WHEN A pick-up truck costs you a kick in the shirt off £40,000, then it has to be a good one.

I’d say that the Volkswagen Amarok in Aventura spec’, fitted with its best new mate, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel (replacing the outgoing 2.0-litre diesel), gets you pretty close to thinking that the money had been well spent – but not quite.

In short, it is still a ‘work vehicle’, even though it comes fitted with the bells and whistles that you would expect for that kind of cash. Paying that amount is also unthinkable when you could get a high spec’ Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux for 10 grand cheaper.

I have no doubt that it will still sell quite well, but this is more of a boys with toys vehicle than one you would go through fire and mud with to round up cows.

The spec’ list, though, is pretty impressive. That excellent V6 – as stolen from the Tuareg SUV in particular – is a gem of an engine. It is rated at 221bhp in the Aventura and I do not think I have ever been in a pick-up with so much ‘poke’.

A detuned 201bhp version kicks off the range, but this higher-powered version gets what VW call ‘overboost’, which means the engine management system kicks in with an added 15bhp or so when called upon, taking it up to 235bhp – not unlike the ‘powerboost’ effect in modern tractors.

It’s a sweet match, too, for the eight-speed automatic gearbox, which again filters down from the luxury 4 x 4 side of VW. Of course, it is fitted with the 4Motion intelligent four-wheel-drive system.

That all, however, makes it quite a thirsty beast and the quoted combined figure of 36.2mpg is in cloud cuckoo land as I struggled to get it anywhere much above 30mpg.

And that’s despite it coming fitted with an AdBlue system which is supposed to improve mpg. Its green-ness is also assisted by the use of a diesel particulate filter – which means that you have to give it a ‘roasting’ every now and then to unblock its pores!

But, it will do the timed 0-62mp run in an unseemly – at least for a pick-up – eight seconds. I confirm that this is possible!

Inside the cabin, the interior has had a serious refresh, with a fairly full-on ‘infotainment’ system controlled via the large touchscreen.

From the outside, new front bumper and radiator grille design with front fog lights, plus new alloys set this apart from the old model.

There’s also a comprehensive list of safety equipment as standard on all in the range – stuff like four airbags, electronic stabilisation and the award-winning automatic post-collision braking system.

There’s also a ‘Park Pilot’ set-up and the rear-view camera is a boon when hitching up trailers and manoeuvring into tight spaces.

Three spec’ levels are VW basics – Startline, Trendline and Highline – with special editions, like the Aventura, will be offered from time to time.

That range-topper gets bi-xenon headlights, 19-inch alloys (with 255/55 wide tyres and arch extensions) and the load bed of the cargo box also has a matt black Durabed coating.

But those expecting that all that clobber means it will be able to tow the now industry standard of 3.5 tonnes, will be disappointed. The Amarok Aventura is rated at only 3.1 tonnes, which will seriously limit its appeal to the ‘farming’ buyer.

Prices for the new model start at £32,493 (RRP OTR) for the Trendline with 201 bhp. The limited edition Aventura costs £39,381 on the road ... Ouch!