Stealing Thunder - 2019 Volkswagen Amarok V6 Aventura
Volkswagen New Zealand has stolen some of Benz’s thunder ahead of the December arrival of its V6-powered X-Class by launching the higher powered, Euro 6 compliant, 190kW V6 Amarok Aventura.
We drove the new 580Nm V6 TDI Aventura in mid-August ahead of VW announcing its $89,990 retail price and were impressed with the discernible improvements over the previous Euro 5 165kW model.
While the old V6 wasn’t lacking in the grunt department, the new six-cylinder is even better. VW claim it will return combined fuel consumption of 8.6L/100km. The Germans have modified both the pistons and engine software to increase performance and torque across a wider rev range, and this has transformed its character.
Engine power has increased from 165kW at 3000-4000rpm to 190kW available at 2500-4000rpm, while a 10kW overboost kicks in between 3500 - 4000 rpm, the prime spot for overtaking manoeuvres and equally impressive when towing your boat.
Torque has been upgraded from 550Nm at 1400-2750rpm to 580Nm which is on tap from 1400rpm through to 3000rpm. Acceleration from zero to 100km/h now takes a stated 7.3 secs, a 0.6sec improvement.
Coupled to the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed automatic, it is out on the open road where the more powerful V6 TDi engine and new power steering system come into their own.
The Euro 6 powertrain offers excellent throttle response when pressing on, and the new servotronic steering system delivers a drive and handling experience more akin to a Golf GTI than a typical ute.
It serves up crisp and communicative feedback without feeling overly heavy but at parking speed the Servotronic lightens considerably to make low speed maneuvers in city car parks less tedious. Ride quality unladen is excellent despite the lower profile 20-inch rubber and the Aventura turns nicely into a corner, powering away easily with little body roll.
The Aventura will be the sole Amarok variant available with the new Euro6 V6 TDI engine, so Volkswagen has taken the opportunity to add yet more specification to distinguish it as the hero model of the range. The 165kW engine will continue in the $69,990 Amarok V6 and the $78,990 Amarok V6 Highline.
Those familiar with the previous 165kW Aventura will notice the new Euro 6 version wears a fresh set of 20-inch Talca graphite and diamond finish alloy wheels, a silver skid plate on the front bumper, and electric folding mirrors, while a new shade of Monteverde Green is available, as is Tornado Red.
Looking up from the driver’s seat there is a new dark interior headlining to give the Aventura a more premium feel, complementing the dark grey leather upholstery on the seats, steering wheel, handbrake and gear selector.
Optional extras fitted to the test vehicle included the $1500 tow bar and the $3800 hard lid. Buyers can also option a matte paint finish in Indium Grey or Ravenna Blue for $3900 and a optional rear diff lock is $1250.
The Euro 6 Aventura is a much improved unit compared with its predecessor and will be more than a match for the forthcoming X-Class V6 4Matic from Mercedes-Benz. Let the battle of the Teutonic tote-alls commence.
Model Volkswagen Amarok V6 Aventura
Price $89,990 Engine 2967cc, 6-Cylinder, 190kW/580Nm
Transmission 8-speed auto
Service 20,000km intervals, 3 year / 100,000km warranty
Vitals 8.6L/100km, 3080kg GVM, 1010kg payload,
3500kg towing capacity, 2070kg kerb weight