Lada Niva Reviews from North America - Page 2 of 4

1992 Lada Niva 1.6

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired10000 kilometres
Most recent distance233000 kilometres
Previous carDodge D100

Summary:

Best vehicle I have ever owned and will definitely own them again

Faults:

Seats tore at 50,000.

The transfer-case self destructed at 100,000.

The timing chain needed replacement at 110,000.

Other than that the vehicle has been totally reliable other than the usual maintenance.

General Comments:

Since I have owned this vehicle the entire car has been great, it can always be counted on to get you where you need to go no matter what happens. They are obviously below par compared to other cars of the same year, but all in all can't be beat for a cheap 4x4, think of them as an ATV with a heater. I have 7 of these in my "collection" and just can't part with them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2005

9th Dec 2005, 00:34

Great Review! I fully agree about the total reliability of the Niva. I had a `92 1.6 Niva, which, apart from normal maintenance items, never missed a beat. My current Niva is a 1997 1.7L model, with the face lifted interior and re-designed tail gate. It is as good as my first one. Starts first thing every morning, and has never failed me. I do my own servicing, and parts here in Australia are plentiful and inexpensive. If you get stuck for parts, contact Lada Parts Australasia Pty. Ltd. 42 Aerodrome Road, Caboolture, Queensland, 4510, Australia. They have a huge stock of Niva parts. I have been using them for quite a number of years, and have always found their service to be tremendous. Re- the timing chain you mentioned, it is important to adjust it every 10,000 kms.- as you would know anyway. The transmission can be a bit problematical with some Nivas. I think it is good practice to add a bit more gear oil to the housing than indicated in the manual- e.g. I put 1.8 L into the gearbox- to ensure adequate lubrication- especially for the 5th gear. With regard to the seats, the 1.7 seats are better- they allow much easier access for rear seat passengers. If you find a good 2nd hand set of the newer seats- they are definitely worth the money. ENJOY your Niva- one of the world`s best kept secrets! Cheers!

1987 Lada Niva

Model year1987
Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Previous carPlymouth Sundance

Summary:

The best Hummer in the world!

Faults:

My back seat retaining clip broke.

My ignition had to be replaced.

The left rear axle bearing needed replacement.

The steering box needed replacement.

The rear lights need constant attention.

Lots of other miscellaneous repairs.

General Comments:

I love my Lada Niva! I call it my Russian Hummer because it will go anywhere on any terrain. People like to laugh at the looks of it, but they don't laugh for long when you crawl through the trail their brand new F350 got stuck in!

It's got it's problems, I'll admit. The electrical is a real pain, and the steering box is a problem. But I really don't mind these things because you can fix almost anything on the Niva with a peice of string or some duct tape. I have never been stuck, nor have I ever broke down and not been able to get it home in an hour.

The one thing I do complain about is the fact that here in Canada it is hard to find parts for it. So if there is something that you can't fix with a weld (which is rare), the parts can be expensive. I get to be good friends with auto-wreckers then.

All in all though, the Niva is the best vehicle I have ever had, and no one can pay me enough to get rid of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th October, 2004

4th Oct 2005, 00:25

Just going to say, the steering boxes are only a problem when people fit non genuine wheels.

A lot of people say to fit Suzuki wheels etc., BIG mistake. Offsets are miles out, go through more wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends, and even smashing steering boxes. Also makes the Lada heavier to steer etc.

Only time they give problems is when people muck around by lifting them, or fitting gas shocks etc.

Parts are easily available www.ladaparts.com, or if in New Zealand, cherie@ladaparts.co.nz

Hope this helps.

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 9 reviews