Volkswagen Amarok V6 580Nm review New Zealand
In most vehicle reviews, many of us will seek out things like top speed and the 0-100km times. These are of course connected to the engine’s HP/kW and Ft-Lbs/Nm outputs. Essentially, kW is the measurement of power which provides the ‘glory boy’ top speed while Nm is the ‘hard working’ Torque measurement, the turning or pulling power that your engine is able to produce and often in turn, how quickly your vehicle will accelerate.
But many of us don’t know what a Nm is, so let me explain. A Newton is basically 100g of force moving in one direction, therefore, if you were to grab 100g of your favorite bar of chocolate and hold this on your hand, it would be applying 1 Newton of force downwards. Now if you put the same bar of chocolate on the end of a 1-metre long spanner, this would result in 1Nm (Newton metre) of torque being applied to turn the nut at the other end. Now put 58kg of chocolate on that same bar and you get 580Nm – see simple and in so many ways, quite yummy. That’s exactly what VW has done with their new Amarok but unfortunately not with chocolate, with their V6 diesel.
Let’s get straight to the juicy bits. The V6 580Nm is Volkswagen’s most powerful Amarok to date. Behind its BiXenon headlights is a 3L VTG turbo diesel engine that produces 200kW of power (190kW plus 10 extra kW of overboost for overtaking etc) and 580Nm of (sportscar territory) torque. It will accelerate from 0-100kph in 7.3s and has a top speed of around 200kph.
I had been handed the keys to Aventura edition for a week and planned to get it a little dirty, with a mixture of residential and rural activities, no point in having 4Motion and not using it.
The Amarok is over 5.2m long and over 2.2m wide so not ideal for compact city driving, however, surprisingly enough it handles the around town work well. Visibility is good and the smart interior lends itself well to domestic life. The park distance control system beeps when necessary and the camera is very clear. Nappa leather upholstery adds refinement to the seating and the rest of the cabin is uncluttered with a hint towards the commercial. The infotainment system is good, instrument cluster is clean and you get a sense of overall comfort, particularly since my seat could be 14-way electronic adjusted.
The Aventura spec offers a lot of bling to the exterior. Large portions of stainless and chrome adorn the bodywork from small accents to features such as side and sports bars. It’s both handsome and functional. The cargo tray is at the top of the UTE tree with 2.52m2 to play with and an impressive 1,222mm of space between the wheel arches. The payload is over 1 tonne and even the tail gate will accommodate weight of up to 250kgs with (in the Aventura’s case) the whole tray being durabed lined.
Kicking the hefty Amarok off the mark gives you a great sense of power and you are certainly pushed back in to the Nappa below but the power could be delivered a little smoother (or maybe not, this is a UTE after all), you really are aware of each of the 8 gears as they are selected. On the open road, the Amarok has cruise control available at your fingertips but not adaptive I should point out.
With the city behind me, the dusty forest roads of Woodhill were my next on my list and I’m happy they were. Quite frankly, the roads are rough and jarring, offer plenty of curves and will test the most rugged of frames, the Amarok came up trumps. With the yellow traction light flashing in a frenzied fashion I travelled the unkempt roads like a pro. Although the ‘Servotronic’ (progressive) steering was a little light for my personal preference, it kept the near 3 tonne Amarok well and truly pointing in the right direction – which is pretty handy I find. The 4Motion 4-wheel-drive system didn’t bat an eyelid and even let me play a little while the suspension took most of the sting out of the potholes. With the dust clouds rising high behind me I spent a lot of time running up and down the roads with more than a smile on my face – Sorry VW NZ, I did hose it down afterwards.
The Amarok V6 580Nm feels as good off-road as it does on. It’s a powerful truck that does a lot of the hard work behind the scenes leaving you relaxed and in control. It’s a sweet ride that offers comfort and style plus that 580Nm is a serious amount of torque to have available underfoot – trouble is, now all I can think about is 58kg of chocolate, best I head to the store and load up that huge tray.
Thanks for the opportunity VW NZ and thanks for the pics Tez M Photo and your help Matthew d Souza