Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Trans-Siberian Series Part 7: Krasnoyarsk, Siberia

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier
best selling cars around the globe trans siberian series part 7 krasnoyarsk
The Toyota Ist is by far the most popular used Japanese import in Krasnoyarsk.

Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a trip through the Trans-Siberian railway, stopping along the way in various Russia, Mongolian and Chinese cities to observe the vastly different car landscapes each time. The last stop was Tomsk in Siberia, we are now moving 450km East to Krasnoyarsk in the midst of Siberia. And this is it: used right-hand drive Japanese imports have taken over. Although I only stayed in Krasnoyarsk 4 hours it is enough to establish the simple fact that roughly every second car in the city is a used Japanese import, therefore being driven with the steering wheel on the wrong side! Jump in for the full report!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or Check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

Zhiguli in front of the Krasnoyarsk Vokzal (Train station)
Lada Classic and Zhiguli

The king of the Japanese used imports is the Toyota Ist, which is fighting with the Zhiguli for the title of most frequent model in the streets of Krasnoyarsk. Yep, that many! The Ist success as a used vehicle in Russia is all the more impressive that its popularity was short-lived in Japan: it ranked #4 for its first year in market there in 2002, #6 in 2003, #8 in 2004 to then disappear from the Top 20 ever since…

Honda Airwave
Toyota Grand Hiace
Mitsubishi eK and Toyota bB

Among the ever-expanding variety of Japanese imports, I saw a few current generation Honda Stepwagon and Airwave, Odyssey, Nissan Cube, Serena, Presage, Toyota Wish, Opa, Caldina, Corolla Axio, Voxy, Allion and even one IQ, one Mazda Verisa and one Mitsubishi Airtrek. I even picked one more Toyota Will Cypha! I have to say I will never tire of being astonished at how popular this model is in Russia.

Hyundai Elantra and Honda Pilot

The Lada Granta, although very well established, may not be the best-selling new model in Krasnoyarsk, that honour could well go to the Hyundai Solaris, once again extremely solid and consistent in every single city I visited since my arrival in Russia 10 days prior to being here. Other very successful new cars here are the Kia Rio, Ford Focus, VW Polo, Hyundai Elantra, Renault Logan and Toyota Camry in this order.

Toyota RAV4
Hyundai Santa Fe and Japanese spec Toyota Corolla

SUVs are here in force, especially the new generation Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe, both already impressively frequent in the streets of Krasnoyarsk, with the Toyota Prado, Kia Sportage, Hyundai ix35 and Mazda CX-5 also over-represented.

New generation Toyota Corolla and RAV4

As far as recent launches are concerned, I spotted two new generation Toyota Corolla in the space of a couple of hours which to me is quite amazing, one new Lexus IS, one Mercedes CLA and one new Skoda Octavia.

Daewoo Nexia and Infiniti QX56

Popular luxury models include the new gen Mercedes E-Class, GL-Class and M-Class and Infiniti QX56, while in the Chinese aisle the same two familiar SUVs stand out: the Lifan X60 and Great Wall Hover, each spotted a few times in the streets of Krasnoyarsk.

That was the Krasnoyarsk car landscape for you! I hope this was exotic enough, next stop is Irkutsk near the Lake Baikal…

Krasnoyarsk September 2013 – rough estimate:

PosModel1Hyundai Solaris2Lada Granta3Toyota RAV44Hyundai Santa Fe5Kia Rio6Ford Focus7VW Polo8Toyota Prado9Kia Sportage10Hyundai ix35
Hyundai Solaris
Go! Kia Rio
Hyundai i30
Toyota Prado
Mitsubishi Outlander
Toyota Ist
Hyundai Santa Fe and Mitsubishi ASX
Toyota Opa
Ford Focus
Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • Garak Garak on Nov 22, 2013

    Rust is the real killer with Ladas. I owned a (really cheap) 9 year old 110, and it basically started to fall apart on its own. Had to weld huge pieces of sheet metal to the bottom. There were other faults too, of course. The car finally went to the scrapper at 150000 km with a blown starter. No, I'm not talking about the 1970s, this happened in 2010.

  • -Nate -Nate on Nov 23, 2013

    Thank you for the comments & links ~ wonderful scenery there . -Nate

  • Jeff S The question is how long will Ford offer the Mustang as a pony car? Dodge is sun setting the Challenger at the end of this year and it is doubtful if the Challenger will come back as an EV. Rumors are the Camaro name will be used on an EV and that will mostly likely be a crossover. There is not enough market for a Detroit muscle or pony car. It is sad to see not only the last of the cars like the Camaro and Challenger go but to see most cars go. Soon this site will have to change its name to The Truth About Trucks (TTAT).
  • Oberkanone Does GM build anything to compete with this? Does GM build any competent hybrids?
  • Dukeisduke So, it'll be invisible, just like all other Gen 6 Camaros?
  • Alterboy21 The gov't has already mandated control of your vehicle. 10 years ago they required cars to have ABS and traction control.I am not sure I agree that automatic breaking is ready for primetime, but taking control of a cars driving behavior is not new ground for the NHTSA. 
  • Parkave231 Collector's Edition hood ornament or GTFO.