Russian Man Goes Car Shopping After Sanctions, What He Finds is Horrifying

Russian Man Goes Car Shopping 22 photos
Photo: Dan Sheekoz
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It's historically been pretty gosh darn difficult for folks in Russia to get their hands on motor vehicles. Especially before the fall of Communism, most people never got the chance to get behind the wheel. Mostly by being a prohibitively expensive item.
But for reasons we needn't rehash yet again, sanctions and all that's especially the case right now. If you're just an average Joseph, the biggest effects you feel are skyrocketing prices, even for the bare essentials. So when one Russian man by the name of Dan Sheekoz on YouTube wandered into a few car dealerships near his village, the results were equal parts horrifying and hilarious.

Considering Dan is trying to get a sweet deal, Toyota is the obvious first place to look. A nicely balanced crossover SUV is much preferable to sedans on Russian roads. So how about a nice, simple, Rav4? Well, sadly for the Russian people, even the most basic of those will set them back $65,000 in American money.

It's as if every single shipping vessel on route to the Russian Federation pulled a handbrake turn and sailed back home as soon as they heard the word of what was going on at Russia's western border. In a sense, that really is what happened, and the prices of new cars clearly reflect this. So how do you bet that translates further up the Toyota range? How about a Land Cruiser?

Well, that'll set you back a cool $130,000 worth of a basically worthless Russian ruble. At least, it was worthless until it magically started skyrocketing again in the middle of a war. As Russia forced domestic businesses to convert their foreign currency assets to hometown standards.

Russian Man Buys Cars
Photo: Dan Sheekoz
Think you're a big spender and want to upgrade to a Lexus? Well, my Russian friends, you better be ready to spend new house money on the affair. $66,000 or so for the most spartan ES200 and upwards of $150,000 for an NX250 SUV. But hey, even so, at least you can still buy a Toyota Land Cruiser in Russia. Can't say the same about the States, so good on you, we can only suppose.

Moving on to a Nissan dealer, Dan spots a very nice-looking white Nissan Pathfinder, presumably brand new as well. But with a sticker price of $150,000, we can all keep dreaming. Dan is quick to point out that the R53 fifth-generation Pathfinder had only just arrived on Russian soil when the invasion began.

It's the first time he'd ever even seen one in person. But maybe Dan was misguided trying to buy a new car from an established global manufacturer like Nissan or Toyota. Maybe he'd have better luck with something like a Renault. The Renault Duster was once a pretty sweet bargain in Russia.

One no doubt aided because there are Renault badges instead of Dacia logos. Perhaps this is because Russians aren't all that keen on buying cars from the Romanian nation that, back in the early 60s, told the former Soviet Union in the most polite terms to go take a hike and that they were perfectly well off without them. But hey, it's a car sold around the world, so who really knows.

Russian Man Buys Cars
Photo: Dan Sheekoz
Whatever the case, any deal bargain the Duster was in Russia six or so months ago is now up in smoke to the tune of $30,000. That's Honda Accord money for an SUV our friend called "not comfortable." Dan's desperation for a new deal gets so bad that he even walks through the door of a Geely dealership.

For those of you who aren't aware, the Russian people deeply distrust Chinese automakers in spite of more and more of them popping up across the country. By his own admission, Dan finds the quality in a Geely Atlas to be more or less on par with Japanese cars in terms of comfort, if not quality.

So, what can we learn from one man's fruitless attempt at a bargain new car in Russia post-sanctions? Well, for one thing, it certainly isn't going to stop the Russian people from trying to find bargains. Though as far as anyone can tell, they'll be looking for quite some time.
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