by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on December 29, 2015
Everyone probably still remembers back in 2008 when gasoline prices hit a U.S. national average of more than $4 a gallon. Exciting times, they were. So exciting in fact that it was the first time I dealt with fuel theft, right in the backyard of my old office parking lot. Four employee personal cars parked in the lot overnight had their gas flaps pried open and their tanks siphoned empty. My old cargo van probably provided one of the largest scores, but escaped bodily damage thanks to the absence of a locking fuel door.
Had my van been equipped with proper fuel anti-theft technology like our 1989 Yugo GVL, perhaps the attack would have been thwarted entirely.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on September 3, 2015
The drive from Top Tech in Huntington Beach to Edmunds HQ in Santa Monica was thankfully uneventful. No idle or power issues; full steam ahead. Miraculously, we had a strong-running 1989 Yugo GVL and were still on schedule for a 1:00 p.m. departure.
The rest of Team Yugo — Product Manager Mark Holthoff, Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya and Automotive Editor James Riswick — was ready to roll, Riswick in his personal 1998 BMW Z3 2.8 and the other guys in the long-term Murano.
But first, I had to pick up a couple things, both of which are on display in the photo below.
July 1, 2015
"What are you guys up to, anyway?" asks the proprietor of Bosnia Express. Her tone is friendly, her Eastern European accent soft but unmistakable.
We're approaching the register with armloads of Balkan foodstuffs like Cockta and Krem Banana. It's noon on a Saturday. We're on the outskirts of Boise, Idaho. Our five-man team left Los Angeles about 24 hours ago in the Edmunds long-term F-150 and A3, sleeping minimally in Winnemucca, Nevada. There's no known Balkan ancestry among us. Perhaps we look a little out of place.
We drop the Cockta on the counter and explain that we're about to buy a 1989 Yugo GVL and drive it back to L.A., and we need some appropriate snacks for the road.
"Oh! You must be buying Arko's Yugo. The white one, right?" She chuckles. "My husband drove it just last week."
Minds blown. She knows the seller? More importantly, the car is actually road-worthy? We found it on the devil that is Craigslist. All we really know is that it's got less than 40,000 miles on the clock, it's covered about 700 miles since 2002 and the engine has unspecified idle issues. Arko has already weighed in via text: "Would not recommend driving it to L.A. It looks better on a trailer lol." We've been wondering what condition we'll find it in.
"Oh yes, it runs. It's fine. He drove it all over the city."
This is greatly encouraging. But wait. Is her husband interested in buying the car?
"No." Zero hesitation. Then she cocks her head. "Why would you want to buy a Yugo?"