It became obvious during Polokwane Observer’s recent road trip why well known South African expedition leader and television personality, Johan Badenhorst chose the Volkswagen Amarok as preferred vehicle to conquer thousands of kilometres across Africa to Egypt as well as a second tour covering the breadth of the continent on the Equator.
“As far as the vehicles were concerned, there were no problems. In fact, I rate the eight-speed automatic as probably the best I have ever driven. It is smooth, luxurious, economical, comfortable… you run out of superlatives. It is a fantastic vehicle with incredible 4×4 ability,” Badenhorst was quoted saying about the Amarok.
The publication was provided with the new Amarok V6 for a road trip to Alldays last week and Badenhorst’s descriptions on this superb vehicle were spot on.
When it comes to looks the Amarok stands out from any crowd whether it is in an urban environment or in the bush. A redesigned bumper adds to the boldness of the vehicle while big wheel arches hosts on and off-road wheel capable of taking on any terrain.
A high-resolution display and animated menu guidance ensure a user-friendly cockpit with easy controls. A multifunction steering wheel adds to the comfort as the driver keeps up to date with information such as remaining range, outside temperature and average consumption at the touch of a button.
High temperatures in the Bushveld is no factor in the cabin. The air-conditioning system offers 2-zone temperature control for the driver and front passenger, manual air recirculation and an air quality sensor. Depending on the intensity of the sun’s rays and the outside temperature, the air conditioning adds more or less cool air to ensure the interior temperature remains comfortable.
The semi-automatic air-conditioning system has an interior sensor to constantly compare the interior temperature with the desired temperature in the vehicle, and then adjusts it accordingly.
Up to three 12 volt sockets are available inside the vehicle: one in the dash panel, one in the central console and one in the second row of seats. A fourth socket is located in the load bin for external power requirements.
It is when one hits the challenging road consisting of ample heavy vehicles and quite some dangerous potholes that the Amarok surprises even more.
It is powerful like no other and the 165 kW six-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 3.0 litre capacity has more than enough reserves, even in the most demanding situations. Overtaking is easy as the Amarok quickly works through its gears and the solid feel on the road makes dodging potholes at high speeds feel safe.
Additional power comes from the overboost function, which briefly increases the performance of the engine depending on the driving situation. Equally unique is the combination of the eight-speed automatic gearbox with permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive.
While the first gear has been specially optimised for pulling off on steep slopes and when towing a trailer, the eighth gear reduces fuel consumption through low-speed driving on long journeys.
In conclusion the Amarok is uncompromising German engineering perfectly adaptable to any African situation thrown its way.
For more information on the vehicle visit Volkswagen Polokwane on the corner of Mandela Drive and Grobler Street or contact the sales team on 015 299 8800.
Story: RC Myburgh