Okay, now that I have seen pics of this truck (nice BTW), I now know what it was I saw in the local B&N parking lot. I saw a truck but with a VW badge and was really confused. It had a rear mounted spare tire swing out (think it was a HitchGate, like I have). I was like cool but what was it. It was likely up from Mexico, since we get a lot of vehicles from there, up in San Diego.
I know VW has a long way to go compared to Toyota and other brands. This platform was chosen for travel around Colombia and South America, where VW has an extensive support network.
Will it be 100% reliable in the long run? I don´t, but I did drive all the options (Dual Cab Pickups) offrered in Colombia and the VW won my vote.
Also, Toyota and others didn´t win a reputation based on catalogs and brochures; it´s reputation is based on the experience of people like me who took the risk and tested the unknown!!
Opinions so far:
- Seating position is a bit low for offroading
- I wish the fuel gauge was more accurate
- Ride height is too low, stock skidplate was pretty bangged up when reaplaced (at just 4,000 kms.)
- Excellente load carrying capacity (1 Ton.)
- Fuel Economy (30 miles per gallon on best tank - 21,4 miles per gallon on worse tank)
- Good engine performance at any altitude (we drove her above 4,000 meter in the Andes las week)
- Confortable interior
- Added a set of iguana 4x4 Rocksliders
- Added a hitch and shackle mount as a rear recovery point
Latest Overland Trip: Sierra Nevada del Cocuy
This is definitely one of the most remote regions in Colombia. We covered 2,400 miles in 10 days, but since the Sierra Nevada is located in the high Andes some roads are just too narrow and with too many turn to make a decent progress. Some 50 mile sections required 3 or 4 hours to drive trough.
We stayed at the Kanwara Hostel at 4,000 meters of altitude. Waypoints are available for those of you who are interested.
Mine is the one in the middle
Guican, the gateway to the Sierra Nevada del Cocouy
The trail to Kanwara
Ritak Uwa peak at night
Kanwara at night
Warming up with a fire...and some scotch
The trail to Laguna Verde (Green Lake @ 4400 meters of altitude)
Surprisingly the 3.0L Turbo Diesel GU Patrol struggled above 3000 meters
Zafiro. Just one thirsty horse
It´s been a while since my last report on the Volkswagen Amarok. We have now covered 15,000 kms. and upgraded the OEM suspension with a Seikel "Desert" Suspension along with a set of Maxxis MT762 tires of the 235/85R16 variety. We also installed a diesel power chip from PSI in Belgium and the little 2.0L now delivers 190hp and 25% more torque!
The skidplate and rocksliders have paid themselves many times and fuel consumption was barely affected by the tire size change and chip install.
I now need an urgent storage solution for the bed.
Seikel Suspension parts
We have since used the Amarok as a support vehicle for our Rally racing Team in the Guajira Desert and as a route recognition vehicle for a future expedition to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Guajira Desert Rally Raid 2012
Local "Fuel Station"
Fuelling the Nissan Patrol race truck
The nissan blasting accross the desert, we won 1st place in the stock category
Scouting the route for the Sierra Nevada Expedition. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest mountain closest to the sea, it´s two higest peaks are abobe 5000 meters in altitude.