1991 Lada Niva Cossack 1.6 petrol and LPG
Buy a new one, they're cheap enough
On the day I bought it I burned out the coil, by sitting in the cab with the engine off, but ignition on, trying to work out the dash gadgets. By the time we could smell smoke the $120 sports coil was toast. Japanese cars don't do that!
It would never start on LPG, had to be on petrol. Mechanic told me it would need an original Lada air intake to be modified, as the after-market intake it had was the problem. Never got around to fixing that.
One wheel bearing had to be replaced and the cost was horrendous. Any parts and labour at the Lada dealers cost an arm and a leg.
Driving the Lada, once it was up and moving, was great fun, with the full-time 4WD, the retro interior, sunroof, stereo, 5 speed. At slow speeds it was like a tractor, if there was ever a car needed power steering it was this. I was told that low-profile tyres can make steering easier, but you sacrifice off road ability.
Off road ability was amazing. Anything a Suzuki jeep can do, the Niva can do just as well, and has better suspension and more comfortable long distance.
This would be a great car if it weren't for the general unreliability! If you replaced everything that could be replaced, i.e. built yourself a new car, it might be quite good for a while.
There are diesel converted Nivas running around down here, I think they use a Toyota 2L. That could be a really good combination.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 24th December, 2003
30th Apr 2005, 22:17
2 liters diesel? You've got it. This is just what I'm driving at the moment. 1996 Niva with Toyota 2 liter motor. Can't fault it. Gets me wherever I want to go, never left me stranded, also fuel economy is very good. Important when converting to diesel: pay particular attention to the quality of alignment of drive train, as some bell housings are less than perfectly machined and assembled after conversion. This is my second Niva, first one was 1984 1.6 liter petrol, and the one I'm driving now leaves the first one for dead.