I DON'T sample commercial vehicles too often and that's the sector the Volkswagen Amarok is in.
But for drivers who need a tough go-anywhere pick-up - along with a good bit of luxury - this could be an alternative to the many SUVs that are available.
This model was a top-of-the-range Amarok Aventura 3.0 V6 TDI 224ps 4Motion.
With its permanent four-wheel drive it has full off-road capability but my drive was confined to the tarmac.
It is an ideal load lugger for tradesmen, with a large 2.5 square metres cargo area that is so wide it can apparently house a Euro pallet sideways.
The tailgate flips down easily and my springtime garage clean-up was carried out with lots of room to spare and meant just the one visit to the local recycling centre.
The area, with four lashing rings, can be also be used to pack plenty of leisure equipment for all the family - with driver and four passengers accommodated in the double cab.
Because of the width of the pick-up you get loads of elbow room up front and in the rear where three passengers can sit in comfort, with lots of head and leg room.
And you don't fall short of car-like comfort and technology when you're travelling in the Amarok.
In fact you get premium finish in this model with top features including Vienna leather upholstery, heated front seats, climatronic air con, leather gearshift cover and leather multi-function steering wheel.
Other interior highlights are Media nav system with a 6.33-inch touchscreen and voice enhancer, DAB radio with six speakers and App-Connect.
It's stacked with safety and security equipment that on all versions includes VW's post-collision braking system which reduces the chance or severity of a secondary accident after a collision.
The Amarok offers good all-round vision with its high seating position and a bright interior features an attractive fascia.
On the road, its big V6 engine was, as you would imagine, never short of muscle.
It powers this large pick-up to 62mph in just eight seconds and boasts a top speed of 119mph, moving sweetly through an eight-speed automatic gearbox with the option of manual shifts.
Despite its impressive performance the claimed fuel consumption figure is a healthy 36.2mpg combined with CO2 emissions of 204g/km.
Helping the 2017 Amarok achieve these figures are fuel-saving BlueMotion modifications that include stop/start and energy recuperation systems
This isn't the type of vehicle for powering along winding, country roads but it did provide much better handling than I expected with lots of grip on cornering.
There was plenty of kick-down oomph when needed and the engine was never too noisy.
Ride comfort wasn't too harsh either and the Amarok was pretty smooth cruising along at motorway speeds.
You do have to look for large parking spaces but this was assisted by the front and rear distance control and rear view camera.
Exterior highlights include 19-inch Cantera alloys, bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps with cornering light, LED licence plate lighting and stainless steel side bars.
The Amarok is a pick-up that won't look out of place sitting in your driveway with the test model coming in a stunning Ravenna Blue Metallic colour.