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Are we missing out on something special?

Is the Volkswagen Tarok just another case of wanting what we can’t have?

In Australia we seem to be under the guise that bigger is better and therefore what we want. Take the reaction to the announcement that the Ford Ranger Raptor wouldn’t have the 3.2-litre engine in it, outrage, or even the demand for American trucks to be sold here with their massive diesel power plants. That is until we see someone getting something else and therefore decide that looks better. This seems to be the case with the new Volkswagen Tarok.

The Tarok is a small ute built on Volkswagen’s MQB platform that it uses for a lot of its vehicles such as the Golf and Tiguan. Normally hearing ‘small’ and ‘ute’, people would be in a frenzy claiming you need to fit a pallet between the wheel arches, and carry your house in the tray. However, this time round because Volkswagen Australia have announced that for now we won’t be receiving it, people have decided they’d enjoy a nippy small ute. “Utes in this country are about capacity in the back and under the bonnet, and the Tarok offers neither,” said Volkswagen Australia spokesman Paul Pottinger.

The Tarok’s aim will not be to compete with the Amarok on the global market but rather offer a compromise option between an SUV’s comfort and a ute’s practicality. Volkswagen won’t be giving the Tarok the V6 out of the Amarok but rather the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and 1.4-litre petrol variant. The Tarok is a dual cab, with a short tray on the back, only 1.2m long, compared to the Amarok’s 1.6m tray, however Volkswagen’s designers have created a clever way to provide that missing length when needed.

You can of course fold down the tailgate for extra length but with the Tarok you can also fold down the rear panel and then rear seats to create a 2.775m long tray. The claimed payload for the Tarok is also quite impressive at 1030kg. Volkswagen even states its compact ute is off-road capable with its permanent 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and boasting figures of a 23.8-degree approach angle, 26.4-degree departure angle and an almost unbelievable minimum ground clearance of 243mm. The Tarok will soon be on sale in the South American market with Brazil reportedly the first to receive it, so with its blend of technology and luxury throughout the interior and the surprising physical figures, is the Volkswagen Tarok the one that got away?


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  • I’m a plumber and drive a Jumbuck have had 3 of them they really take a beating, this Ute would be ideal for me! Bring it to Australia please! Everyone asks about the Jumbuck but there not making anymore!

  • how about a ute version of the new Suzuki Sierra, Like the old stockman. every farmer would grab one and a hell of a lot more economic than a 79 series toyota.

  • This looks pretty cool.
    I’ve just retired my 2013 Prado Altitude to the garage for weekend drives & towing the boat, camper & trailer. I do love the power of the 3.0L turbo diesel particularly on the sand but let me tell you about my new daily drive … a VW Polo. This little 3 pot screamer is fantastic. I didn’t think about a small car until Toyota offered a terrible trade-in price … thanks guys! Lots of power out of the 1.0L turbo and the economy for the 100 km trip to work is phenomenal. You can’t fault the quality of the build or the interior in the VW. The MQB platform is also impressive technology.
    I just spent 10 days driving through the outback – Perth to Sydney via Uluru (in a 25 year old Volvo 850 raising money for cancer research) you do see a lot of variety in the utes out there. I’m sure this would do just as well others with a roof top tent plus a jerry can or two attached.
    My recent experience with the VW Polo is that BIG is not always BETTER.

  • Bring back the brumby, every 2nd farm had one , with an agquip version every year, and they never gave up. On a recent trip to Argentina, Fiat have a ute similar to this volkswagon and they were every where , even on a stand at the International Airport. Try and take a dodge ram where the brumby goes, i dont think so, all you would do is rip up the paddocks, because they re so heavy and get stuck going through the paddock gate because it is too wide.

    • I watched a video recently where they put the new Suzuki Jimny Sierra up against a Land Rover. The little 4X4 went everywhere whilst the bigger 4X4 struggled to match the performance. Some benfits to smaller footprint and a better weight to power ratio.

  • I have been looking now for 2 years for a vehicle like this. Just the right mix of SUV and small Ute.

    Where can I get one?

  • Might even qualify for non commercial rego. with vic roads and save owners a motza on the growing no. of toll roads charged for on top of an already excessive rego.

  • Having just clocked up 12000 kms in our 2litre 10 speed bi turbo Ranger we are loving the experience and appreciating the new technologies and better economy etc that it brings

  • There are still Brumbys tootling around farming communities and there’s a Proton Jumbuck down the road from me. Rural Aussies don’t all want a one tonner . Some of us want a smaller ute to pick up a bag of chook food or a 20 lt container of fertiliser . My 24yo 2.3lt Rodeo stays with me because it’s a bit smaller than today’s behemoths . I’d love a new small ute to see me out to my mid 80s and this VW ute would suit a lot like me.

  • too complete the “perfect storm” / ALT ute…. they need to skip the IC engines and go straight to Electric drive.

    • Hahahaha
      Electric toys might work ok for inner city use but out in the real world a small ute is a farm / delivery vehicle and a diesel is the way to go.

      • Ask our new Prime Minister, having a 50% target for electric cars on Australian roads would deny the traditional Aussie tradie their weekend trip into the country for a leisurely get away! And I believe every word he says.Ha.Ha.Ha.

  • We have constantly missed out on the small sized utes that are being made now eg Hyundai. Fiat and now the VW. Some tosser has got it into his head that BIG is best and is what we want. WRONG guess again.

  • If they come to Australia, I’d be looking at one. Not everyone tows a huge caravan !!. They would be big enough for the average tradie with a trailer, camper with a small caravan/camper trailer, they’d be economical and easy to park.

  • As much as I think Volkswagon are a fraudulent pack of bastards, dare I say it, this ute would be popular here. Good on them for shooting themselves in the foot again.

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