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Volkswagen’s Amarok is no doubt a popular midsized pickup truck in many global regions, thanks to its sleek looks, wide variety of powertrains, and its very veedub interior. But for 2016, Volkswagen is adding a new limited-edition trim to the Amarok’s repertoire. The Amarok Atacama is designed to give customers extra features without sacrificing any of the truck’s capabilities.

Named after the Atacama Desert of South America, the Amarok Atacama uses more alliteration than proliferation of parts to attract attention. The truck doesn’t have any special mechanical bits or drivetrain upgrades, like tires, horsepower improvements or a raised suspension. It does, however, offer trim-specific features like bi-xenon headlights, 19-inch wheels, and several appearance upgrades.

Exclusive to the trim are Vienna leather seats, and the Amarok’s recently upgrade steering wheel is also present. Dual zone climate controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a navigation system come standard.

There are plenty more features on the Amarok Atacama, so continue reading for the full rundown.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Amarok Atacama.

  • 2016 Volkswagen Amarok Atacama
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    177 @ 4000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    295 @ 1500
  • Energy:
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, AWD
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2016 Volkswagen Amarok Atacama Wallpaper quality
- image 640121

The 2016 Amarok Atacama is easily spotted with its xenon headlights, special 19-inch “Cantera” wheels, and blacked out B-pillars, roll bars, and rear bumper. Most obvious is the black graphic running along the bottom of the doors and onto the bed with its integrated “Atacama” logo.

Three colors are offered on the Atacama: Candy White, Deep Black, and the exclusive Horizon Blue.

Otherwise, the Atacama edition looks the same as a standard Amarok. The truck has a two-bar front grille with a smaller lower grille with integrated fog lights. A skidplate-like molding piece helps protect the bumper from scrapes and damage. A high departure angle helps keep the bed from gaining trail scars. Large fender bulges keep mud and rocks from escaping the wheel wells.

Out back, a spray-in bed liner comes standard on the Atacama, as does a lockable tailgate.


2014 Volkswagen Amarok Power Concept Interior
- image 553979

Note: interior from 2014 Volkswagen Amarok Power Concept shown here.

Things inside the Atacama edition are also exclusive to its trim. Those Vienna leather seats separate the Atacama from lesser Amaroks while giving the truck a decidedly upscale feel. The Amarok’s new steering wheel design features redundant controls for the infotainment system. Coming standard on this trim are Bluetooth connectivity, dual zone climate control, and Volkswagen’s RNS310 satellite navigation system.

Beyond those upgrades, the Amarok’s interior has all the standard trimmings of a Volkswagen. A clean design with intuitively placed switches make operation a breeze, storage compartments holds plenty odds and ends, and a decent sized rear seat gives the Amarok the ability to haul five passengers.


The Amarok is available with a variety of engine and transmission options, but the Atacama edition is only available with one – the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. The engine makes 177 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and a respectable 295 pond-feet of torque between 1,500 and 2,250 rpm.

Those who like to row their own gears will be happy with the Amarok’s standard six-speed manual gearbox. For folks more accustomed to only operating two pedals, the truck is available with an eight-speed automatic. Regardless of transmission choice, VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive comes standard.


2016 Volkswagen Amarok Atacama
- image 640122

The Amarok Atacama carries a base price of £26,850, or roughly $42,010 U.S. dollars at the current exchange rates. That price doesn’t include VAT taxes. That price falls nicely in line with other luxury trucks here in the U.S. market, including the GMC Canyon SLE.


GMC Canyon

2015 GMC Canyon - Driven Exterior Test drive
- image 634189

The GMC Canyon can still be considered new to the midsize truck market since its 2015 model year introduction. In its most luxurious appointment – the SLE trim – the Canyon offers heated leather seats, navigation, power everything, and a potent 3.6-liter V-6 engine. The V-6 packs 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque and is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. 4WD is optional.

Prices for the Canyon start in the low $20,000 range, but climb quickly with the higher trim levels and added optional equipment.

See our full review on the 2015 GMC Canyon here.

Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma - First Drive Exterior Test drive
- image 639347

The Tacoma is the now the newest truck of the bunch, having been launched for the 2016 model year. The truck enjoys some very extensive updates that include a new exterior and interior design, all-new 3.5-liter V-6, and a strengthened ladder frame. In its range-topping Limited trim, the Tacoma offers many of the same features as the GMC and Volkswagen.

The Tacoma’s new V-6 offers up 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. While that’s less than the Canyon, Toyota says most of its customers aren’t concerned about towing or hauling capacities.

Prices for the new Tacoma start at $23,300 and climb into the upper $30,000 range for the Limited trim.

Read more about the 2016 Toyota Tacoma here.


The small updates to the Atacama edition brings new life to Volkswagen’s Amarok. Sadly, the automaker fails to see a profitable market here in the U.S., so the Amarok in all its trim levels is absent. Still, truck buyers in other markets should enjoy the added luxury and exclusivity of the Atacama edition.

  • Leave it
    • Not that much different
    • Expensive
    • No difference in hardware
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is turning up the heat this summer with the arrival of the new limited edition Amarok Atacama. Named after the vast desert region of South America that covers Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, the Amarok Atacama features an equally broad and impressive specification that is guaranteed to appeal to adventurers and city-dwellers alike.

2016 Volkswagen Amarok Atacama
- image 640122

On sale now through Volkswagen’s UK Van Centre network, the new Amarok Atacama is priced from £26,850 (basic excl. VAT) and features enough standard equipment to keep even the most demanding of explorers happy. The latest addition to the acclaimed Amarok range is powered by a 2.0-litre BiTDI 180 PS engine with a choice of two transmissions: a six-speed manual with selectable 4MOTION four-wheel drive or an eight-speed automatic with permanent 4MOTION four-wheel drive as standard.

Available in three colours – Candy White, Horizon Blue and Deep Black – the Amarok Atacama comes with a raft of design and styling features that give it a striking look. These include bi-xenon headlights, black rear styling bars, black rear bumper with integrated step and 19-inch ‘Cantera’ alloy wheels. The load bed features a ‘Durabed’ protective coating, while distinctive black foil finish on the B-pillars and unique ‘Atacama’ side decals complete the design package.

Inside, even the hardiest adventurer can sit back and relax with luxurious Vienna leather upholstery, a newly designed leather multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity and Climatronic 2-Zone air conditioning. What’s more, should drivers venture into unfamiliar territory, the Atacama’s standard RNS310 sat nav system will help them get back on track.

2016 Volkswagen Amarok Atacama Wallpaper quality
- image 640121

As with all Amarok models, the Atacama is available with a vast selection of Volkswagen accessories. The range includes practical additions such as towbars, tonneau covers and waterproof seat covers, along with styling features including chrome surrounds for the fog lamps, indicators and tailgate handle. All can be fitted by the supplying retailer with most coming with a two-year warranty.

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