1993 Lada Niva 1.6 petrol


If you don't like Ladas, just try one. I did


Nothing has gone wrong in this car for the little time I've had it. The only thing that doesn't work is the locks, which really doesn't matter because there is nothing worth stealing in it, however I do take the keys out of the ignition, which I think is in a very stupid place.

General Comments:

I love my Lada even thought people make fun of it, because of what it is, one of my friends said " why do you want a Lada, does it run on vodka?

My Niva is an awesome car, and there is no complaints, the seats are very comfortable, and it is great off road, which is the only reason I bought it. For being a 1993 it is pretty said that it is not fuel injected, however I'm glad it isn't, because it is easier to find out why it won't start. Pour some gas down the carb, and if it still doesn't go there is most likley a spark plug problem. The interior is nice for a Russian car, I really like the retro gagues.

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

Review Date: 18th February, 2004

6th Jan 2006, 07:31

Nice review. If you`re having carbie problems, best to buy a Niva carburettor kit (about $70), and do a thorough overhaul. Your Niva will start first time, every time. Maybe the diaphragms have a split in them, or jets are clogged up, or float chamber level needs adjusting. The Solex carbie is usually very reliable.

If the ride, on road, is getting a bit "bouncy", it`s usually a sign that the upper and lower ball joints are worn and need replacing. Again, a relatively easy and inexpensive procedure. Plenty of parts.

As far as the occasional light-hearted jibes ["does it run on vodka"], ignore them. The REAL joke is on them- struggling to pay off their expensive $30-40,000 S.U.V.s which require intricate and expensive servicing. In addition, the Niva will eat most of them for breakfast!

6th Apr 2016, 08:38

"The only thing that doesn't work is the locks"

Haha, I own an 1988 Niva right now, and it does have the same problem! xD

1997 Lada Niva 21213 1.7 carburetor


Good cheap 4x4 for bad roads


Several times I was not able to start the engine in a moderately cold weather when humidity was high - carburetor failure, probably ice or water got inside. This happened 4 or 5 times just without any visible reason. Unless I removed the upper cover and add some gas manually into the carburetor, it did not start in such a case. Replacing the gas pump and cleaning the carburetor did not help.

The 4x4 distribution box was replaced before me, but it was not done well enough, so it feels rough on the road - but it still drives satisfactory after that.

Rust is a general common problem for all Russian cars - paint is of cheap quality.

General Comments:

This is typical Soviet car - model of 1979, and still being manufactured with some minor improvements. But this is 4x4, and it is really 4x4, although at a very low price.

The idea of design was actually good, and in 1979 it was really something. I used to drive many different cars in Russia, U.S., and Canada.

However, quality of some parts is insufficient - like with all Soviet/Russian cars so far. You may need to replace some parts several times if you are not lucky.

Standard tires are terrible. But with better tires it handles well, and it is quite good for mud and snow.

No power steering. OK for 1979, bad in 2003. Controls are just like you return back in time. Standard door locks are terrible too. But I have custom power locks controlled remotely.

I probably need to tell that I did not go to mechanic with this car for 3 years except for oil change and carburetor cleaning.

I bought this car in Moscow in 2001 as a second car and paid $2500. I could probably sell it there now for $2000 (US), but I still drive it when I am in Moscow. This tells.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th January, 2004

2nd Sep 2005, 02:22

Performance rated at 4 out of 10 is a curious assessment. Surely you are not referring to the off road ability of the Niva where the performance deserves at least a score of 9 out of 10. As far as reliability goes, a lot has to do with the way a conscientious owner looks after his or her vehicle. Perhaps your Niva lacked sufficient T.L.C. Most Niva owners rate reliability as one of the most positive features of the car.

5th Sep 2009, 18:09

It is annoying when people try to correct other peoples review for them, to eliminate references too bad points of the Niva. I have one, and although I love it dearly, and do maintain it well, I think any Niva owner needs to concede that it is fairly unreliable. Nearly every weekend I find myself fixing something or other, although I have only been unable to get home once, when a transfer case bearing gave up, and let a shaft punch through the aluminium casting. Always half broken, never breaks down.