by Mark Nobes, chief editor

Firstly, the video clip above is from Season 13, episode 3 of Top Gear in 1990. Tiff Needell takes a look at the Yugo Sana.

Was the Yugo the worst car of the 80s?

Well, many people seem to think so, and Yugo cars certainly got a bad press during the 80s, at least. Reviewers often referred to the poor quality build and the use of cheap materials and outdated technology. But that didn't stop the Yugo from becoming popular. During the late 80s, Zastava were producing up to 230,000 cars per year and selling to 70 different countries.

As you will see in the video clip above, Zastava started to improve their cars somewhat during the 90s, and the Yugo Sana featured in the clip was starting to look like a half decent car.

Yugo 45

The Yugo 45 was developed as the Zastava 102 during the latter half of the 80s, but released as the Yugo 45 in 1981, featuring elements of the Fiat 127 and 128. The car was produced by the Serbian-based, Italian manufacturer Zastava Automobiles, a subsidiary of Fiat Group. The styling was similar to that of the Autobiancha A112, although much squarer at the front.

Yugo Sana

A new model called the Zastava Florida (also known as the Yugo Sana and Sana Miami) was launched in 1988 and this had a similar body style to the Fiat Tipo.

Yugo 311 engine - under the hood
The engine of the Yugo 311 looks like a real mean machine! Creative Commons image by Asterion

A red Yugo Sana car
An early 90s Yugo Sana (Zastava Florida). Creative Commons photo by Asterion
Yugo 311

This model was produced between 1971 and 2008 and was a very affordable and popular car. Known as the Skala in many countries, this was the most popular model and has become something of an icon in Serbia.

A British Zastava Yugo 311 from 1989
A 1989 Zastava Skala (Yugo 311) Creative Commons photo by Asterion
Zastava Yugo 311 01
By 天然ガス (File:Zastava Yugo 311 1116cc.jpg by Asterion) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


A green Zastava 101 (1976)
Public Domain image of the 1116cc Zastava 101, the 5 door version of the Skala (Yugo 311) which was almost half the price of a Ford Escort in the 80s. This model was popular with Yugoslavians due to its low price and simple mechanics. Spare parts could also be bought cheaply.
Zastava Yugo Skala 55C police car.
Zastava Yugo Skala 55C patrol car. Creative Commons Photo by Dickelbers

Serbia police car 11

Side view of the same patrol car

By Dickelbers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Zastava Skala Poly 01

Yugo (Zastava) Skala Poly

By 天然ガス (File:Yugo Pickup.jpg by Bajuvar) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Zastava Koral 1983 UK

1984 Zastava Yugo 45 Koral with British plate - photographed in England, UK.

By Charles01 (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Yugo 45 A in red - public domain image

Public domain photo of a Yugo 45 A in red taken by MartinHansV

Yugo 411/413 brochure early 80s

Yugo 411/413 brochure - early 80s? 

Yugo GVX 1988 Flyer

1988 leaflet for the Yugo GVX 

Yugo florida

The Yugo Florida 1.6 looks like uncannily like a 1980s Citroen 

By VladimirJ (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Yugo Zastava 101 car, Malta  March 2010

This is a lovely creative commons photo by Sludge G at flickr.

Yugo Koral Cabrio 01

Here is a 1992 Yugo Karol Cabrio 1.3 EFI with automatic electro-hydraulic folding roof.

By 天然ガス (File:Yugo Koral Cabrio.JPG by Jugoslavia.) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons