to the safety gear list that includes dual front and front-side airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assist. There's front and rear parking sensors but no camera.

3.5 starsDRIVING 4 starsDRIVING

Meatier through the helm than the VW, the Ford Ranger is a tough truck able to be used daily. Comfortable seating, a reasonable ride (but it likes weight in the tray) and decent fuel figures help, it also scores well for off-road, towing and back-seat useability.

More car-like to drive than the Ranger, the Amarok's ZF transmission makes smooth use of the torque. Off-roaders will bemoan lack of low range and paltry 200mm clearance. Doesn't match Ranger's impressive towing capacity or off-road ability.

3.5 star image
4 stars image


An auto transmission gives the Amarok ammunition, But the brawny Ford matches it in most areas and beats it when the going gets rough. It comes out on top for breadth of capability.


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 15 comments

  • Its not so much about the car differences nor their quality of build, as both are great cars. Its more about individual requirements and preferences. Hell! who would have thought 20 years ago that Mini would win the Dakar? Its more a point of what you need than what they each offer. It would be easier to judge drivers and give them the more suitable vehicle than judging cars by each drivers over zealous bias. If you want a hammer you buy a hammer, not a chisel. Cheers!

    G Dean of Australia Posted on 29 November 2013 12:44pm
  • Rok pulls Ranger down the track with ease!! I’ve driven all of the top utes - and that’s why I bought a Rok. No comarison…..especially off-road: Rok goes anywhere.

    Andy of Australia Posted on 14 October 2013 6:13pm
  • Doing a comparison like this is empty. this link says more than any book figures can, a picture paints a thousand words…

    John of South Africa Posted on 08 October 2013 10:31pm
  • Usual Amarok bashing because it’s the new kid on the block. It will go anywhere the ranger will. The engine is more efficient and drive them both and if you say the Ranger is better then you don’t know much about cars. VW has taken a big gamble here and have made sure its a capable tough truck.
    Fuel efficiency is amazing and the technology used to make a 2.0 perform against bigger motors is awesome. Stop bagging it and drive it.
    The ranger is a great truck but the rok is just that much better. Mums truck my arse.

    Dave Posted on 06 October 2013 10:33pm
  • Should vs the Ranger Wildtrack against the Amarok Canyon when it comes, not the Highline. “Amarok tested by Dakar” rings true again…

    Tim S of Kerang Posted on 06 September 2013 6:44pm
  • I have an Amarok, I would have bought a Ranger if they had of dropped their price sooner, bugger.

    Doug Posted on 23 August 2013 9:15am
  • Can’t decide between the 2 4x4 utes, and so far 8 children in this thread haven’t helped! Ill test them both and makeup my own mind, thanks kids.

    Neutral Nathan Posted on 15 July 2013 12:52am
  • Have a listen to the tradeys talking rough terrain, and abusing the trucks as a work vehicle…. Loading the tray with a power drill and working on a construction site in the city, barely makes you experts at heavy uses for a truck… Simply put, the Volkswagen is the one that has style, and has made it drive like a car, because it knows, most of the market here, treat thier utes like showcases, rather than work horses.. This is the wildtrack they are comparing to, does that look like the car you would be using throwing while carrying 6 sheep, or rocks across the mountains of kinglake? Wake up, none of you use them for true work horses unless they have a steel tray, so stop being Ford bogans, and accept that the Both of these cars have it for any tradey, it’s just the AMAROK has it when you get home and throw the family in, as it drives exactly like a car, not a Tractor…

    Peter Gen X of Suburban Melbourne Posted on 30 March 2013 8:37am
  • @Mike Kennedy - Build Quality, Ranger 1, Amarok 5….. NOW who’s biased - which VW dealership do you work at Mike??  When I upgrade next, Ranger is defintely ahead of the VW.

    Unbiased too of Melbourne Posted on 15 February 2013 11:25am
  • Mike, you are right, the Amarok is a car, the Ranger is a BIG TRUCK!! Bigger towing, more power, Built Ford Tough!!!

    Chris of Melbourne Posted on 15 February 2013 10:13am
  • The New Ranger EATS THE AMAROK FOR BREAKFAST!!! Technology alone is far superior. The Amarok is a quality build, but so is the new ranger.
    3.5 towing in the new ranger is top of its class. Rangers new look has mixed that american p/up style with the old ranger. best looking ute on the market. Overall value for money. You get what you pay for.

    Dan Killick of banksia grove Posted on 14 February 2013 9:13pm
  • Spot the VW salesman.

    Macca Posted on 14 February 2013 6:34pm
  • Oh Mike, you really don’t undertstand Utes and 4x4s do you? Quality isn’t just how the thing looks and feels, quality also incudes how much abuse you can give it as a work vehicle or a tow vehicle or when its loaded to within an inch of its life. The

    Amarok is a fine vehicle, but it just doesn’t cut it as a tough as nails, go anywhere, carry and tow everything truck…

    And besides, the only things that should come in 2.0L is milk and juice.

    Built Ford Tough of Outback in a Ranger Posted on 14 February 2013 5:31pm
  • Could you be anymore biased towards the Amorak Mike Kennedy? Please don’t complain because you have chosen 2nd best with your Amorak. Facts are the Amorak is a mum bus with a tray on the back.

    Mark of Perth Posted on 14 February 2013 5:24pm
  • Could you be anymore biased towards the Ranger Stuart Martin?
    The Amarok drives like a car, not a tractor like the Ranger. Maybe you should have another criteria in there for judging also quality, Ranger 1, Amarok 5.
    Go the Rok.

    Mike Kennedy of Perth Posted on 14 February 2013 2:06pm
Read all 15 comments

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