The Ultimate Guide to VW Amarok Accessories
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important accessories for improved amarok performance

The Ultimate Guide to VW Amarok Accessories

With the second-gen car just around the corner, the outgoing VW Amarok has sold close to 88000 units and still holding strong. Maybe not astronomic figures when utes are concerned, but the car is one of the brand’s best-selling models, rivalling the Tiguan. 

It’s been on the Aussie market since 2011 and had a mid-life facelift in 2017. It’s also offered in single and dual cab designs, with manual or auto transmissions, and driving the rear or all wheels. Diesel engines make the majority of sales, with the 3-litre V6 the favoured option for its low-end torque. 

As for trim levels, VW upped its game, offering souped-up versions (the 200kW Black Edition being a prime example) of what the engine was capable of. This also led to more off-road-oriented cars in the form of the Aventura, and more comfort, safety and tech in the top-spec Highline. 

Still, all of these models can benefit from a few aftermarket upgrades. There’s a wide selection of VW Amarok accessories to help improve vehicle protection, personalise the tub and increase off-roading capabilities. Let’s check out some of the best upgrades you can make. 

Protecting the Amarok

From the range of VW Amarok accessories, most drivers start with front-end protection. This includes bull or nudge bars, depending on where and how you use the ute, and a few additions that up the usability of said bars. Triple hoops are the old-school choice and extend higher above the radiator and headlights to provide decent protection at higher speeds and collisions with wildlife. 

Go for coated steel if your primary objective is strength and impact resistance. These will also last longer in the rain and harsher environments and look good in the long term. Opt for aluminium bars if weight and suspension articulation are a concern. Or plastic mesh bars to filter out debris and for pedestrian safety. 

Hoopless bars are a newer take, with a more compact and sleek design, but capable of the same high performance and extras like winch cradles and secured mounting points for off-roading lights. Both variants take skid plates for underbody protection and side brush bars to shield side panels. The latter extends into running boards (or side steps) when protecting the area between the wheel arches and allowing for easier entry and exit. 

Bull bars require the removal of the front bumper and most variants bolt onto mounting points in the chassis rails. The work means handling a hefty piece of kit and will last at least an hour. 

amarok accessories for offroad performing

Nudge bars are more about city driving and light dirt trails in rural areas. The benefit is the lighter weight, the quicker and easier installation (the bumper stays on), and the lower cost. There’s less in the way of full-on protection, so nudge bars are more suited to light scuffs in the car park or low-speed mishaps. They still look good, adding some rugged style to a bare ute. 

When buying aftermarket, get ADR-certified bull and nudge bars that meet current safety standards. This relates to air-bag activation in an accident and the uninterrupted work of cameras and sensors. 

Bull bars will include integrated indicators and/or fog lights. The better options have integrated recovery and high-lift jack points for safer vehicle recovery. 

Improving Off-road Capability

With 4×4 variants making the bulk of the Amaroks in Australia, there’s decent performance off-road. Low gearing helps in technical terrain, and good ground clearance (230mm when unladen) allows for ample leeway in departure and approach angles. Pair this with the 550Nm of torque available from 1500 revs, and you’ll have the recipe for major off-roading fun. 

The only letdown can be the stock suspension. Too much travel in the shocks and springs leads to wallowing in ruts, over boulders, and a loss of steering feel and the chance of getting stuck. To firm up the ride, bespoke suspension upgrades provide better articulation. In addition, lift kits with bigger shocks and spring combos up front, sturdier leaf springs at the back, and additions like long-travel shackles and poly bushings up durability and performance in the red turf. 

The same can be replicated with air suspension kits with airbags fitted at the rear axle to gain some height. Airbags are also good if you’re constantly driving with the tub full, as the added weight will sag the ute and cause a loss of traction. Both upgrades leave more space for bigger tyres with off-roading patterns to better grip the ground. 

Other items to consider here are snorkels. These will get the needed cool air and clean it from debris and water. A rated stainless steel snorkel can withstand higher temperatures and impact in typical off-roading conditions and seal the engine from water ingress when tackling streams and waterbeds. 

