Ah, Russia — famous exporter of vodka, caviar, and a seemingly endless library of dashcam crash videos. But there’s a lot more to the car scene over there than just candid mayhem! That’s why you need to check out the YouTube channel MegaRetr. It’s full of in-depth tours and POV test drives of cars that are commonplace in Russia, but many of which we just don’t have stateside.
Russia’s also famous for the ultimate low-budget go-anywhere do-anything SUV that so many of us autophiles semi-ironically lust after: the Lada Niva. Otherwise, the Russian car scene is largely a hodgepodge of Japanese, European, Chinese, and Russian domestic vehicles. It’s fascinating, if you want to see a Ford Explorer next to a Lifan 320, Russia would be the place to do it. But how do you see Russian cars? Unless you know the Cyrillic alphabet and can read Russian, searching and learning about cars sold in Russia can turn up dead ends. Luckily, MegaRetr is here to help your Russian car-scene education.
Want to check out this cute little UAZ bus?
Or see what it’s like to go for a ride in an oppressively square Lada sedan?
There are also plenty of cars American drivers would recognize, or at least Russian versions of them, but those aren’t nearly as fascinating. Though if you wanted to see something like a Hyundai Palisade, Audi A6, or Honda CR-V from a Russian perspective, this would be a good channel to check out for that too.
The MegaRetr About page has a little intro text in Russian and English, we’ll copy over the English part:
“Hello dear friends, car enthusiasts, critics and audience of YouTube my name is Alex. I can`t imagine my life without a cars. Love them so much!!!”
Well, there you go!
Not to go on too much of a tangent but — do any of y’all know Saabkyle04? I’m sure plenty do, he has almost 1.3 million subscribers. He got his start on early YouTube with thorough, unbiased overviews of both new and used cars. His videos were simple but very in-depth. Saabkyle04, real name Kyle Lindsay, really puts you in the driver’s seat with his overviews of car interiors, startup, notable features, and more. Anyway, MegaRetr follows the Saabkyle formula pretty closely, but with Russian-market cars instead of American ones.
MegaRetr’s channel is a great way to get a close look at vehicles in a realistic setting, especially ones you wouldn’t likely ever get seat time with on this side of the world. Manufacturer photos are designed to be flattering and I want to see some real stuff, dammit! This channel’s good for that. Some older Chinese cars look decent in photos, but from a POV video’s perspective, eh, not so much. This BYD F3 looks like a Corolla, but in live photos and videos, it looks much cheaper.
There’s plenty of Russian-market goodness to go around, too. This 2018 Lada Niva 4×4 walkaround is dope as heck. These videos are the next best thing you can get to driving and sitting in the car yourself.
MegaRetr’s videos are in Russian, but he has duplicates of most of them in English. If you’re interested in looking at weird cars that we don’t get here, give this channel a gander.