Our Schedule for the day started with soccer in the morning, some shopping, and then ferrying the kids to birthday parties in the afternoon.
The Amarok's styling is no-frills, and it presents a rather modest profile that remains unchanged from the previous model. Given the Amarok's reputation as a rather premium ute, the Core stands out for its less-trendy approach to design.
On closer inspection I noted the four ‘V6’ badges adorning the front, rear and sides, and two rather daggy 'Turbo Diesel V6' stickers on the back-quarter panels. The badging might be overkill, but as I would soon find out, it's also the Core’s most compelling attribute. More on that later.
Hopping up into the cabin is relatively easy and, as always, the kids were excited about experiencing a high-riding ute for the weekend.
The bare-bones styling follows through to a cabin decorated with hard-wearing materials everywhere you look - from the heavy-duty rubber floor mats to the hard plastic used across the doors and dash trim. Sturdy, durable and kid-proof, then.
Space in the rear was ample for my three kids, but somewhat tighter when I was back there, with limited knee room when sitting behind my driver's seat (I’m 180cm).
The cloth seats back there weren’t particularly comfortable either – fine for short hops around the 'burbs, but not so great for extended periods. Conversely, the front seats are somewhere you’d be happier to spend time in providing comfort and support in all the right places.
Impressively, Volkswagen haven’t skimped on the fit out, and the Core features the same leather-trimmed steering wheel, switch gear and driver instrumentation you would find on its higher priced siblings.
There’s a good amount of storage throughout the cabin - including a bottle holder and storage bin in the base of each front door, plus a shallow storage tray set into the centre dash-pad. The centre console has a small open bin at the front and two cup holders in the centre but there are none in the back.
A thoughtful storage touch is the 60/40-split rear seat base cushion which can swing up and secured in a vertical position to increase the internal carrying space.
The tray of our test vehicle was fitted with four tie-down points (standard) and a full tub-liner which is a worthwhile consideration for any hard-working ute. Those needing to carry large loads will be happy to know the Core can swallow a standard 1165mm-square Aussie pallet.