2022 Bremach SUV Makes USA Debut
One area where American car buyers are not spoilt for choice is mid-sized SUVs – authentic body-on-frame vehicles, not crossovers. Cars like the Nissan Xterra have all but disappeared, and the cheapest alternative we have today is the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which is not exactly frugal, with a price starting at $34,165. However, those looking for a small, rugged SUV might be intrigued by an option from Russia: the 2022 Bremach 4×4 SUV, which starts at just $26,405 before delivery.
The Bremach undercuts the Wrangler by apparently avoiding the chicken tax. CarScoops reports that the SUV is assembled in Southern California. Bremach claims his SUV is “designed specifically for America and only available there,” although his partner UAZ (a Russian automaker) makes a suspiciously similar-looking SUV called the Patriot. That would date the Bremach to about 2005, but as Jeep’s overall brand identity shows, what’s old is not bad per se.
Jeep is an apt comparison, as Bremach’s SUV is almost precisely the size of a Wrangler Unlimited, almost exactly as long, an inch wider and five inches taller. Front coil springs and rear leaf springs support the frame over solid axles front and rear, giving the Bremach a modest ground clearance of 8.3 inches.
Power comes from a 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 154 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque, boosted by a standard six-speed automatic from the Chevy Colorado or an optional five-speed manual transmission. The rest is taken care of by the electronic two-speed transfer case with all-wheel drive, which has a 2.542:1 gear ratio and a locking Eaton rear axle. Up to 1,157 pounds can be stowed on board as payload, or 3,306 pounds on a trailer.
At 13 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, fuel economy is not exceptional and will not improve with the upcoming V8 option – not that fuel economy is a significant concern for anyone driving a mid-size V8 SUV.
Bremach directly names Land Rover and the Lexus LX as his intended rivals on his website, and while he probably bites off more than he can chew with that, his SUV is not precisely poorly equipped, especially at the price of its only trim level. It has heated leather seats front and rear, a heated leather steering wheel and even more cowhide on the gear lever and handbrake. The windscreen and side mirrors are also heated, while the glove compartment is even cooled and has a USB port.
You can connect to the Bremach’s seven-inch central touchscreen via this or Bluetooth, which does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The rear brakes are drum, the styling looks dated, and the hydraulic power steering (although that’s arguably better, like the Nissan Frontier 2022 shows). It does, however, have LED daytime running lights and 18-inch alloy wheels as standard. And with the rear seats folded, it offers up to 85.3 cubic metres of cargo space. A Jeep Wrangler has only 72.4.
Bremach says these SUVs are sold through dealers and offers a bumper-to-bumper warranty of five years and 60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of a decade and 120,000 miles. Perhaps that’s why Bremach claims to have already received 38,000 deposits of $100, and that’s just for the SUV model. There is supposed to be a pickup version, the Brio, which is in the process of being homologated, and if it is offered with a V8 and the manual transmission, you can bet that Americans will be lining up to buy it now that we know the Chevy Colorado will not get that combination.
The 2022 Bremach SUV comes with a 10-year powertrain warranty and can be ordered with a manual, and will supposedly offer a V8 at some point.
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