Carry-all Amarok for

those who log on in

winter

SOthat's Christmas over with.

That festive enthusiasm brings with it such essentials as catching up with old friends although I have given up on that one, it is not fun spending a winter's night in the graveyard.

It is a time of year when a good English breakfast wine can be enjoyed without fear of raised eyebrows, the neighbour's obnoxious kids brought to tears by telling them Santa has been killed in a sleigh crash

Another seasonal must is logs, piles of hand-crafted logs so that the doors can be shut and cheery blazes set for the duration.

For which transport is required and I can think of little better for woodland foraging than the enormous VW Amarok Highline 4Motion eight-speed auto pick-up.

With a huge V6 lump under the bonnet the Amarok is hardly the epitome of moderation with a claimed 36mph average from the three-litre diesel, although I has being told by the car's own monitor that the average was 26mpg.

CO2 is pumped out at 203g/km, not surprisingly.

On the other side of the coin this does translate to a nine-second 0-60mph time which is quite acceptable for a working vehicle as big as a medium county.

It also comes with pleasing road manners.

Rear leaf springs there may be but it is hardly flustered in everyday use and also in permanent four-wheel drive with a single button to press for added off-road traction which was effective beyond any shadow of doubt across some of the roughest stuff I could find in Lancashire, a county currently twinned with Atlantis.

Which would matter not a jot if the interior was done out like a brickie's lunch box.

But it is not, the demand for these vehicles as everyday transport has pushed trim levels ever higher.

While the finish is practical it is also soft and comforting with heated leather seats, manual not electric and a Spartan but workable view of equipment from the driver's position.

Electronically there is connection to apps, DAB radio and a multifunctional touch screen with voice activation.

Your investment is protected by parking cameras and sensors and stainless steel side bars.

Climate and cruise control, four workmanlike sockets and leather steering wheel are all included which you will expect when you see the price.

Safety features are will covered, off-road ABS, anti-slip, dill control and ESP keep everything on the level with a diff-lock a standard part of the all-terrain setting..

A step is built into the rear bumper but the leash for pulling over the load cover is difficult to reach with the tailgate closed.

This is a cultured and enjoyable drive with little to indicate it is first and foremost a car for hard work.

Obviously it is a double cab and there is plenty of room for three large rear passengers, a good sized centre console storage box and seat back pockets.

The rear seats split and fold.

For all this comfort, style and ability you know you must pay.

On the road with an optional navigation system, towbar and fancy trim colours this will set you back £38,659.

And finally a seasonal joke. I was stopped by the police the other night after running into some turnips.

I told them I did not realise what I had hit. Apparently I now have to atttend a swede awareness course.

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