VW Amarok’s V6 puts it in another league
Over the past two years, the double cab bakkie market has benefited from an onslaught of new models from the likes of Ford, Toyota and, most recently, Nissan. In an effort to stay relevant and up-to-date, Volkswagen has introduced an updated Amarok.
At first glance, it’s incredibly difficult to tell the difference between the new and old; and that’s simply because the updates themselves are minimal: a new grille, as well as a new front bumper incorporating fog lights. At the back, there’s a third LED brake light.
The interior has had considerably more work done to it, and it’s now on par with many of Volkswagen’s more upmarket road cars. Ergonomics have been improved, the front seats have been optimized for comfort, and a six-inch touch screen is the central feature across the range.
Incorporated into the infotainment system is an SD card slot, as well as USB, auxiliary and Bluetooth connectivity. Manual aircon is standard. Higher spec models are fitted with climate control and additional 12V sockets, as well as sat nav.
Arguably the biggest part of the update is the addition of a new 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel motor – making the Amarok the only V6 diesel double cab on the market. Output is 165 kW and 550 Nm (and 180 kW/580 Nm on overboost), and drive is to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Volkswagen only offers a low range reduction with its manual transmission, which means the Amarok 3.0 TDI has to do without the extra off-road traction.
We drove the Amarok 3.0 TDI both on and off-road in the Free State, and it didn’t take too long for the V6 to make an impression. Strong acceleration through the rev range means the big bakkie gets from 0-100 km/h in just 8,0 seconds; in practical terms, that means effortless power off the line, and easy overtaking.
Off road, the permanent all-wheel drive system coped well with changing surfaces, while the Amarok’s decent clearances made climbing over some challenging obstacles very easy. On the drive from Ficksburg back to Johannesburg, our 3,0 TDI test car remained comfortable and composed; even the fuel consumption came in at a respectable 9,2 litres per hundred kilometres
But there is quite a hefty premium to be paid for the pleasure: at R716 000, the Highline Plus spec is at least R100 000 more expensive than anything else it competes against.
RPM TV will feature a full review of the Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 TDI on Wednesday 10th May 2017