Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clunker: Yugo

When considering what is the worst car ever made, many people will take the Ford Pinto. Others will name the Zastava Koral, also known as the Yugo. The Yugo was in production from November 28, 1980 to November 11, 2008. 794,428 Yugos were built. During its lifetime, it has gone under several names: Yugo 45, 55, 60, 60efi, 65, GV, Cabrio, Zastava Koral, Ciao, Tempo, and Innocenti Koral. Yugos were mainly sold in Europe, but were imported to North America by Malcolm Bricklin. It was designed to be a cheap car, and people got what they payed for. There was a  joke related to the car. It was YUGO, but the car doesn't.

The problem with the Yugo was that it was made cheaply. Drivers complained about everything. There were handling problems, engine problems, steering problems, seat belt problems, stereo problems, and floor problems. It would stall and fail to restart without any prior warning. On the 1990-1991 models, the rubber seal for the electric control unit would fail, allowing water to infiltrate and short circuit the unit. It low weight design caused it to be affected by high speed winds. High speed winds would blow Yugos over bridges. Anything that could go wrong for a car went wrong for the Yugo.

The Yugo came with three different inline-4 engines. All engines came with a four-speed manual transmission. The 903cc engine that was in the Yugo 45 produced 44 hp and 46 lb-ft of torque and went from 0 to 60 mph in over 21 seconds and reached a top speed of 84 mph. The 1.1L engine produced 54 hp and 59 lb-ft of torque and could get a Yugo from 0 to 60 mph in 17 seconds and reached a top speed of 90 mph. The 1.3L engine produced 64 hp and 72 lb-ft of torque and could get a Yugo from 0 to 60 mph in 14 seconds and a top speed of 96 mph. The Yugo was cheap and was very slow, even for 1980 standards. Prices for this cheap car started at $3990

The Yugo is playable in Hooters Road Trip. Top Gear featured it in Series 16, Episode 3. The guys were in Albania to test drive the Rolls-Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, and Bentley Mulsanne. They could not get the Bentley and used a Yugo as a substitute for the Bentley.

The Yugo was built cheaply and was sold at a low price. Most worst cars ever made lists include the Yugo. Some name this car the worst car ever made. It had a laundry list of problems. It was so light that the wind could blow it off the roads. The engine blew up, electrics short circuited, and there were recalls for the seatbelt. I consider the Yugo the second worst car ever made.

Photo taken from


  1. I know somebody who bought a Yugo brand new in the 1980's. He was very pleased with it at the time, as it gave him A to B personal transport for less than the price of a reasonable second-hand car. I'd doubt that he'd look upon the Yugo with anything less than fondness now. The fact is that they weren't there to sell to you - Just to a certain breed who value the brass in their pocket beyond desire for a flash car. It fitted this criteria well.


  3. I'm currently restoring an '88 GVX. I put a few miles on it this week just for the fun of it. I'm amazed that I haven't had any issues... other than steering, fuel delivery, vacuum, and shifter linkage. ��