Our family have been dedicated users of the popular T/tough luxury utilities for many years, but I wanted a change, so I tried an Amarok Core Plus – loved the driving finesse, eight-speed gearbox, reliability and economy.
Towing accounts for around 50 per cent of our driving so, after logging many kilometres in the Core Plus, went looking for more power. Tested the other most powerful utes on the market, then borrowed a new Highline V6 for a trip towing our caravan. I was amazed by the V6's quietness, brute power, the beautiful harmony between the engine and eight-speed transmission and the economy.
It was a convincing package so ordered a new Highline TDI550. It is now one week old and has logged 4250km, towing a one-tonne trailer.
I would suggest the Amarok TDI550 is the best utility currently sold in Australia. It is a great car to drive: quiet, powerful, comfortable and the first utility with four-wheel disc brakes. It is a great vehicle for long distance touring.
The engine gearbox combination make one just want to keep on driving and the braking capabilities are as good as any luxury large sedan.
The Amarok lacks some of the high-tech stuff found in the other top selling utilities, but I wanted the best mechanical package available and am not disappointed. Amaroks have a very solid body, which does not creak and groan over rough terrain and are rattle free.
There are also many hidden smart features which other brands do not know about. Headlights adjustable from the driver's seat, heated rear vision mirrors, reversing sensors which automatically cut out when a trailer is coupled, trailer sway control, auto dimming rear-view mirror, tyre pressure monitoring, oil level in cabin readout, auto wipers and lights, ice on road indicator and many more smart driver assist items.
The exterior of the VW does not have the bling that other popular makes have, but the whole package exudes above average quality.
Our local VW dealer provides excellent service and back-up – servicing costs a little more than the other brand, but is also at 15,000km intervals instead of 10,000 km. Our VWs are covered by VW's five-year warranty, which can be negotiated with your dealer.