Ute with power packed engine

WITH its power packed engine option, Volkswagen has ensured the Amarok now has a hero model with enough muscle to out-flex Toyota and Ford in the turbo diesel.

The Amarok like its four cylinder siblings had already earned praise for its well-mannered ride and handling and nicely presented cabin.

It gets a mild facelift and a brand new diesel engine which was launched in late 2016, giving it a fresh impetus among peers

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.

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.

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.

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

The weight only improves the Amarok’s ride by settling it down and removing that bouncing.