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Trans-Siberian Railway 2013: Moscow, Russia Photo Report

1 Range RoverThe new generation Range Rover is already everywhere in Moscow!

This is part 2 of my Trans-Siberian Photo Report. You can see all other Parts of this long-term Photo Report here. We are now travelling 700 km South-East to Moscow, the capital of Russia and home to 11.5 million inhabitants. The first observation when arriving in Moscow is the age of the car park: much older than in St Petersburg at 7-8 years old on average. So whereas the St Petersburg car landscape was like removing all Ladas from the 2013 sales charts, for Moscow think of the most popular foreign models in the country in 2005-2006 (Ford Focus, Chevrolet Optra, Mitsubishi Lancer) and you won’t be far from the mark.

2 Chevrolet NivaChevrolet Niva

There are more Ladas than in St Petersburg with the Samara, Priora and 110 most frequent, but still way below the national sales levels. I saw my first Lada 4×4 pick-up here though! In Moscow I had the privilege to meet with Vladimir Soloviev from the #1 car magazine in Russia, Za Rulem. Vladimir told me that half the cars sold in the entire country are sold in Moscow, which is a huge percentage and means the rest of Russia is filled with Ladas!

3 Lada ZhiguliLada Zhiguli

Another way to describe the Moscow car landscape is extreme: more luxury cars and more bruised and battered cars but not much in between. Loud is also a good word: like in St Petersburg, there doesn’t seem to be any speed limits in town, and drivers gauge each other by the sound their engine does, sometimes unwittingly: I saw a 1992 VW Golf fly past at a speed I had not thought it capable and with a excruciating sound I had never heard come from a moving vehicle…

4 Renault LoganThe Moscow police are big fans of the Renault Logan.

5 Hyundai SolarisHyundai Solaris

Last time I published an article about Moscow car sales in November 2011 the Ford Focus and Renault Logan were very strong. This is pretty much still valid, with the addition of the Hyundai Solaris and Kia Rio which have now clearly made their mark on Moscow traffic. I will venture an estimate on the Moscow sales charts and say the Hyundai Solaris should lead the pack followed by the Ford Focus, Kia Rio and Renault Logan, very successful with the local police, with the Kia Cee’d, Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Sportage and new generation Toyota RAV4 also very popular.

6 Toyota HighlanderToyota Highlander

Moscovites push the SUV trend we saw in St Petersburg even further which I didn’t think was possible… Volvo does particularly well in this segment, with two XC60 sitting next to each other at a traffic light a rather common sight. Lots of SsangYong Kyron as well, which is a refreshing if not entertaining trend, and lots and lots of new generation Range Rover like in St Petersburg: it would seem more Moscovites have bought one in the last 3 months the model has been on sale than they have Lada Grantas which has been in market for a solid 18 months and is supposed to lead the Russian national sales charts which couldn’t be further from the truth in Moscow!

7 Kia ForteKia Forte

Other models I was surprised to see often here are the new generation Kia Forte, Ford Mondeo, Chevrolet Spark and Honda Pilot, but the reward for the most over-represented model in Moscow, after the Nissan Juke in St Petersburg, goes to the Nissan Murano. Granted, it’s not a flood of them, but the current generation of the model appeared regularly enough in the 36 hours I was in Russia’s capital to grab my attention.

That was Moscow! I hope it was entertaining enough. Next stop: Kazan in Tatarstan (that’s still in Russia though!)…

Full Photo Report and estimated Top 10 best-sellers below.

Estimated Top 10 best-selling models in September 2013 – Moscow:

1Hyundai Solaris
2Ford Focus
3Kia Rio
4Renault Logan
5Kia Cee’d
6Chevrolet Cruze
7Kia Sportage
8Toyota RAV4
9Kia Forte
10Nissan Murano

8 Lada OkaLada Oka

9 Ford Mondeo Chevrolet Spark Renault LoganFord Mondeo, Chevrolet Spark and Renault Logan

10 Honda PilotHonda Pilot

11 Kia RioKia Rio

12 Hawtai Santa FeJAC Rein

13 Toyota RAV4Toyota RAV4

14 Toyota Camry VolgaToyota Camry and GAZ Volga

15 Lada SamaraLada Samara

16 Toyota PradoToyota Prado

17 Lada PrioraLada Priora

18 Skoda SuperbHordes of Skoda Superb are constantly parked across the road from the Kremlin…

19 Chevrolet OrlandoChevrolet Orlando

20 Kia RioKia Rio

This Post Has 19 Comments
  1. Great job Matt!
    What about chinese cars in Moscow?Not a commom sight?
    Anyways,keep traveling and bringing us good info!
    You should someday come to Brazil and see the car picture over here!

    1. Thanks Andre!
      There weren’t many Chinese cars in Moscow no, although the Lifan Solano is very popular as a taxi.

  2. Ok, I didn’t say that buying foreign cars for police, ambulance and other public services is a weird. Exipecially, if these cars are built locally, but The Government of one great and powerfull state like Russia want to be, is essential to have their Russian limousine, like Volga in past days.
    Skoda Superb is, a think, producet in VW factory in Kaluga near Moscow, but it is Germans factory, that producing Czech brandname cars.

  3. I like the little Lada Oka (also built by KamAZ and SeAZ) ! A nice urban car which could have been sold in Europe in the 80’s and early 90’s, now rare and forgotten, in spite of the production who ended only 7 years ago.

    (Sorry for my English…)

    1. Thanks Luc – C4, C4 sedan, DS4, C4 Aircross and C-Crosser the most popular for Citroen, the Albea the only Fiat I spotted, and a lot of 408 and 308 on Peugeot’s side.

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