I was looking at a wrangler a couple months ago, and I was completely dumbfounded that a stick shift, manual doors and windows 4 door model cost $30,000+ (I think it had the sport package) By comparison, a new UAZ Hunter has nearly the same amount of features, but costs circa $7000 USD. Now I realize that importing one is a headache to say the least, and not very cheap after all the modifications that need to be done, and taxes that need to be paid. That's what I've been researching for the past couple of months. My question to you all: who here would be interested in buying a brand new UAZ Hunter at or around the $15-20,000 mark if I can get a batch into the US?
Looking at the specs, they are not entirely comparable - the UAZ does not have the same power to weight ratio that the Wrangler enjoys, but lets face it - this jeep was designed and built in Soviэt Яussia, and like most Яussiaи tech, the UAZ has stayed pretty much the same for over 30 years, with very conservative changes, mostly focusing on better manufacturing methods, reliability, and materials.
In my conversations with some friends and relatives who still live in Russia, they sort of laugh whenever I ask them about it. "It's a piece of shh from several decades ago, it doesn't go fast, it's not as comfortable as new jeeps, it's pretty heavy, but if you need to get to a remote village, it's your only option - it won't break down, and it will go places where most other jeeps get stuck. The only thing that will hurt it is salt and rust, even then it will take a couple decades, because the steel is so thick." they tell me. Russians don't install aftermarket parts on their vehicles often, so they are comparing to factory configurations of European, Japanese, and American SUVs (all SUVs are called "jeeps" in Russia).
Let me know what you think.
UAZ Hunter Website