Volkswagen has designed and built the Saveiro especially for the South American market. The vehicle was developed with a pretty small budget so don’t expect to the same quality as the European Volkswagen products.
Though, the Saveiro keeps many Volkswagen traits which make it a highly desirable pickup, such as reliability and strong build quality.
The Volkswagen Saveiro competes on the South American market with models like the Fiat Strada, Chevrolet Montana o or Ford Courier. It’s powered by a 1.6 liter four cylinder flex fuel engine capable of running on both gasoline and ethanol blends.
The vehicle is offered in three trim levels namely the Saveiro, Saveiro Trooper and Saveiro Cross (or Cavalier). The Volkswagen Saveiro is also available in both single and extended cab configurations with maximum payloads of 715 kg and 700 kg respectively.
The Volkswagen Saveiro is one of the best looking pickups from the market. It’s true that it’s not as fancy as the Chevrolet Montana, nor as rugged as the Fiat Strada, but it has anything it needs to be considered a modern looking compact pickup truck.
The classical minimalist style – which is typical for Volkswagen – has been combined with various lines borrowed from Volkswagen’s latest European models, especially from the Tiguan SUV.
The overall design is clean and elegant, but we especially like the front end’s style which is pretty dynamic. The grille is flanked by a set of sharp headlights which give the vehicle a touch of sportiness, while the bumper is pretty rugged and basic, underlining the utilitarian character of the pickup.
Along the sides, there is a sporty crease which runs between the wheels and integrated footsteps placed next to the rear wheels to help you during loading or unloading operations.
Around the back you’ll find a big Volkswagen logo mounted on the taillight, with the Saveiro name embossed underneath it and a set of robust taillights.
The Volkswagen Saveiro’s cab of fairly spacious and you have plenty of leg- and head-room. The interior design is pretty conventional and we continue to be impressed by Volkswagen’s ability to combine simplicity with elegance. The build quality is impressive, but the materials and plastics are part of the third class and betray the utilitarian nature of the vehicle.
The U-shaped center stack is neatly integrated into the dash board and features an intuitive layout with every control placed within easy reach.
The gear knob is nested between the seats and has a pretty ergonomic design, falling easy into the hand.
The multifunctional three spoke steering wheel is a bit thin for our tastes and its design won’t win you any beauty awards.
The storage department includes a set of cup holders, a generous glove box, door pockets on both doors and an additional storage area that can be found behind the seats (available for the extended cab).
The Saveiro’s seats are pretty basic but they offer proper side and lateral support and also come with enough adjustments to help you get cozy behind the steering wheel. Needless to say, that the outward visibility is very good, thanks to the wide windscreen and the generous lateral windows.
The superior trim level offers standard 15 inch aluminum wheels, air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, audio system with Bluetooth, driver and passenger airbag and ABS.
Engines and performance
The Volkswagen Saveiro is powered by a 1.6 liter Total Flex engine which can run on both gasoline and ethanol fuel.
The engine is pretty refined and has enough punch to keep the vehicle nimble around the city. Maximum power is rated at 104 hp @ 5250 and 152 Nm of torque achieved from as low as 2500 rpm. The engine deals well with heavy loads too and can hit the 100 kmph mark in 10.5 seconds (Ethanol version) which is slightly faster than most of the vehicles found in this class.
The Volkswagen Saveiro is equipped with a five speed manual transmission which offers smooth shifts and precise gear changes being one of the best units you can find around.
Volkswagen Saveiro Engines performance
| Engines ||Fuel || hp @ rpm || Nm @ rpm || top speed – kmph |
| 1.6 liter || Gasoline || 104 @ 5250 || 151 @ 2500 || 177 |
| 1.6 lier || Ethanol || 104 @ 5250 || 152 @ 2500 || 179 |
Ride and handling
The Volkswagen Saveiro is equipped with front Independent McPherson struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar, while at the back it gets independent suspensions with longitudinal arm and stabilizer bar.
The ride quality is pretty comfortable and the Saveiro can soak the bumps well even when it’s unloaded. The handling is decent, but the body roll is pretty pronounced.
The hydraulic power steering however is a bit light and is almost completely devoid of road feedback.
Luckily the stopping power is fairly strong. The front ventilated disc and the rear drums inspire enough confidence to make you feel safe. Unfortunately the base trim level doesn’t come with ABS, but it can be found on the options list.
The Volkswagen Saveiro isn’t as refined as Volkswagen’s European models, but it’s a pretty capable and rugged workhorse which will do all your dirty jobs without whining.
The build quality is part of the first class, but the materials and plastics used inside aren’t exactly stellar. The 1.6 liter engine is fairly refined and it’s at par with what you’d usually get in this segment. The price however is a bit spicy.