ON THE JOB
AN integral part of a ute’s role is to carry stuff, best tested by throwing a decent load on board (in this case, 800kg). We use 800kg as the standard test weight for utes, as 800kg is more or less the maximum you can legally carry in a tub of most current dual-cabs, given the weight of the driver and passenger and any accessories fitted. The Sportline has the highest payload rating of the three Amarok V6s (1002kg), but 800kg plus 160kg for driver and passenger means you’re close to maximum payload.
Loading the Amarok up with 800kg is made especially easy as it will take a standard pallet between the factory tub’s wheel arches. Large and well-located tie-downs then make it easy to lash the load down. With the load on board, the Sportline settled around 65mm at the rear axle line.
On the road the Sportline felt secure and stable. Sure, you can sense there’s a decent weight in the tub, but the steering didn’t feel noticeably lighter and remained reassuring, even at highway speeds on less than perfect country roads. Nor did the rear suspension bottom out over the bigger bumps.
No problem, either, with the engine’s ability with that payload, even on hills. The V6’s solid 550Nm that’s on-stream from just 1500rpm means it hardly felt the weight at all.
A big thanks to Taralga Rural for their invaluable assistance with the 800kg payload test. Website: www. taralgarural.com.au