Gottagged

Goliath strikes again

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By: Charles Molefe

With the ever-improving climate we are facing, we are slowly getting back into what can be deemed as the norm. We have been able to get our hands on a number of vehicles and our latest test car came in the form of the ever-present Volkswagen AMAROK CANYON, the CANYON is one of the latest bakkies that come from the German manufacturer and serves to leave its mark on the segment. Using the tried and tested foundation the CANYON manages to etch itself into a highly competitive segment.

Aesthetics

Volkswagen spares no change when it comes to the presentation of its latest products and the CANYON is no different, the ample interior is filled with materials that are built to last and provide peace of mind. Traditionalists often believe that too many electronics tend to free up a lot of room for failure, however, Volkswagen has implemented their technological advances in a very subtle manner. The vehicle comes equipped with dual-zone air-conditioned climate control; heated seats which are a R 5,300.00 option that is encased as the Winter package that entails the following.

  • Washer fluid level indicator.
  • Heated washer nozzles in front.
  • Seat heater for front seats separately controlled.

Where I find the AMAROK lacking is the use of its ample space, the driver and front passenger have to, unfortunately, share the one USB charging port available, there is also the option of utilising the 12v socket but why when you can just have more than one USB, other manufacturers provide it so I think it’s time Volkswagen implements such creature comforts. The AMAROK can be considered dated as the interior has not changed much, it features the same layout we experienced in the V6 and the DARK LABEL, the slight difference is in the stitching that has been infused into the seats, pretty attractive if you ask me, another plus that is included in the CANYON is the floor mats that signify that you are in something limited.

Standard equipment includes.

  • Front side windows in heat-insulating glass, rear side windows and rear window in privacy glass.
  • Leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel (3-spoke).
  • Driver and front passenger airbags with a front passenger airbag deactivation.
  • Exterior mirrors, power-adjustable, heated and folding.
  • Bi-xenon headlamps with separate LED daytime running lights.

This is the type of technology you will struggle to find in the upper echelons of the vast luxury vehicles we have on offer, especially without ticking the optional extras column.

Volkswagen has provided a very compelling product that can manage to sway you away from the countless “boring” sedans that dominate our roads. The bakkie segment is slowly taking over and the AMAROK is by far one of the leaders in this segment, especially when it comes to standard features, and that is more than enough to sway me from the common choice.

Presence has never been an issue with the AMAROK, it manages to fill up each and every road it’s on and also has the ability to feel like a normal car whilst having a unique way of bossing slow-moving traffic out of its way. This trait bodes very well, especially when you consider that the CANYON tips the scales at over 1.8 tonnes

Entertainment

This sphere is mastered very well, the CANYON comes equipped with the Composition Media system which boasts 6 speakers that will easily draw your local body corporate members and annoyed neighbours’ attention, audio is crisp, clean, and extremely satisfying. The system has the ability to grant you access to the latest media formats currently available, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirror-Link simulate your phone’s interface and provides you with access to navigation tools such as Google Maps and WAZE, which always leave me wondering if you really need to tick the optional navigation software that is often a pricey option.

Performance

The CANYON is really no different from the V6, especially on the performance front, 0-100 km/h is achieved in a claimed 8.0 seconds, we conducted a bit of our own testing and we were very close to those figures, the 100 km/h coming up in a brisk 8.9 seconds and the quarter-mile was dispatched in 16.00, a couple of years back you would have laughed at the prospect of a 1.8-tonne behemoth that can carry five and boast a towing capacity of 3000 kg to achieve those numbers.

Fuel economy is claimed at just 9.0 litres per 100 kilometres, however, during our test tenure, those numbers proved that to be very accurate, albeit slightly higher, but I really have no complaints especially when a vehicle weighs so much. The CANYON provides endless hard acceleration and relentless thrust, this is all due to the magic the engineers have implemented into the V6,  the vehicle will go into a temporary over-boost mode that gives the driver a full complement of 180 kW and 580 Nm of torque, this additional power is available for a short period of 10 seconds but it is more than sufficient to rocket past any obstacle.

It’s a pity that I didn’t have the opportunity to test its off-road capabilities, but I am certain that my previous experiences with the AMAROK have been translated into the extremely capably chassis. The drivetrain features a host of technological advancements that will come in handy during an excursion. Features include tyre pressure monitor, Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP), Electronic Trailer Stabilisation, Hill Descent Assist, Off-Road ABS with Hill Hold Assist.

Summary

It is evident that the Bakkie segment is creeping into the luxury sedan market and managing to steal some loyal consumers. I for one would not mind having a vehicle that provides all-round capability and utility with one breath. The CANYON provides ample performance, great comfort and has the added benefit of being able to ruff it out with the toughest of the opposition.

There is not much I can fault with the CANYON, it does everything it claims to do and well. Would I take up finance and add it as a daily vehicle? Yes, without a doubt, it’s a pity that the 190kW AMAROK is knocking on our shores, expect a Q4 arrival, and as I have always maintained, the higher the power the better the experience, so if you intend to embarrass a number of hot hatches hang on to your horses and hold tight for the upcoming powerhouse.

Gottagged Rating

9.0/ 10

Pricing

R 852 800.00

Warranty

  • 3 year/ 100 000km manufacturer warranty,

Service Plan

  • 5 year/ 90 000km Genuine Automotion Service Plan.
  • 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.
  • The service interval is 15 000km.

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