This may sound weird in most countries, but not in Brazil. Imagine a VW Polo pick-up. Built over the PQ25 platform, with a bed that carries only 580 l, or about the same side of a big sedan trunk. What would be the use of such a small pick-up? Well, the fact is that it exists. And for a long time. Now Volkswagen has presented the restyled Polo pick-up. Which is, in fact, based on a car that is based on Polo, the Gol. And the pick-up is called Saveiro.
Why not buy a midsize truck? Money. Midsize trucks are incredibly expensive for the Brazilian middle class and even more difficult to afford to poor people. If they need to have a vehicle with a bed to carry large objects, they will have to buy these B-segment pick-ups. Besides the VW Saveiro, Brazil also has the Chevrolet Montana, also sold in Mexico as Tornado, and Fiat offers the Strada, which is very likely to disappear with the new Toro, a larger pick-up that is a little more affordable.
Volkswagen claims to have spent R$ 200 million in its restyled pick-up. That amount to around US$ 55.8 million and includes the money spent in new production tools. It also claims the pick-up tries to distance itself from the car it is derived from. A mere restyling cannot do that alone, so it is just slightly different from the Gol.
The brand has focused the presentation in the two main body variations of the pick-up, the CE (Cabine Estendida, or Extended Cab) and the CD (Cabine Dupla, or double cab), as well as in its most expensive trims. All of them have the same length (4.49 m), width (1.71 m) and wheelbase (2.75 m) and base versions are equipped with the 1.6 4 cylinder MSI engine, in fact an EA111 powerplant that delivers 76 kW at 5,250 rpm and 153 Nm at 2,500 rpm on ethanol (it is flex). The only transmission option is a 5-speed manual.
Variations occur mostly on height and bed size. The CS (Cabine Simples, single cab) is 1.55 m tall and has a 927 l bed and is able to carry up to 712 kg. The CE is 1.53 m and has a 734 l bed. It can carry up to 680 kg. And the CD is 1.59 m high (not only due to a taller cabin, but also to an increase in ground clearance that comes with the Cross trim) and has a 580 l bed. Its cargo capacity varies from 607 kg to 667 kg.
The Saveiro Cross is equipped with a different 1.6 engine, with 4 valves per cylinder instead of 2 and from a newer family, the EA211. This engine generates 88 kW at 5,750 rpm and 165 Nm at 4,000 rpm. It has a 23 mm higher ground clearance and loads of equipments that make it cost almost as much as Fiat charges for the entry-level Toro.
Prices for the new pick-up in Brazil are as follows, even if they are always prone to getting higher in a few weeks due to the new inflation levels this government has recovered from the 1980’s. And these are just the starting prices, which can get a lot higher with options.
Robust CS: R$ 45.530 (US$ 12,711)
Trendline CS: R$ 47.970 (US$ 13,393)
Trendline CE: R$ 52.730 (US$ 14,722)
Trendline CD: R$ 56.270 (US$ 15,710)
Highline CD: R$ 63.070 (US$ 17,609)
Cross CE: R$ 66.110 (US$ 18,457)
Cross CD: R$ 69.250 (US$ 19,334)
For the price of a Saveiro Cross you can buy a Chevrolet Colorado in the USA. Or a brand-new Renault Duster Oroch, one of the models the restyled Saveiro wants to resist. It is not as big as a Colorado, but it is also not so small as a Saveiro. Brazilian distorsions tend to be corrected little by little. When they are.