Gazelle Motors Corporation, the company behind the local distribution of the Russian GAZ light commercial vehicles, invited select motoring media to try out the multi-purpose all-terrain vehicle, GAZ Sadko 3308 4×4 Truck.
Starting at the Capas, Tarlac side of Mt. Pinatubo, we first experienced the passenger-hauling capability of the Sadko by hopping on its bed and riding its bench-type seats. The ride was a rugged adventure but it was nonetheless a fun experience.
For this event, GAZ sent their off-road specialist Iurrii Radkov to perfectly exhibit the off-road prowess of the Sadko. Iurii did not even break a sweat in navigating through the demanding course of the Capas, Tarlac side of Mt. Pinatubo.
The GAZ Sadko 3308 4×4 Truck is powered by a 4.4-liter inline-four turbocharged diesel engine rated at 134 horsepower and 310 ft lb of torque that is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. This power and drivetrain combo is proven perfect. The Sadko rides through demanding Pinatubo terrains at ease which normally take momentum and extra effort with normal SUVs and passenger pickups.
I got the chance to be behind the wheel of Sadko and played through the lahar and pebbles. Driving it was such a breeze! The Sadko was easy to handle and it controls precise. Turning radius is a bit short, but the thick tires steered light thanks to power steering.
Inside the cabin, it was nothing but the necessities. The two-seat cabin of the Sadko consists of just the steering wheel, shifters, gauges and controls. This bare interior works as it perfectly matches the rugged personality of this 4×4 machine. Also, a centralized tire inflation system comes standard to all GAZ Sadko SK 3308. To give you an idea, this feature allows deflating and inflating of all tires should terrains require the need to. Softer tire pressure is at times needed when driving on loose surface.
After allowing me to goof around Pinatubo with the GAZ Sadko, Mr. Iurii then showed the real capability of GAZ’s 4×4 truck. From the pebbles I drove on, the Sadko conquered boulders. It went through lahar with speed. It was as if the Sadko was leaping from one spot to another. The Sadko also exhibited chassis articulation like no other.
Though Gazelle Motors are primarily targeting government agencies and private socio-civic orgs for the GAZ Sadko SK 3308, it could also be a perfect 4×4 toy for serious off-road enthusiasts.
Reminiscent of the Mercedes Benz Unimog, the Gaz Sadko sells for half the price of its German counterpart. With the price tag of PhP2.5M, it is considerably a bargain for the things it can do, the features and the quality that comes with it.
To keep the realistic comparison between passenger pickup trucks, the Sadko would definitely not be as fun in highways. But if you’re looking for a true off-road machine, the GAZ Sadko SK 3308 is actually a bang for the buck deal.
It saves you from expenses on accessories needed for a normal pick up truck to be off-road capable. It can go through rivers of up to four-feet without the need of snorkel. It has mechanical differential lock as a standard. The central tire inflation system is something to think about too. Also, a mechanical winch is also available.
For more info about Gazelle Motors, visit www.gazellemotors.com.