LDV eT60 2023 review
It's Australia's first fully electric ute, but is the price simply too high?
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As far as niches go, offering an Australian designed and engineered German-branded dual-cab ute made in South Africa with an American muscle-car heart and glamorous luxury features is quite a unique one.
Enter the Aventura, starting from $79,990 before on-road costs. Available with a choice of two very different powertrains, it is the flagship version of the second-generation VW Amarok for now.
Most buyers will probably choose the 184kW/600Nm 3.0-litre V6 diesel that's marketed as the TDI600. It's paired to a 10-speed automatic and has a permanent 4WD system with selectable low and high ranges. And why wouldn't they? It offers the pulling power of lots of torque as well as comparatively low fuel consumption.
Still, petrol engines are rare amongst medium-sized utes, so we should be grateful that the Aventura goes there with memorable aplomb – all thanks to a variation of Ford's Mustang-derived 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine.
Delivering 222kW of power and 452Nm of torque and dubbed TSI452, it follows the TDI600 in driving all four wheels via a permanent 4WD system and a 10-speed automatic transmission. It's said to be the most powerful ute with a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity offered in Australia. It's also the thirstiest Amarok.
You could think of the Aventura TSI452 as a sort of Ranger Raptor Junior, given its high-performance turbo petrol engine. But VW has instead positioned it (and the Aventura TDI600 diesel) as a luxurious premium ute experience instead.
To that end, there are the massive 21-inch alloy wheels, a monotube damper set-up for better body control as well as ride quality, some very plush leather trim, lashings of extra chrome and a moulded sail plane with powered tub cover.
Matrix LED headlights, ambient lighting, insulated windscreen, a stitched vinyl-like dashboard covering, powered/heated front seats, a 12.0-inch touchscreen, high-end Harmon Kardon audio upgrade and a 360-degree area-view camera are also present.
The Aventura doesn't scrimp on driver-assist safety either, thanks to Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control with full stop/go, a blind-spot monitor, lane keep/departure, swerve-steer assist, traffic sign recognition and rear-cross traffic alert. Plus, it has nine airbags (including a front-centre item) too.
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