1988 Yugo 45 A 0.9 from UK and Ireland


Very cheap, a hoot to drive, reliable and tough - much better than it is made out to be!


Needed a new battery, but that is a consumable.

Have fitted wider wheels with a slightly lower profile.

General Comments:

The 45 is a much maligned car, and usually by people who have never seen one in the flesh let alone driven one. My hobby is getting hold of older vehicles and putting them to use as 500 mile - 1000 mile per week daily drivers... ie using them as modern cars. In the last 5 years I have owned the following:

Volvo 940 Sport Estate

Mondeo V6 Ghia X

Daimler Double Six

Daimler Sovereign (1978)

Daimler Sovereign (1988)

Jag XJ40

Volvo 144

Daf 44

Daf 55

Morris Minor Series 2

Morris 1000

Leyland Sherpa

Volvo 240 Estate

Volvo 240 Saloon

Chrysler Lebaron

Mk2 Golf Gti

Golf Cabriolet (Mk1)

Citroen CX

Citroen CX Gti

Citroen BX Gti 16V

Peugeot 205 Gti (1.6)

BMW 535i (E34)

Volvo 850 AWD Estate

I collected the Yugo with some trepidation, given that this is a car that polarises opinions, and having driven 4,000 miles in the last few months in it, including some 500 mile journeys across country, I cannot see what the fuss is about. It is a solidly built, reliable, very economical car, which is also a hoot to drive...

Yes, with the original wheels on it, it can be a handful, but a set of slightly lower and wider wheels - ie from an Alphasud makes it go round corners on rails. Out of the cars above, many have legendary handling, but few bring such a huge grin to your face, especially when returning 55mpg. The engine in this one is the legendary 903cc pushrod fiat lump - a very tough engine if not over strained, and responsive and revvy.

It was meant to be a stopgap, but I have decided to hold on to it, as it essentially costs nothing to run. For someone who wants to keep their own car on the road, and wants reliability and economy, it is hard to beat. Take what you read about these with a pinch of salt - they are a world away from the eastern block tat of the 80's, and are a lot better than some of their contemporaries. Bear in mind that anyone under 35 who says they have driven one and writes it off as crap is probably lying, and probably listens to Jeremy Clarkson too much... this is a good, basic, simple, reliable tough car that is a hoot to own... If you are interested in automotive curios, it is a must to own at some point - if you can find one - in the UK there are only 22 45's left.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2011

21st Jan 2024, 15:59

Wow you are committed to your hobby all-right, given some cars you have had before and still like to drive the Yugo!

Maybe cars like this aren't as bad as people claim, but I could never drive one after having (among others) a BMW 5 series and other modern comfortable cars.

Well written review.

1990 Yugo 45 A 0.9 from UK and Ireland


Fun, surprisingly reliable, easy to drive and maintain


Back exhaust box rusted through, and was hanging off the underside of the car by a dodgy looking bracket. Just couldn't find a replacement anywhere, so I traded the car in. It has subsequently sold on e-bay - someone else managed to find a spare and fixed it up.

Otherwise, nothing went wrong - it was a good runner.

General Comments:

The Yugo 45A is becoming a rare sight these days. There are fewer than 100 Yugos left of all types, in the UK.

This vehicle had stood still for most of its life, and I got it with a ridiculously low mileage. The gears were smooth, the interior like new, and mechanically it gave no trouble.

The Yugo 45A runs on the same 903cc engine that powered Fiat 127s in the 1970s, so mechanically it was hardly advanced. However, if one observed the fact that it couldn't really go much above 65mph without seriously risking blown head gaskets or water pumps, and kept it well serviced, it was a decent, reliable small car that cost virtually nothing to run.

The Yugo was nippy around town, had a lot of pull in low gears, and was good on fuel (about 6l/100km). It was less fun on the motorway, but competent enough if the driver is happy to slipstream lorries in the slow lane. This engine will wheeze asthmatically all day at 55-60 mph without missing a beat.

It is what it is - a fun thing around town, and cheap, easy to fix transport for people on a very small budget. Their rarity these days means that you will also be asked quite a few questions about it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2011