Always half broken - never breaks down
Fuel pump failed.
Steering wheel broke.
A variety of electric failures.
This is a truly very honest car: Exactly what you pay for!! Maybe even a bit more!
A very capable off-roader, especially good for long cross-country, trail road, trips, and still quite safe on the road. Full-time 4wd proves very convenient for long trips on mud or ice/snow and also helps quite a lot on wet tarmac.
The car is always half-broken, but still most of its problems are of minor importance, while service and spare-parts are very cheap. Actually you can fix most of the problems yourself with few mechanical skills! Of all the problems described above, only the broken gearbox and the electric faults are typical - the rest are due to (very) rough use from my side.
On the road the car's comfort depends heavily on your travel speed: It can cruise for ever at around 90kmh, but becomes extremely noisy and uncomfortable at speeds over 110kmh. Handling is fair and the brakes are quite sufficient, although handling becomes unpredictable if you push the brake pedal to the floor. Fuel consumption is arround 10.5litres/km at the highway which is very good for an offroader.
I would keep mine for ever if only it could travel a bit faster (and more comfortably) on the highway. This comes from someone who really travels a lot, though.
In general, this is truly a unique car: competent, ruged, quite reliable (at least it doesn't break down) and very cheap, but still stylish. I would recommend it to anyone who in need of a true off-roader, who doesn't want to pay a fortune and who is willing to leave with its small (yet constant) problems.
If you have second thoughts, though, you will regret trying it!!
Advice for those who want to buy one:
- Only buy one if you are sure you want sth like that... Mind you this is not an SUV it is a true workhorse - with all pros and cons that come with it.
-If you can find a good used one (say 5 years old) prefer it to a new one. Most of the cars problems show up in the first 50000km (all mechanics agree on that) so an older car will have most of its problems solved.
- New NIVAs come with power steering and AC. Given the built quality and the reliability of LADAs I would say that the less accessories the car has, the better.... If you can handle the non-power steering (it will save you the gym expences), go for the very basic edition.
- Always take good care of the car and be meticulous with its maintenance. Especially be very careful to often check and change the gearbox and diff oil. If you take good care of it, it will never let you down.
- The car is constantly presenting small failures (esp. electrics) that often need the mechanic to take initiative and change standard equipment - often using non-LADA spares (the most LADA spares you can change to non-LADA onew, the better). That means that you should find a competent mechanic and stick with him so that he knows the car's history and follows-up on it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 25th March, 2006