Almost a year ago we wrote about how the little-known carmaker called Bremach was planning to sell Russian UAZ Patriot off-road SUVs here in America. Bremach has recently announced that it’s still happening. Soon, you might be able to buy an old Russian SUV assembled in the United States.
Bremach is not an American household name, but it’s actually been around for a while. The company was founded in 1956 in Italy and churned out heavy-duty commercial vehicles for decades. While the main company went under in 2018, its American subsidiary hung on. Bremach showed up to the Los Angeles Auto Show to debut its $26,405 off-roader.
Soon to be roaming our roadways is the 2022 Bremach 4x4 SUV. Later, it also plans to release the Brio pickup based on the same underlying vehicle.
These are really just UAZ Patriot SUVs and pickups rebadged and homologated for U.S. standards. Yes, I said UAZ, as in the charming Russian cars and trucks you often see getting beaten up by Garage 54. As our Jason Torchinsky points out, Most will probably recognize UAZ vehicles from HBO’s Chernobyl. I still need to watch that.
Anyway, the UAZ Patriot is much more modern than the old clunkers that you’ll see in a Garage 54 video. The current Patriot launched back in 2005. It’s a body-on-frame design devoid of nonsense.
I adore how utilitarian it is. There are no floating roofs, random creases or miles of chrome. It looks like a generic SUV you’d see in a PlayStation 2 era driving game.
The interior looks a little better, but it’s clearly modern touches smoothed over something dated.
Driving the 4x4 SUV — formerly called the Taos — is a 2.7-liter ZMZ Pro inline-four producing 154 horsepower. That goes into your choice of a GM 6L50 six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. This isn’t really a machine for speed. Instead, it sounds like a fairly competent off-roader.
It has your standard complement of off-road gear like selectable four-wheel-drive and a two-speed transfer case. Bremach offers up an optional locking rear differential, lift kits, snorkels, winches, chunky tires, body kits and more to enhance the off-road experience.
Angles seem pretty decent, too:
Considerable ground clearance (8.26 inches) wading depth (19.68 inches), approach (35 degrees), and [departure] (30 degrees)
There’s also a lot of the tech you’d expect in a modern vehicle. No, you’re not getting any assists to stay in your lane or automatic emergency braking. But you do get some handy stuff for off-roading and snow:
In all, you seem to be getting some pretty good kit for the price. Bremach says that the things are assembled in Southern California. But make no mistake, you’ll never forget that you’re driving something that first hit the road nearly 17 years ago.
The original UAZ Patriot also scored low in crash testing, even in Russia. So it’ll be interesting to see how much better the American version is.
The 2022 Bremach 4x4 SUV launches for $26,405. When that’s supposed to happen in 2022 isn’t said, but Bremach claims to already have a dealer network of some sort. Those who give it a chance will get a five-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10 year, 120,000-mile drivetrain warranty.