Volkswagen Amarok vs. Mercedes X 350 d: Battle of the V6 Diesel Trucks

Volkswagen Amarok vs. Mercedes X 350 d: Battle of the V6 Diesel Trucks 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot/
Long before Mercedes decided to reshape a Nissan into its own pickup truck, Volkswagen introduced something called the Amarok. However, these two are more evenly matched than you'd think, thanks to diesel V6 engines.
America finally has the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator, two similarly sized trucks. However, this dirty little drag race takes place in South Africa over the usual quarter-mile strip.

Local magazine Carmag lined up the most powerful version of the Amarok, powered by 3.0 TDI that makes 224 HP and 550 Nm of torque (406 lb-ft). However, it supposedly delivers about 20 more HP for short durations. This is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Meanwhile, 258 HP is delivered by the Mercedes X 350 d, which is the most expensive version of the X-Class. It's worth noting that both take 8 seconds to reach 100 km/h but can have much less power, down to just 163 HP with four-cylinder engines. And according to our data, the weight difference isn't that much in favor of the Amarok. In fact, back when we drove it, the Amarok only had a 2.0 TDI, and it was fine. But let's just watch the race.

Which pickup wins? The German one. Over the 1/4 mile, the Amarok is just a little faster, reaching the marker in 15.71 seconds versus 15.82s. And there's no point in the race where the Mercedes is winning, which sucks because it is much more expensive.

The real difference must come from VW using an 8-speed ZF gearbox while the X-Class borrows its from the Nissan pickup. But do you really buy trucks like these to do drag racing? Probably not. Still, if you owned either one, watching this video will bring you either joy or anger. We also wonder what would happen if the Ranger Raptor got a slice of the action.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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