1989 Yugo GVL: El Niño Leak Down Test
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on March 16, 2016
New cars nowadays are subject to all sorts of tests to ensure they're crashworthy, that they don't fall apart rolling down the highway, or flood with water if caught out in the rain or attacked by a sprinkler gone rouge.
After months behind the wheel and an indefinite number of miles covered, we can say in good confidence that The Bullet is 0-for-2 by modern measures. So of course we had to give it the opportunity to go for the Triple Crown and see what would happen if we drove it into an El Niño downpour on purpose.
We drove for a grand total of 56 minutes through the 1000-year storm blanketing the roads of Southern California, and in the end the Yugo emerged surprisingly defiant. Ignoring the emergency pit stop at the local Autozone to replace long-expired wiper blades, not a single interior trim piece or section of blemished upholstery showed signs of rain intrusion. Seriously.
A closer look at the Yugo lends some insight into these results. Thanks to the care and protection of the previous owner, the Yugo's front windshield's rubber seals are healthy, and not baked-through by UV rays.
And even the rain rails, which run the length of the roof and shelter both front doors and rear window seals, show no signs of rust.
Lastly, the rear hatch gutters sport a water-tight drainage design that indicate some engineering and design effort went into this thing.
Our apologies to the Zastava crew, we owe you $5 bucks.
Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor @ more miles than last.