1984 Lada 2105 1.3
Strong and reliable once you fix the little things
Front windows parted company with the metal tabs bonded to them to attach the winder mechanism.
Front suspension ball joints worn out (replaced all of them, the top ones twice in 10 years).
Uneven braking (pulled to one side). This took a while to sort out and was never properly diagnosed, but fixed with new lines from master cylinder + new disk pads.
Steering imprecise. This was rectified by replacing upper ball joints, and adjusting steering box shims - quite acceptable after that.
Poor pickup. This was improved from "dreadful" to "just great for a small car" by replacing the Lada vacuum-actuated twin-throat carburettor with a direct-actuated weber off a fiat. After that it was really good to drive - very responsive, and capable of just on 100mph (!).
Unreliable distributor. The bearings wore, and the timing fluctuated as a result. The symptoms were hard starting, and uneven performance. Hard to spot, but once identified, and the distributor replaced, it ran like a dream.
This was one of the best cars I've ever owned. It was cheap, roomy and reliable. There were some teething problems with the steering being vague (ball joints and steering box shims), and with the ingnition and carburetor (noted above). Once those were sorted, this car gave 10 years of great, reliable service. We did long trips. The car was comfortable, and surprisingly quiet for it's time. The boot was huge for a small car (bigger than a friend's BMW 525), it was roomy and airy, and a fantastic all round family car... just as long as you were sufficiently handy with a spanner to diagnose and fix the little foibles noted above. One it was sorted out, I loved the simplicity and reliability.
The crowning glory of its achievements was when we went off on holiday one summer with the Lada and our Honda Accord. The Lada had to tow the Accord home after the first 100 miles on day-1.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 4th September, 2006
5th Jul 2011, 12:41
Great review. Very thorough and informative. Also it is nice that you fixed and explained what needed to be fixed, instead of just running it into the ground as most people do with these cars. I really believe that these cars are worth driving, they only need to be tuned and refined a bit by the owner, and thus can "bond" with the car even more.