Make Better Use of the Tub

The Amarok has the widest tub of any ute, able to fit a standard Euro pallet. Lower trims are a little bear at the back, missing any liner for heavier or bulkier items. Though, you do get four removable tie-down points, 12V sockets for powering tools, and a sports bar with rear light in the higher Highline trim. 

Consider a tonneau cover to protect the tub from bad weather and keep everything inside safe and secure. There are roll-up, retractable, folding, and solid one-piece covers. Manual units require you do the work yourself, while electric roller covers do that for you at a price. Soft covers are cheaper but generally lack the strength and security of a full-on hardcover. 

Fitting the tub may need additional work to the tub, such as drilling to include plumbing. Any additions, like crossbars, H-racks and sports bars can be included in the price or sold separately. These are parts that up usability when loading the tub with difficult items (ladders, building materials, or sports gear) and better organise your gear in separate areas. 

Heavy-duty tub liners are one of the more important VW Amarok accessories. They’re durable, heat, weather, chemical, and stain resistant and keep the tub looking as good as new. Polypropylene liners are a good choice that mimics carpet in looks but are easier to maintain and clean. In addition, they have a non-slip surface to secure any items at any speed. Though not directly related to the tub, easier access to the tailgate with gas struts helps in safer and easier loading and unloading of the ute. 

muscle accessories for maximum amarok performance

Get More Space

While owners get a wide and long tub, and high loading capacity, sometimes space runs out. A quick fix is fitting a roof rack. 

Aftermarket choices for the Amarok are cheaper than going the OEM route, and you get a good range of racks in decent build, high carrying capacities, and good looks. Designs range from flat or platform racks ideal for longer items with some heft or roof cages and baskets enclosed on all sides and ready to take smaller items. Tradesman racks with side rails, only are another popular design choice. 

Source racks that are lightweight but durable. Aluminium racks won’t affect the roof carrying abilities but still function as a good loading foundation. And they handle weather, water and debris quite well. Ensure that the racks suit the fitment options in the Amarok roofline and that necessary hardware like roof rails, crossbars and mounting brackets are included. 

You can further increase space with under-tub sliding drawers, popular with both tradies and off-roaders, to store a range of gear, tools, and equipment. There are also full-on canopies that can double the space and get better organisation while at the same time increasing security. 

All items are made by dozens of local companies and to high standards. Just get a rack that suits the cab style (double cabs dominate) and canopies, drawers and other goodies that align with the tub for a neater and cleaner finish.

Safer Towing

Lugging a big trailer or boat at the back means fitting the Amarok with the rated tow bar to handle the weight safely. And fit the rear or 4WD versions of the car. You’ll also need the right hitch and wiring harness to communicate basic safety functions like lighting in brake lights or more complex systems that control braking force and eliminate trailer sway. 

Consider where you’ll be driving with the attached trailer. Off-road applications call for a longer and sturdier weight distribution hitch to smooth out uneven terrain and reduce the risk of decoupling. Tow bars need the rear bumper removed, and installation takes about an hour. 

Besides this, longer hauls will see you in blind spots more often, meaning rear visibility is an issue with the stock rear mirrors. A pair of towing mirrors that extend the field of vision allows for safer towing. These can fit existing mirrors (such as strap-on designs) or replace what you have with something larger. For added convenience, look to electrically operated mirrors with folding functions. 

Sourcing Amarok Parts and Accessories

Buyers always have the OEM and aftermarket options to compare. The benefit of OEM accessories is that they are made especially for the Amarok. This ensures optimal fit and functionality. 

Aftermarket parts involve a little reverse engineering but won’t lack in outright quality. And there’s a growing aftermarket that provides both universal and model-specific gear. You’ll get premium products that are independently tested and have ADR approval, an quality fit and finish, lengthy warranties, and all that at a fraction of the cost. Source locally produced parts made of quality materials if you’re after better craftsmanship. 

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