What To Purchase: 1986–1992 Yugo


From the April 2023 challenge of Automotive and Driver.

Again in ’87, Yugo’s advert jingle stated to “purchase your self some freedom, purchase a Yugo.” The Yugoslavian-built automobile virtually flew out of showrooms in its first three years, and almost 40 years after it made headlines for its standing as the most affordable new automobile within the U.S. at $3990 plus $389 vacation spot, all people nonetheless has a Yugo story to inform, a Yugo joke to crack, and a former Yugo proprietor to spoof. Present up at a Vehicles & Espresso in your Giugiaro-reskinned, Yugoslavia-built Fiat 127 clone and watch it out-Instagram each different automobile round it.

The Yugo’s sub-2000-pound curb weight is not the one small spec. The GV’s 55-hp engine means no Yugo will ever win a traffic-light drag, nor can it outhandle a well-ridden e-bike. And it is unlikely to be the following featured marque at Pebble Seaside. However as a bargain-basement time machine hot-wired to the late Chilly Conflict period—assume Richard Marx, Paula Abdul, and the earliest days of the web—nothing comes shut.


Initially developed by Fiat, the carb-fed SOHC 1-liter inline-four sits deep within the Yugo’s cavity, partly hid by the spare tire, and musters 55 horsepower at a loud 6000 rpm. Driving the thin 13-inch entrance wheels by way of a free four-speed gearbox and a whiny diff, it propels the 1860-pound four-seater to 60 mph in a leisurely but vocal 14.0 seconds. Some later fashions allegedly received a fuel-injected 64-hp 1.3-liter and a five-speed gearbox.

“The typical C/D reader will regard the Yugo not as an actual automobile however, at finest, as a carlike curiosity.”—Tony Assenza, C/D, April 1986


It’s potential to discover a respectable Yugo and get it tiptop for below $5000 (and even cheaper if you buy in Europe, because the writer did), however the marketplace for these cute little Trabant-beating runabouts is oddly robust. Carry a Trailer just lately auctioned a Yugo for $8100. Should you can find one on the market, an honest specimen nonetheless ought to price significantly lower than a funds vacation in Dubrovnik.

Drawback Areas

Corrosion and decay. Yugo claimed to rustproof the U.S.-bound Yugos, however that did not do a lot to cease these econoboxes from oxidizing. Different worries embody the unavailability of sure trim parts and chronic electrical gremlins attributable to three-decade-old components from obscure defunct suppliers. You may must undertake an apathetic “be ready to repair it on the spot” mindset. On the intense facet, you will by no means have to fret about defective airbags, damaged digital seat controls, a leak within the energy steering, or an ABS warning gentle—these things had been by no means a part of the Yugo expertise.

1989 yugo

Tom Salt|Automotive and Driver

Latest Gross sales

1988 Yugo GV (January 2023)
Value: $8100 Mileage: 65,000 miles
1988 Yugo GVL (December 2022)
Value: $9001 Mileage: 67,000 miles
1986 Yugo GV (April 2021)
Value: $7500 Mileage: 14,000 miles
(Gross sales from Carry a Trailer.)

1986 Yugo GV
55-hp 1.1-liter inline-4, 4-speed guide, 1860 lb
60 mph: 14.0 sec
100 mph: yeah, proper
1/4-mile: 19.5 sec @ 68 mph
Prime Velocity: 86 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 202 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.68 g
From C/D, April 1986. Acceleration occasions adhere to our previous rollout rule of three mph.

Headshot of Georg Kacher

Contributing Editor

Though I used to be born the one son of an ornithologist and a postal clerk, it was clear from the start that birdwatching and stamp accumulating weren’t my factor. Had I identified that God wished me to develop to six’8″, I additionally would have dominated out something to do with vehicles, that are responsible for a few slipped discs, a torn ligament, and that silly stooped posture behind the wheel. Whereas working as a keeper within the Aberdeen Zoo, smuggling low-cost cigarettes from Yugoslavia to Germany, and an embarrassing interlude with an newbie drama group additionally didn’t yield achievement, driving and writing about vehicles grew to become a significantly better choice. And it nonetheless is now, a few years later, as I method my seventieth birthday. I like each side of my job besides long-haul journey on awful airways, and I hope it exhibits.


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