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BabyDrive Verdict

With two Utes, the Hilux and Ranger, being Australia's best selling cars in 2016 and 2017, the VW Amarok has some serious competition. Famed for being able to carry a whole pallet in its tray (that’s one way to buy your nappies) we wanted to find out if the Amarok's cab was also practical for carrying our most precious cargo!

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Firstly, the Amarok is ENORMOUS!! What a crazy over-inflated car!! Not only is the tray and the body enormous but the windows are lovely and big too, making the visibility for passengers great, especially rear facing babies. The windows are deep, so they get to see out from early on.

The Amarok had a few other BabyDrive friendly features such as the felt-lined door pockets (pretty special for a ute) that stop things rattling around and waking babies when you open and close the doors or go over bumps!

The doors and windows were also BabyDrive friendly with quiet mechanisms and doors that closed first time, unlike the Holden Colorado!

If you leave your phone plugged in when you get out of the Amarok, the digital display lights up a reminder that you have forgotten your phone, which is a nice touch!

Lets be honest in the early days, you're so tired, you would forget your child if it wasn’t constantly attached to you!!

The media system was easy to connect to and played nursery rhymes as soon as I plugged my phone in.

That is about where the BabyDrive friendliness stopped!

My first gripe was with the key! Where is the keyless entry and push start VW!? Having keys jingling around my knees is not BabyDrive friendly!

The VW Amarok was a beast!! I found it just enormous! Un-wieldy! Impossible to see behind when reversing, especially with child seats installed, and installing child seats was a mission because of the heavy, single backrest. Not to mention the fact there is no legroom! How can a vehicle of this size have such little room in the cab! With a rear child seat installed we could not seat a 184cm passenger in front of it!

All the space has been given over to the tray which of course would hold any configuration of prams, strollers, bags and dogs even with a pallet of nappies! However I found it difficult to access more than the first foot of the tray and impossible to reach over the sides of the tray, the sides were just too high.

The Amarok does not have curtain airbags, so there is nothing for the rear passengers. There are no seatbelt removal warnings which although the Amarok has a five-star ANCAP safety rating, it would not get if tested today because seatbelt removal warning is imperative to be given five stars.

There are few of the usual safety features you would expect in a vehicle of this price. Although the omittance of these features (in a BabyDrive not making noise sense) was a refreshing change! If you were spending this amount of money you would expect to have everything money could buy in terms of safety features!

BabyDrive Indepth

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Tace Clifford
About Tace Clifford
Tace Clifford founded BabyDrive in 2017 after discovering a huge information gap in mainstream car reviews that left new parents and expanding families in the dark when it came to one of the biggest purchasing decisions of their lives.


  1. And the biggest question of all, why are you buying a ute as a family vehicle when an SUV with independent rear suspension instead of leaf springs will be infinitely superior? That is of course, unless you need to pick up a pallet before you drop the kids off to daycare.

    • For better or worse, the top 10 best-selling vehicles in Australia regularly includes four or five utes! They’re used by families, so we review them for families because there are some BIG pitfalls to these vehicles as you point out

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