You might look at me, the editor of a Men’s Lifestyle magazine, and imagine that my life is all about beard oils, tailored suits and night serum, but I do actually come from humble working stock. In fact, I come from a long line of truck drivers.
Even my great grandfather drove the equivalent of a milk tanker before they had milk tankers – it was essentially a horse and carriage with some milk containers on it but if they did have trucks, he would have been driving it. When I first entered university, I proudly shared the fact with my mother that I was the first person on either side of the family to go and was expecting some kind of proud response. Instead she looked back with a concerned gaze and asked when I was going to get my heavy trade license. So, my point is, even though I have become a little soft over the years, I can still appreciate a bit of hard work and I can certainly appreciate vehicles that help with said hard work. I also have a soft spot for utes. They are utilitarian enough to carry stuff but a lot easier to park than an 18 wheeler. The VW Amarok is the sort of commercial vehicle that strikes a beautiful balance between tough and comfortable. I can still turn up at family gatherings with my head held high because I’ve arrived in a ute, but on the inside I’ve been cocooned by Nappa Leather.
The new Amarok V6 Aventura 200kW (190kW with an extra 10kW boost) in fact is tough enough to even get my heavy haulage driving brother going a little envious. At the same time, I could still park the Amarok outside SPQR (if I actually wanted) and it would still feel at home. It might be the way things are going really, sedans are moving to SUVs and maybe SUVs are moving to utes, but it’s not just the tradies that are into utes these days. I know of photographers and even stylists that have parked up their cars and moved to utes. Not to downplay the commercial chops of the Amarok but it is flexible enough to not only be a rugged commercial and fleet option but it is comfortable enough in the urban jungle.
This is helped by a clever servotronic steering system which of course matches speed with steering sensitivity. Around town, it is light and comfortable while on the open road, it is precise. Whether you are negotiating a maze of runaway supermarket trolleys or a construction site, maneuvering is a piece of cake. This is also aided by a reverse camera and park assist which is fairly standard these days, of course. Overall, the powertrain is really responsive (I’d almost say zippy if it didn’t seem somehow belittling.)
The 8-speed automatic is also sensitive and responsive at low speeds but will feed the AWD a smooth and constant supply of power throughout the ratios. Put your foot down when you need it and there is solid chunk of torque on tap. Even if you don’t get too excited by ignition patterns generally, you should still appreciate the extra power range that the Amarok’s reworked engine provides. They have redesigned the cylinders so there is a more even explosion on spark and compression. This gives better performance, efficiency and I’m waging it will also add to the life of the engine if there is a more even temperature spread on the engines. Although I don’t have a degree in science with a specialty on metal thermodynamics, so I’m really just making that up.
As the leader of the Amorak pack, the Aventura comes a solid list of extras. As well the upgraded engine you get a raft of other goodies that takes the whole experience to another level. On the ground you get 20 inch Talca wheels, a Dura-bed spray on deck liner in the back. Premium Colour Multi-function Driving Data Display Front and Rear Parking Aid, Touch Screen Radio Bluetooth Connectivity Voice Enhancement WLAN Wireless Hot Spot and the aforementioned Nappa Leather Interior Heated/Electric Sports Front Seats to name but a few.
While we have been focusing on the Aventura there are plenty of other options in the range which starts at $55K so it becomes a viable fleet option too.
As a solid commercial workhorse, I really can’t fault the Aventura.
As a viable luxury SUV alternative, I really can’t faulty the Aventura.