What To Buy: 1986–1992 Yugo

From the April 2023 concern of Vehicle and Driver.

Back in ’87, Yugo’s advertisement jingle claimed to “get oneself some freedom, buy a Yugo.” The Yugoslavian-crafted car pretty much flew out of showrooms in its initial three years, and just about 40 many years following it built headlines for its position as the most economical new motor vehicle in the U.S. at $3990 furthermore $389 destination, most people nevertheless has a Yugo story to explain to, a Yugo joke to crack, and a former Yugo proprietor to spoof. Show up at a Cars and trucks & Coffee in your Giugiaro-reskinned, Yugoslavia-created Fiat 127 clone and observe it out-Instagram every single other car or truck all over it.

The Yugo’s sub-2000-pound curb weight is not the only small spec. The GV’s 55-hp engine implies no Yugo will at any time acquire a traffic-gentle drag, nor can it outhandle a perfectly-ridden e-bicycle. And it can be not likely to be the future featured marque at Pebble Seaside. But as a bargain-basement time machine sizzling-wired to the late Chilly War era—think Richard Marx, Paula Abdul, and the earliest times of the internet—nothing will come shut.


At first developed by Fiat, the carb-fed SOHC 1-liter inline-4 sits deep in the Yugo’s cavity, partly hid by the spare tire, and musters 55 horsepower at a noisy 6000 rpm. Driving the skinny 13-inch entrance wheels through a unfastened four-pace gearbox and a whiny diff, it propels the 1860-pound four-seater to 60 mph in a leisurely still vocal 14. seconds. Some afterwards versions allegedly bought a fuel-injected 64-hp 1.3-liter and a 5-pace gearbox.

“The normal C/D reader will regard the Yugo not as a genuine car or truck but, at best, as a carlike curiosity.”—Tony Assenza, C/D, April 1986

Corridor of a Sure Kind of Fame


It is attainable to find a good Yugo and get it tiptop for beneath $5000 (and even more cost-effective if you purchase in Europe, as the author did), but the market place for these adorable small Trabant-beating runabouts is oddly strong. Bring a Trailer lately auctioned a Yugo for $8100. If you can identify one particular for sale, a decent specimen even now should charge substantially a lot less than a price range vacation in Dubrovnik.

Dilemma Locations

Corrosion and rot. Yugo claimed to rustproof the U.S.-certain Yugos, but that didn’t do a great deal to prevent these econoboxes from oxidizing. Other anxieties involve the unavailability of certain trim components and persistent electrical gremlins brought about by three-ten years-previous sections from obscure defunct suppliers. You may need to adopt an apathetic “be well prepared to correct it on the location” mindset. On the bright aspect, you will never ever have to fear about defective airbags, damaged electronic seat controls, a leak in the ability steering, or an Ab muscles warning light—these items were by no means element of the Yugo working experience.

Tom Salt|Car or truck and Driver

Latest Sales

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

1986 Yugo GV
55-hp 1.1-liter inline-4, 4-speed handbook, 1860 lb
Test Benefits
60 mph: 14. sec
100 mph: yeah, appropriate
1/4-mile: 19.5 sec @ 68 mph
Leading Speed: 86 mph
Braking, 70- mph: 202 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: .68 g
From C/D, April 1986. Acceleration occasions adhere to our outdated rollout rule of 3 mph.

Headshot of Georg Kacher

Contributing Editor

Whilst I was born the only son of an ornithologist and a postal clerk, it was obvious from the commencing that birdwatching and stamp amassing have been not my detail. Had I recognised that God preferred me to grow to 6’8″, I also would have dominated out something to do with cars and trucks, which are to blame for a few of slipped discs, a torn ligament, and that silly stooped posture powering the wheel. Whilst doing work as a keeper in the Aberdeen Zoo, smuggling inexpensive cigarettes from Yugoslavia to Germany, and an uncomfortable interlude with an newbie drama group also unsuccessful to produce success, driving and crafting about automobiles became a a lot greater choice. And it even now is now, several decades afterwards, as I solution my 70th birthday. I enjoy every single factor of my position except long-haul travel on lousy airways, and I hope it exhibits.