The UAZ-469 is an all-terrain vehicle manufactured by UAZ. It was used by Soviet and other Warsaw Pact forces, as well as paramilitary units in Eastern Bloc countries. In the Soviet Union, it also saw widespread service in all state organizations that needed a robust off-road vehicle. Standard military versions include seating for seven personnel.
The UAZ-469 was introduced in 1973, replacing the earlier GAZ-69. The UAZ-469 presented two great advantages: It was able to drive in virtually any terrain and it was very easy to fix. The UAZ-469 reached legendary status for its reliability and off-road ability. The vehicle was not available for purchase by the public, but many were sold as surplus to private owners.
UAZ 469 test in Hungarian:
Modifications include a basic UAZ-469B with ground clearance of 220 mm, and a specialized military UAZ-469, with ground clearance increased to 300 mm. Since 1985, due to new industry designation standards, they were renamed: the UAZ-469 became the UAZ-3151, while the UAZ-469B became the UAZ-31512. Manufacture of UAZ-31512 for the Russian Army continues, while the manufacture for civilian market is discontinued due to new emission standards. However, the currently manufactured UAZ Hunter is only an updated version of old UAZ-469B.
Although the UAZ has proven to be a reliable 4x4, there have been a few problems with the car’s reliability that have slightly hurt its reputation.
The transmission of the original 469 has been known to have problems when not maintained properly (as the owners manual dictates). Another major problem within Russia has been the production of counterfeit parts made out of cheap metals. Furthermore, the 90s (after the fall of the Soviet Union) saw a significant decline of quality in the assembly of UAZ vehicles as the company struggled to survive and could not afford to pay the salaries of its employees.
Other problems have been encountered with the modernization of the vehicle, as many of the new electrical and cosmetic parts have been of poor quality. To combat these problems, and return the reliability and dependability of UAZ vehicles to their former standards, the UAZ Company has recently introduced a new quality control system which has reduced the number of UAZ vehicles with defects arriving in showrooms around the world.
An episode of Jeremy Clarksons Motorworld featured a Vietnamese UAZ-469, though it was not identified as such, where the transmission malfunctioned, among other problems.
A contraband UAZ-469, referred to as a bobik, figures centrally in the second half of the 1994 Lionel Davidson thriller Kolymsky Heights .
In the game Battlefield Vietnam, a machine-gun armed UAZ-469, simply referred to in the game as 469, is the main 4x4 vehicle of both the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong.
In the computer game Arma 2, the UAZ-469 is one of the available off-road vehicles and comes in several paint styles.