2019 Mercedes-Benz X 350 d v Volkswagen Amarok V6 Comparison | carsales

2019 Mercedes-Benz X 350 d v Volkswagen Amarok V6 Comparison | carsales


There’s been a lot of hotly anticipated
comparison test between German vehicles in Australia over the years. There’s been hot hatches and mega sports
sedans and even mad SUVs but here’s something you never thought you’d see in the Aussie
outback, a shootout between a Mercedes-Benz and a Volkswagen to decide the best high performance
V6 dual cab unit in Australia. Yes, this is all about bragging rights. These two boast big numbers in a number of
different ways. The Benz tops the lot for price at around
$80,000 before options, accessories and on roads and at more than $70,000 before on roads
the Volkswagen will cost you a fair chunk of change as well. Everyone pretty much knows by now the new
X class is based on the Nissan Navara. Although this V6 version gets a Benz engine
gearbox and permanent 4×4 system. The Amarok is all VW’s own work of course
and its been around for years. What’s new is this appropriately named ultimate
versions performance. A lot of the chat with these two is about
what’s going on under the bonnet. Well they’ve both got three litre turbo
diesel V6’s so it’s all squared there but drill down a bit further and it’s the
Amarok with the advantage. 200 kilowatts on over boost, 580 newton metres
on tour, not only pips the bends but it makes it the most powerful truck in the class. Its also got the advantage when it comes to
automatic transmissions as well, eight speeds versus seven. Hit the loud pedal and the VW accelerates
that bit faster. But the Benz has the slight edge when it comes
to fuel consumption. Boil it down and they’re both efficient
engines but the Benz lets itself down when it comes to drivability. I’m really disappointed by the amount of
turbo lag at tip in throttle in the X3. Press, wait, turbo boost, go. It lets the vehicle down in those short, sharp
acceleration bursts that you need especially in town. But it’s not like the Amarok gets away scot
free either. It has its issues. When you get into the really nitty gritty
stuff the Amarok just lacks that one key essential, low range gearing. Sure there’s an off road mode and there’s
locking difs and so on but where it really hurts is finite throttle control. It’s just still a bit coarse. You could really use that low-range gearing. Otherwise these two are very closely matched
off road. We put them over some really challenging [unclear]
rangers and desert tracks and they both survived. Only occasionally touching down or having
to work out where the drive went but never being stopped for long. But sadly it’s not just rough terrain that
takes the gloss of these vehicles. Considering it’s brand new and 80k the Benz
just does not have a classy enough interior. At least it’s quite in the cabin and that’s
not the only refined aspect of the Benz. The X350’s ride quality is quite outstanding. It deals with corrugations in a way that most
other dual cabs couldn’t even hope to approach. It’s really comfortable. As for the Amarok, well it’s clearly showing
its age because it lacks autonomous emergency braking and rear side airbags. Look out here in the flinders, not having
A, B rear side airbags might not be such a big deal but back in town it’ll be a deal
breaker for some people. At least the Amarok has Apple Car play and
Android auto and steering column reach adjustment all of which are missing from the $80,000
Mercedes. Gobsmacking. You’ve probably picked up that I’ve ended
my time with these two vehicles a bit frustrated. If I had to pick a winner it would be the
Benz. Simply because it has the safety equipment
edge over the Volkswagen not because it’s a fundamentally better vehicle. In fact in both cases I’d say we deserve
more for the money that’s being charged here. There’s a lot of profit being made out of
[unclear] by car manufacturers at the moment, that’s for sure.