Amarok adds elu­sive power fac­tor

Southern Telegraph - - Wheels - Vani Naidoo

It is no secret that dual-cab utes have quickly be­come an Aus­tralian favourite, their ca­pa­bil­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity a real draw­card for drivers look­ing for a ve­hi­cle suit­able for both work and play.

The Volk­swa­gen Amarok has been one of the play­ers since its ar­rival on th­ese shores in 2011, of­fer­ing al­most car-like com­fort sel­dom seen in a rugged util­ity.

Now, six years later, the Amarok has added that seem­ingly elu­sive power fac­tor to an al­ready im­pres­sive ve­hi­cle.

You want a pick-up that looks like a pick-up, one whose chis­elled chunky fea­tures hints at se­ri­ous ca­pa­bil­ity.

The Amarok is one of those, an up­dated grille and front fas­cia and wide, slightly ag­gres­sive stance also do­ing their bit to paint a pleas­ing pic­ture.

The sup­port­ive, Napa leather seats are the first thing you no­tice in the re­vised in­te­rior of the re­vamped Amarok.

With two-stage heat­ing and 12point power ad­just­ment, they are a rar­ity in a ve­hi­cle of this ilk, but all the more wel­come.

As with its pre­de­ces­sor, the cabin has a good fin­ish, su­pe­rior ma­te­ri­als and thought given to how it all comes to­gether.

Of course, there are the req­ui­site hard plas­tics for dura­bil­ity but even they seem to fit in seam­lessly with the grand plan.

This feels like a com­fort­able space in which to be, with the con­trols you need at your fin­ger­tips and most of those fea­tures that make both long and short trips a breeze.

A 6.3-inch in­te­grated colour touch­screen seems a bit small given the Amarok’s bulk but sup­ports Ap­pleCarplay and An­droid and Auto ap­pli­ca­tions, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and Dig­i­tal Ra­dio for those who can ac­cess it. Our Ulti- mate spec test Amarok also sported a colour LCD mul­ti­func­tion dis­play that pro­vided the driver with nav­i­ga­tion, au­dio and trip in­for­ma­tion.

Stor­age is ad­e­quate, not gen­er­ous, with deep door bins and dash top tray un­able to de­tract from a small cen­tre con­sole and a flip-out dou­ble cup holder on the floor of the rear com­part­ment which is beg­ging to be kicked.

Talk­ing of the rear com­part­ment, the lodg­ings back there don’t seem to match those in the front for lux­ury. While head­room and shoul­der room are OK, there is less room for the legs, es­pe­cially for taller pas­sen­gers. No air vents or cen­tre arm­rests back there and, dis­turbingly, no airbags ei­ther.

Stan­dard fare in­cludes 19-inch al­loys, sat nav, re­verse cam­era and sen­sors,

The Amarok is still the only ute in this class with a tub ca­pa­ble of fit­ting a pal­let between the wheel arches.

For real-world prac­ti­cal op­tions, be­cause let’s face it, how often do you haul a pal­let, this means that it is eas­ier to carry the surf­boards, camp­ing gear or wide and oddly shaped cargo when you need to.

A lusty 3.0-litre V6 tur­bocharged diesel is the show­stop­per unit for the new Amarok, pro­duc­ing 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque, the lat­ter avail­able from just 1500rpm.

An au­to­matic over­boost func­tion at throt­tle ap­pli­ca­tions of 70 per cent or more kicks those fig­ures to 180kW and 580Nm for up to 10 sec­onds to give you that easy oomph when you need to over­take quickly.

An ef­fi­cient eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion com­pletes the com­bi­na­tion, shift­ing smoothly up and down the ra­tios for op­ti­mum driv­ing per­for­mance.

So you want the ver­sa­til­ity of a dual-cab but want it to drive like a car rather than a truck?

The ride is as com­fort­able and com­pli­ant as it has al­ways been but the ex­tra power means it is smoother on take-off too and, of course, much more ca­pa­ble when you need it to be.

It breezes along with­out ef­fort, mak­ing quick work of in­clines, barely no­tices ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties on the road and, thanks to the four large disc brakes, stops quickly too.

The steer­ing feels a lit­tle light es­pe­cially through round­abouts or tight city cor­ners but it’s easy enough to ad­just. It is quiet in the cabin too, given it is a diesel.

Pic­ture: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

The Volk­swa­gen Amarok TDV6 Ul­ti­mate adds power to ca­pa­bil­ity and ver­sa­til­ity.

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