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Mascular on the road

Volkswagen Autohaus Fiji
Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Amarok had already earned praise for its well-mannered ride and handling and nicely presented cabin. But, with only a four-cylinder engine, it didn't win over buyers in the same way its Asian-built rivals have.

So for the update launched in late 2016 the focus was more on the engine bay. The four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines remain available in the lower grade models but for the top-specification Highline and Ultimate it is V6 power.

The 3.0-litre turbo diesel is the same VW Group engine used in the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. It does pack a significant punch, with 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque, which is comfortably class leading.

Which is the best dual-cab ute: Volkswagen Amarok V6 Highline, Ford Ranger XLT, Toyota HiLux SR5 and Holden Colorado Z71.

And it feels every bit as muscular on the road. There's a strong and steady flow of pulling power right across the rev range. Coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Amarok never feels strained, instead it always feels ready and willing to go a bit quicker.

The automatic is well suited to the engine, offering smooth shifts and quick reactions when needed but also cruising quietly.

Despite its power and torque advantage the Amarok has the lowest towing capacity of 3000kg, compared with 3500kg for its rivals.

We tested all four of these utes with 500kg of weight in the tray, to see how it impacted on the engine, ride and handling.

The Amarok has a payload of 911kg so had little trouble managing the weight. The engine was unflustered and the ride and handling remained controlled.

It's also worth noting that the Amarok is the only one of this group that will fit a standard Australian pallet (1165mm) between its wheel arches in the tray.

The tray measures 1555mm long, 1620mm wide and 1222mm between the arches.

The tray comes with a plastic liner, four tie-down points, a 12-volt outlet and a pair of LED lights mounted at the back of the cabin to illuminate the tray if you need to load up in darkness.

With or without weight the Amarok is one of the nicest utes to drive. The steering is almost SUV-like, much lighter and more responsive than its rivals.

The ride quality is good without any load, there's still some bounciness you get from all of these utes when they are unladen but overall it has good comfort and compliance. Adding the weight only improves the Amarok's ride by settling it down and removing that bouncing.








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