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Volkswagen Amarok Aventura V6 - for a select market with price of £39,381
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Volkswagen Amarok Aventura 3.0 V6 TDI 224PS

What is it?

The Volkswagen Amarok Aventura is the face-lifted version of Volkswagen’s big pick-up, our previous Business Vans award-winner. Which after six-years and 14,800 sold in the UK, receives styling tweaks, a revised centre console and infotainment systems in the interior and most importantly a selection of 3.0-litre TDI V6 engines to replace the 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI ones.

Available to order now, the first face-lifted Amaroks will make it to their lucky owners by January 2017, but Business Vans has had the chance of an early drive in the limited-edition Aventura, fitted with the most powerful 224PS version of the 3.0-litre TDI diesel.

 What’s hot

  • The Amarok’s 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine, which in test form boasts a hot hatch-rivalling 220bhp and colossal 550Nm of torque. Plus a 36.2mpg consumption and 204g/km CO2 emissions figure. On the road, as expected, this engine is a strong performer that delivers its power in a very linea fashion and is well-matched to the standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Creamy smooth, it’s happy to be revved, but majors on low-down torque. There’s even an extra 19bhp available via the overboost function, making overtaking a breeze.
  • Despite the Amarok’s size, it’s very easy and car-like to drive. The steering is light and responsive and although tall, body roll is kept well in check.
  • 4MOTION four-wheel drive was fitted as standard to our Aventura test pick-up and we had the chance to try its off-road capabilities on a test route at the launch. With clever features such as the Hill Decent Control and Off-Road ABS, plus the on-demand four-wheel drive, the Amarok impressed at how capable it was when things got muddy!
Volkswagen Amarok
Leather seats in car-like cab
  • As with the first-generation Amarok, all models are capable of carrying up to 1,114kgs of load, which is comparable to rivals such as the Nissan Navara and Toyota Hilux. A Euro pallet can also be carried between the rear arches in the load bed.
  • Okay, so it’s a case of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ in terms of the face-lift changes over the original Amarok. In fact, the only differences are the revised front bumper and the chrome-trimmed front grille. Still, this Volkswagen was always one of the more modern, attractive-looking pick-ups on sale and follows the same family styling cues as the rest of the Volkswagen range.
  • The Amarok is the only five-door pick-up with a V6 turbo diesel engine. Inside, like the outside, the Amarok feels every inch a Volkswagen – as there’s a premium, well-made feel, with the switchgear laid out where you expect it to be. You have to climb up to get into the Amarok, but when you get there, the tall driving position is comfortable and car-like with generally good all-round visibility. The Aventura also benefits from luxurious leather trim.
  • Our test Amarok was in the launch limited-edition Aventura, of which 240 will be available with the most-powerful 224PS version of the 3.0-litre TDI V6 engine. Standard specification is exhaustive, but special kit for this Aventura includes bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights, plus 19-inch alloy wheels with 255/55 wide tyres and arch extensions, plus the bed of the Aventura’s cargo box has a matt black Durabed coating.

What’s not

  • We had no load in the back of our Amarok on the test route, but doubt that even if it was loaded it would make too much difference to the ride – which was bouncy and unsettled – especially at the back.
  • Space in the front is fine, but space in that upright back bench seat is more compromised with only children and adults on short journeys being comfortable.
  • The Amarok is aimed at the premium end of the pick-up market, as such none are cheap – the lowest price is £27,125 plus VAT for the Trendline (Startline version to follow)! The Aventura has copious amount of standard kit, but with an on-the-road price of  £31,995 plus VAT – £39,381 inc VAT), it’s only going to appeal to a select section of the market.
  • If C02 based taxation is brought in for commercials, this Amarok’s 204g/km emissions could be an issue.

The Verdict

 The face-lifted Volkswagen Amarok builds on the previous model’s strengths, with a strong, smooth 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine and an even higher quality, car-like feel to the interior.

Not quite perfect, as we reckon both the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200 ride better than the Amarok. Plus rivals are probably better for hard work, as they can tow and have higher payloads than this big Volkswagen pick-up.

The Amarok is also costly compared with the opposition, but the high-quality feel and performance from the new 3.0-litre TDI make it hard to beat.

 Lowdown on the Volkswagen Amarok Aventura 3.0 V6 TDI 224PS:

On the road price (ex VAT):£31,995 (£39,381 inc VAT)
Load length:1,555mm
Load width (max):1,620mm
Load height:508mm
Load area:2.52 sq m
Payload:1,114kg
Gross vehicle weight (GVW):3,290kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked:Up to 3.5t braked/750kg unbraked
Engine:3-litre V6 turbodiesel
Power/torque:220bhp, 550Nm
Economy (combined):36.2mpg
CO2 emissions:204g/km
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen Amarok – can take a Euro pallet but ride was bouncy and unsettled

 

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