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Upgraded UAZ Patriot SUV Takes Extreme Test Drive Across Russian Arctic (PHOTOS)

© © UAZUAZ Patriot taking an extreme test drive through Russia's Kola Peninsula.
UAZ Patriot taking an extreme test drive through Russia's Kola Peninsula. - Sputnik International
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The popular Russian mid-size SUV has seen another modernization, with the company boasting that the 2019 model is the most comfortable, powerful, safe and reliable to date.

The Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant introduced automotive journalists to the updated Patriot through an extreme motor rally on the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia, the perfect Arctic Circle testing ground featuring miles and miles of unpaved roads (and often no roads at all).

Testing saw the vehicles take a battering through hundreds of kilometers of off-road driving, with the Patriots' bumpers and axles taking a beating and tires popping under jagged rocks before being replaced and carrying on. After completing their journey, the Patriots were bruised, covered in salt, grime and even seaweed, but were judged to have passed their test.

© © UAZUAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
UAZ Patriots taking an extreme test drive through Russia's Kola Peninsula. - Sputnik International
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UAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
© © UAZUAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
UAZ Patriot. - Sputnik International
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UAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
© © UAZUAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
UAZ Patriots taking a test drive through Russia's Kola Peninsula. - Sputnik International
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UAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
© © UAZUAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
UAZ Patriot being repaired after suffering a flat. - Sputnik International
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UAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
© © UAZUAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
UAZ Patriot interior. - Sputnik International
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UAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
© © UAZUAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
UAZ Patriot undercarriage. - Sputnik International
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UAZ Patriot extreme test drive.
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UAZ Patriot extreme test drive.

Over the past few years, UAZ has worked extensively, including with third-party tuning companies, to eliminate clutch vibration at idle, get rid of interior noise through additional insulation, and introduce other minor and major improvements.

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The 2019 model features a new, more rigid steering link, steering vibration damper changes to the front suspension meant to ensure that the SUV has a smooth ride on the road, an improved turning radius for city driving, and a lightly less rigid rear suspension.

The updated Patriot has a new 2.7-liter ZMZ-Pro engine in compliance with Euro-4 standards putting out 150 horsepower and 173 foot-pounds of torque, and improvements in RPM to power conversion to reduce engine noise. Improved exhaust valves have been installed to allow for high-temperature operation. The 2019 Patriot has a six-speed manual transmission, but an automatic gearbox is promised for next year. The SUV has 18-inch K&K alloy wheels with Continental tires.

The 'Classic' Patriot is priced at 746,500 rubles (about $11,200 US), with the 'Optimum', 'Prestige' and 'Maximum' editions going for the equivalent of $13,000, $14,700 and $15,750, respectively.

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