Think back a few years and almost every second street in Britain seemed to be home to a household with a pick-up truck.
Double-cab, alloy wheels, chrome bars and hard top – those were the features typically desired to turn this tool of the trade into a family ‘lifestyle’ 4x4.
The trend has diminished.
But there is still some demand and Volkswagen hopes to win some of it with its new Amarok.
Amarok is an important product for developing markets such as South America where it is built, but Volkswagen UK doesn’t expect it to be a breakthrough model here.
It has secured just 700 units for the rest of 2011 and budgets for 2,000 sales in 2012.
Nevertheless, the five-seater workhorse is a useful addition to the range at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle dealerships which will handle sales.
With a gutsy 160bhp common rail direct injection turbodiesel, selectable four-wheel drive and electronic hill descent control Amarok proves itself a capable off-roader, taking ruts and slopes in its stride.
Local authorities, government organisations and construction firms are likely to be customers, as well as private buyers seeking a vehicle capable of catering for their weekend leisure pursuits.
With a maximum payload of more than one tonne, Amarok is VAT reclaimable for business customers.
It can pull a 2.7-tonne braked trailer, once a towbar is fitted (Amarok comes pre-wired from the factory) and its 36-month/ 100,000 mile warranty is another plus.
Three trim levels are offered. Startline comes with steel wheels, grey mirrors, air-con, electric windows, 12v socket and a load compartment light.
Trendline adds colour-coded electric mirrors, alloy wheels, more storage and a centre armrest, dual-zone air-con, grab handles and cruise control, and Highline comes with heated front seats, privacy glass, leather upholstery and rear parking sensors.
An entry-level Startline with a 120bhp turbodiesel will be the first pick-up with sub-200g/km CO2 emissions.