Both the worn transmission shaft and a bent rear wheel rim of this veteran Volga gave us their portions of shake and break. That once ended in the central ignition cable disconnecting (a good chance for the driver to show his class).
Anyhow, as scary as it was, it did not stop us short of passing a brand-new Cadillac at 65 mph just for a record.
By the way, the head gasket did not blow at 50,000 miles, and the cloth seats were quite neat in their thirties.
You would not miss this car on a big parking lot, unless that's a Chevy "Suburban" dealer's lot. Save for the shapes you'd not confuse for any other, you got it as tall as Cherokee, and just about as much off-road capable, with no less ground clearance, even though we call her "car". If you really can't see the roof above other SUVs, look for the antenna, so eagerly copied by the New Beetle.
We could keep up with the Massachusetts traffic pace (skeptics might say, it would not take more than a bicycle for that, however, that probably wouldn't be a bicycle from Russia anyways). In fact, the fabulous couple In-line Four 2.5 and the three-bang shift-with-a-finger would let you forget about shift and clutch once over 20 mph - just push the accel as you please, or fix it with the hand lever and cruise!
But there was one real unbeatable purpose for which it was worth importing the car from Russia: what other car you would use to go for a fall apple picking? Is there any other vehicle whose cargo capacity is measured in sackfuls of apples?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th December, 2002