Brazilian Brawl: Battle of the Mighty Mini Pickups

Posted on 23. May, 2010 by in Auto News

After some time on my hands, I ventured back into cardealershipland. Wanted to get my hands on the mini-mites that get many live an urban Brazilian cowboy dream. Do you know the reputation of the sertão (That's what you think, what we call the Pampas.) Made in the left corner, all the way from Italy, but in Brazil, the perennial leader and Strada Adventure Locker. In the right corner, the Germans small titanium that. All new VW Saveiro Cross Suspect because the long name can be, these are the top of the line offerings from each manufacturer. Both offer cheaper, less trim levels for everyday life and / or work routine. So keep your cavalos, Vaqueiro, I mean, hold your horses, cowboy! How to get to the top?

Right off the bat, I must tell you that the two car companies have different approaches. When designing their car-based pickups Fiat considered it more "real" as a candidate still feels like a pick-up. Veedub went the other way and the recognition of the reality of the market, sought, the mini truck. All the handling characteristics of a normal car Thusly, the Fiat Strada is more tail-happy and busy-ride, while the VW Saveiro Cross is composed and surprisingly car-like. But this at the expense of the smaller (light) off-road capacity and low (easy) ability to carry weight is (685kg for the Italian and the German 661kg – as if someone care).

The Fiat Strada offers extended and crew cab versions of this trim. The Saveiro Cross comes in extended cab form. The Fiat is a hair roomier in expanded form (300Lx280L by Brazilian website vrum.com.br), not to mention the crew cab if you would hard pressed to put four full-bodied Americans in the crew cab (only 2 doors). Of course, deriving as they do from the Fiat Palio and VW Gol, internal dimensions are similar to their originators. So it is no surprise that the Italians find, master, scarce space within homes, their cars seem roomier and more accommodating than Germany. Shades of People without space.

After the widely read Brazilian website bestcars.com.br the Strada is a GM-based and very antique engine. It has 1.8L and packs 112 or 114 horses (if off topped with Brazilian gasoline or ethanol) and is very torquey, if rather hard and loud at higher speeds (in character with his American heart and totally out of character of his Italian adoptive parents) . The Saveiro comes with a 1.6L mill, which is good for 101hp or 104hp (the former gasoline, ethanol latter). It's pretty loud at higher speeds due to its short gear. The Strada is ultimately faster, reaches a top speed of 111 mph on ethanol, while the Saveiro goes up to 109 mph (or ethanol). The Strada also accelerates better, always from zero to 100 km / h in 11.2 seconds, while the Saveiro does the same thing a second slower (both using ethanol to get their best scores).

But numbers do not tell the whole story. Sit in the captain's chair makes the Strada a better impression on me. The seats, steering wheel and pedals are perfectly aligned. The Saveiro, the pedals are shifted to the right, so I got the car to a halt, when they press to stop panicking my left foot shot forward to the clutch and found nothing but air. Both are instructions with 5 courses. The Saveiro has shorter throws and is more accurate, but buy it is always loud! There is a certain thump every time you handle the. I prefer the slight blurriness and more raises the Strada. I can withou the audible feedback (Shock! Thump!) each gear change.

The Fiat Strada comes with dedicated off-road tires. They squeak and protest when provoked. Above legal speeds they can not really do a good job of keeping the tail in. The Saveiro is how much car and comes with useless 50/50 on / off road tires, if you can decide to dedicated off-road rubber. It is certainly more neutral corners, although the factory makeup should offer his opinion and legitimate on the road only tires. For most people buy the car that would be ideal. It would improve the handling limits.

Honestly though, testing in Brazil come with a salesperson at your side. And they do not like to take more than 15 minutes, not even. However, I have it for at least 30 minutes and scared my co-driver a few times, though it was strictly urban traffic. Braking felt consistently in both pickups the same as the setup (drums front, rear wheels – ABS optional for both). Lighter than 125kg, the Saveiro felt more spritely, although the figures show the Strada is always faster (again bestcars.com.br).

Inside, nothing to gloat. The Saveiro Cross is better than the new VW Fox inherited the instruments, but not much else. There's nothing really exclusive to this version (same blue / red light, et al.) The Strada offers some gloss over regular run-of-the-mill Palio instrumenration with different lighting (yellow / red as the rest of the family orange / red contrast) and some completely useless doctrines, like a tilt sensor on the dashboard.