Total luxury with grunt

Always keen to try new things, Cambridge News editor Claire Castle got to try out a new Volkswagen Amarok V6 Aventura for the weekend…

Claire Castle with the Volkswagen Amarok V6 Aventura, which she did not want to give back to the dealership. Photo – Ann Huston.

I was excited to get to try out a ute – I’ve never driven one before – and considering my regular car is a 2001 Toyota Camry station wagon with the ceiling upholstery held on by gun staples, it wasn’t going to take much for it to feel like a big jump in luxury. I was not disappointed, and frankly I feel that I was born to drive such a luxurious vehicle.

There were a number of things that I really liked about it. It has a reversing camera (of course) and sensors along the sides, which give you a warning if you get too close to something. It shows up on the dashboard display which makes it so easy to navigate. It’s a big vehicle, with a presence on the road, but somehow that didn’t seem to make it hard to park.

I also really liked being able to chuck stuff on the back – perfect for bikes – and I was impressed that the water seemed to drain away really quickly after the night’s downpour.

It was high, as well, but not so high that mum couldn’t get into it, and the kids managed it fine as well. I took it for a spin out to Raglan on Sunday, and it handled the corners like a dream. Sometimes in a high vehicle it can feel as though it’s got a really high centre of gravity around corners, however it was not the case at all. It was smooth around all the corners and, being a V6, had great pickup.

It says it has a “masculine design” in the blurb, and I’m not sure what that means exactly, but as a woman I was very comfortable driving it.

It’s the kind of vehicle you could use for work and also take the family away on holiday in.

There weren’t really any downsides with this ute, apart from having to give it back, although some passengers remarked that there was an echoey acoustic in the cab – which is certainly not a major. It can do all the grunty ute things you would expect and more, but can also function really well around town. It also apparently has permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive, so it can switch from on road to off road in the blink of an eye. It is one seriously cool vehicle, and I was sad to part with it.

The ute was supplied courtesy of Ebbett Volkswagen in Hamilton.

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