Reflection: First outing with my amarok

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Thanked: 1

    Default Reflection: First outing with my amarok

    I bought my Amarok about a month ago: 2011 BiTDi 4-motion. Manual, 145000 km's with an (almost) FSH. I have now covered about 2000 kms and here are my views and experiences so far:

    I don't like buying cars. I regard them as the poorest financial investment one can make and buying this Amarok only happened after I have thought long and hard about it. But I wanted a D-cab and I decided the Amarok was the one I wanted.

    * A beautiful drive. SWAMBO who is small and petite says it just feels like a bigger car.
    * Damn, this thing thing is big. It only just fits in the parking space I have at home and it takes careful manouvering in and out parking spaces in shopping centres.
    * I am afraid I am destroying the bolster pad on the door side. Every time I get out, I slide down the side of the seat. One day I will find a different way of doing that.
    * Average fuel consumption so far 11.6 km / litre. More open road than town. Good for a big truck like this, but it also indicates that some guys only report selectively on what they can do.
    * Deceptively fast. It feels lethargic and slow off the mark, but when you notice that you are ahead of everybody else you realise you are moving quickly.
    * the 6th gear is very much a cruising gear. But interestingly: staying in 6th when going uphill seemed to give me a better fuel consumption than when shifting down to 5th. Someting to play around with and test more extensively
    * The clutch action is sudden and surprises anybody who drives the car for the first time. I stalled it a few times but am getting much better at it now. The gearshift is firm, almost industrial and truck like. In fact, I do think the clutch may the one item that will need attention relatively soon.
    * I read the owners manual. Some bits I read twice and some I will have to read again. It offers a lot of clever support functions and I think I still don't know about a lot of them.
    * I am amazed by the Germans. As just said, they offer you a bucket load full of very clever stuff and then the load bin isn't lockable. Eish! And it would have been nice to be able to slide the rear seats a bit forward to hide stuff behind them, eg: camera's.
    * I removed the roll bar to install a canopy. The roll bar that was on the bakkie was mounted on the flimsyest of brackets! Nothing but show!
    * The reception on the radio is just terrible. Even my Chev bakkie was better!

    On our way back from KZN this weekend, I decided to test it a little bit and went up Donkey's Pass in Harrismith. Overall, I will give myself a 6 out of 10. I am a 4x4 novice and all my previous experiences were with a Pajero 3.2 DiD SWB autobox. Using a manual was something new and I was not as smooth as one should be. But the Amarok took this in her stride. There was more than enough power al all times - even going up the steepest part. Which is quite steep.

    I confess, I used low range. Because it is there, because I don't want to abuse my car and because I am chicken. It just felt like it will crawl up everywhere. And coming down, the Downhill assist was brilliant.

    And most impressive - at no stage did the temp gauge show any sign of moving.

    But I need to learn where my wheels are. And just how wide this truck is! I went off the track with my rear wheels a couple of times because of this. Absolutely my mistake, but that is how one learn!

    And find a way of making sure the towbar doesn't bottom out when I go through a dip.

    The first part of the pass is dirt, more traditional 4x4 like. A bit of erosion and loose rocks and dirt, with a few nifty corners and bumps make it enjoyable but not scary. There is one piece where the erosion caused a deep rut, but there was detour that I used.

    The last part of the steep uphill is tarred / concrete / paved and is nothing but just steep.

    Doing it in the rainy season will be a challenge!

    The view from the top of Platberg is fantastic, with Sterkfontein dam visible. It took about 2 hours to go up and down with a nice leg stretch at the top.

    This is mainly my holiday and long distance vehicle. I don't expect to add more than 12000 km's a year. So it should be good for another 10 years, by when I will be 70.

    My first priority is to do a comprehensive, preventative service. The last 3 services were done by an Indy and I am a wee bit sceptical. Thanks to all the threads on this forum I have a good idea of what should be done.

    I also want to install a tray to make it a bit easier to load stuff in the back (luggage and golf clubs).

    Then I need a reverse camera. Or something ...

    This weekend I will go through a wheel change exercise. A man's got to do what a man's got to do.

    No regrets from my side. I got a whole lot of car and bakkie and potential for the amount I paid. I have all the capabilities I need. I don't need to fly from 0 to 100 in half the time. I haven't towed yet, but have no intention of pulling a double axle caravan, So I am pretty sure it will cope.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Thanked: 45

    Default Re: Reflection: First outing with my amarok

    Good luck for the next 10 years. Hope it runs like a dream. Happy miles

    Mitsubishi Pajero Gen4 3.2 DiD SWB Auto - the Squeek, Rattle and Shudder Mobile (almost all fixed!)
    Goodyear Wrangler ATSA Tyres
    Stofpad4x4 50mm Spacer Lift
    Stofpad4x4 Front Bashplate
    Stofpad4x4 Rock Sliders
    Llumar Smash & Grab Window Tint
    Dual Battery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Kempton Park
    Thanked: 1149

    Default Re: Reflection: First outing with my amarok

    Quote Originally Posted by Swannie1960 View Post
    * I am afraid I am destroying the bolster pad on the door side. Every time I get out, I slide down the side of the seat. One day I will find a different way of doing that.
    Get seat covers.
    1996 Patrol 4.2SGL with lots of stuff to make it heavier and thus increase traction?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Thanked: 50

    Default Re: Reflection: First outing with my amarok

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    Get seat covers.
    In my Amarok, seat covers aggravated the problem. They seemed to compact and bend the bolsters more than without them.
    2017 Amarok V6 HiLine+
    2014 Amarok 4Motion Auto (Sold)
    1983 Suzuki SJ410V
    2019 Nissan X-Trail 2.5 Tekna CVT
    1985 Suzuki SJ413
    Mazda Cx7 Turbo(Sold)
    Fiat 500 1400MTA (Tweety)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Thanked: 866

    Default Re: Reflection: First outing with my amarok

    The clutch is something to get used to. It's very different from the Japanese bakkies. At least on the early Amarok models, the clutch is very abrupt. It's not a sign that it needs replacing soon.
    2012 FJ Cruiser
    1983 FJ60 Landcruiser

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Thanked: 0

    Default Re: Reflection: First outing with my amarok

    Congrats Swannie, I also bought a 2011 2.0 Bitdi this week, and I'm impressed thus far. I am yet to test the 4x4 side though, looking forward to it.


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