The Amarok Aventura has a slightly different look over the standard Amarok model. This model get a sports bar-like panel that extends the visual look of the cabin and flows down the top of the tray with additional trim panels. I like it, probably not as useful as a real sports bar, but it does complement the look of the more adventurous model. You also get stainless steel side bars, and 20” Talca Alloy Wheels only available on the Aventura. Unlike the Highline, the Aventura spec has an obvious visual change over all the other models, making it feel a bit special. You also get an Aventura badge on the outside. A nod to other Amarok owners that you are driving the flagship model.
Irish buyers can choose from three specification levels in the new VW Amarok –Comfortline (204bhp), Highline (204bhp or 258bhp) and Aventura (258bhp). Transmission choices comprise of a 6-speed manual gearbox (204bhp engines only), or a silky smooth 8-speed automatic (258bhp engines only)– representing a ‘first-in-class’ in the segment.
The inside of the Amarok V6 Aventura has been upgraded with leather sports seats. The seats, steering wheel and gear shift surround all have highlights stitching making it feel like a premium product. The rest of the interior follows the same theme as the Highline. This works great and makes the Amarok more like an everyday family vehicle than a double cab pick-up. Even though the Aventura is more expensive than the Highline, there is a feeling that you’re getting more value for money in this price bracket.
The cabin itself is clean and practical, some buttons around the gearstick, media screen and an array of 12-volt plug sockets – two beside the gear box, one on the dash and another for the rear seat passengers. This would be great for long trips, as you don’t have to share the plugs and can charge all sorts of devices at the same time.
The centre-console media screen was the main focus in the cabin and probably the most high tech bit of equipment too. It’s the same tried and trusted system used in all of the VW passenger models, and was very easy to use for pairing my phone and playing music etc. The steering wheel was another feature from the VW passenger line up. This has the usual volume, phone, cruise control and menu options you would expect to see at this price. Unlike the Highline the Aventura comes with paddle shift on the steering wheel. I really don’t see the need for paddle shifters with an 8-speed auto gearbox. Even though the V6 TDi is powerful, it’s not sporty, and I found no real benefit to using the paddles over the standard auto gearbox but they add to the sporty feel.
If it’s class-leading you want, you’ll want the Amarok in the Aventura spec. The new VW Amarok 3.0-litre V6 Aventura model we tested was finished in Ravenna Blue Matte paintwork and it just gave it such a unique look. This model and all in the Amarok range come with stop/start technology, BlueMotion engine technology, and ‘4Motion’ all-wheel-drive. The Amarok’s impressive 580Nm torque figure; the full amount of which is available from just 1250rpm is handy for hauling heavy loads or ascending rough terrain. This turbo-diesel has done duty in other Volkswagen Group fare in the past, including the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, as well as Volkswagen’s own Touareg SUV. With a distinct passenger vehicle past, it perhaps comes as little surprise that this is one refined diesel. It’s never loud, even from a cold start and thrums away in the background at cruising speeds. Volkswagen claims a zero to 100km/h time of 7.3 seconds.
Driving the Amarok Aventura was an enjoyable experience. There’s a nice linear feel to the way the power comes back as you brake and then steer through a corner; powering out again, the Amarok doesn’t leave you waiting for the torque to catch up with what’s going on. There’s little lag as the turbo spools up and, perhaps even more surprising, the ride is compliant and even super-smooth. The body-roll I was anticipating simply wasn’t there. Volkswagen’s permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive system presumably plays a part in this.
I did a small amount of off-roading while driving the Amarok. It’s all handled automatically with the 4MOTION four-wheel drive and Torsen differential. With so much tech it was hard not to be impressed, Overall it handled everything I threw at it, never having a single issue.
I have driven the Amarok before but it was great to be back in the V6 Amarok and experience the Aventura model. I liked the 20-inch Talca alloy wheels and think the Ravenna Blue Matte paint really set it off. The new 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine makes light work of any task and this engine is standard across the entire Amarok range, with all models attracting annual road tax of just €333. This Amarok will pull anything and has huge ability. It looks good, stands out from the crowd and is highly capable.
Model Volkswagen Amarok Aventura
Engine Size 3.0-litre TDI V6 diesel
Transmission Eight-speed automatic
Acceleration (0-100km/h) 7.3 seconds
Top Speed 204 km/h
CO2 Emissions 224g/km
Road Tax €333 per year
Base Price €61,380
Our Test Model €67,619