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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

For Moscow Sedans, Here's the Fab Five

Two weeks ago we saw which cars and models are most popular in Moscow, and the choices were very specific -- if not particularly suited for city driving. Many people these days prefer to buy an "off-road" car, and these models are unquestionably the leaders in the Moscow market.

But suppose you hate zooming around in those big "off-road" vehicles, and prefer the "on-road" style of driving? For those seeking a more sedentary sedan, here's my wish list of the top five "normal" cars now popular in Moscow.

In fifth place is a relative newcomer to the market, the Skoda. Ever since the Volkswagen group bought 75 percent of the Czech Republic's Skoda company, and the Skoda Felicia hit the Moscow streets, the popularity of Russian cars has been dropping month by month. Why? Because a new Skoda goes for about $700 more than a new Lada 21099. So people are well aware that, for about the same amount of money, you can now buy a car that is a Skoda only in name but, in reality, a high-quality yet comfortable Volkswagen.

In fourth place is the Lada 21099, which is still very popular in Moscow. Most people prefer a problem-free car that is inexpensive to drive and maintain. Well, we all know that most Russian cars come with built-in problems, but at least they aren't overly expensive. The Lada 21099 is the most modern Russian vehicle to make it through the production line.

In third place is a sedan produced in Munich, Germany: you guessed it, the BMW 525. New Russians prefer this model, and I can tell you why. Many young Russian businessmen have a criminal past, and they still remember the days when a powerful car was the key to survival. The BMW is famous throughout the world for its strong engine and superb construction. Police in Germany use this car. What better recommendation could it have?

Speaking of Germany, of course, I have not forgotten about Mercedes, which is No. 2 on the wish list. Every Russian dreams of owning a Mercedes and any model will do. In Russia, driving a Mercedes is like putting up a neon sign stating that your business is booming and you are moving up in society. Driving a Mercedes brings many privileges.

Finally, in first place is the Volvo 960. Volvo was the first foreign-made car officially available in Moscow. You could even buy a Volvo at the end of the communist era. Many people who bought Volvos as their first foreign cars had a good experience with these sturdy, reliable vehicles. Now they want to make the jump from their old model to the newer, more expensive Volvo 960.