Ever heard of the Italian car brand Bremach? Yeah, me neither. What about the Russian brand UAZ? That rings a bell, but it’s faint, ringing softly from over the hills and far away. Well, Bremach went bankrupt in 2015, pulled out of it, and is now teaming up with UAZ to maybe, if their little trucks are worth a damn, answer many off-road driver’s pleas for a simple and rugged overland platform that doesn’t break the bank.

At last month’s LA Auto show, Bremach debuted the Taos, a plucky SUV that looks awfully similar to the UAZ Patriot, which has been for sale in Russia since 2005. This one will be built at a Bremach facility in Southern California.

It’s a bare-bones rig that comes with a ladder-style frame, Eaton selectable locker in the rear, solid axles, a simple two-speed transfer case, and, if you want, a manual transmission. An inline 4-cylinder motor makes a perfectly reasonable 150 hp. It comes with a 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty too, which is enticing, assuming the company is around for those ten years. MSRP is a refreshing $26,405.

In the flesh.

Look! Actual, physical buttons!

Inside it looks like, well, a car from 2005, just with a touchscreen. Big chunky buttons, simple interfaces, things where you want and expect them. Perfect. Oh, and leather is standard, as are heated seats.

As for the looks, it has a definite Euro vibe, which is great. Every car for sale in this country looks like every other car, so a little weirdness is greatly appreciated.

The Fast Lane did a little walkthrough at the LA Auto Show, check it out below.

Oh, and there’s a quirky-looking truck option coming too, the Brio, though it’s still undergoing testing.

Kinda falling in love with this thing.

For years and years, outdoor folks, car folks, and the intersection of the two, overlanding folks, have asked for simple, inexpensive, rugged little trucks and SUVs. A sub-$30k rig with what seems to be outstanding capability and a manual transmission and heated leather seats—oh, heck yes.

You can navigate over to the Bremach website, which, frankly, looks like a site cobbled together by a company that went bankrupt five years ago only to be rescued by an obscure Russian automaker, to put down a $100 deposit on the Taos, which is expected to go on sale at dealerships (their own, we presume?) in 2022.

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