Lada Niva Reviews from North America - Page 4 of 4

1982 Lada Niva cossack 1.6

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Previous carJeep CJ5


Perfect vehicle for tough country and winters like here in Saskatchewan


A very poor electrical system

General Comments:

Spent about a thousand bucks on paint tires and a new windsheild; all repairs done by myself, not only reliable, but a serious head turner, can't stop at a gas pump without hearing words like "Sweet" or getting the thumbs up from strangers. They would like it even more if I would let them take it for a serious off road spin. Still loving it. Robert

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2004

24th Feb 2005, 14:40

Well, NIVA we sometimes use is 6 y/o (nearly no mileage!!!), but it is white and so rusty that it hardly passes annual tests required by law. We have it only for delivering of gasoline and our cross-motor bikes into the woods. Sorry guys, but Discovery and other 4x4 stacks in there - where we ride!

Sometimes I have a feeling that this rusty and totally uncomfortable 1,6l NIVA can even climb up the tree - so nicely it drives through swampy off-road! There is only one even more crazy machine in the world that can beat VAZ-NIVA - that's UAZ (also known as Bobik) real Soviet military 4x4 - that has consumption of a Boeing 747. But it's not possible to withstand its nose and vibrations. It car roll-over numerous times without changing shape a bit.

When we are gas pump - we get the same reaction from people as Robert explained. Some people come and ask if this Russian "miracle" is really so thirsty? When they see that car is filled up and some 10 twenty liter cans of gas get loaded in trunk. My answer is: NO that's for a whole year!

We bought it very cheap 350 EUR, instantly invested some 1000 EUR and now we got proposal to sell it for 2500 EUR - right away. It still has 15000 Km only!

1995 Lada Niva gas

Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission gas Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired19743 miles
Most recent distance22629 miles
Previous carLada Sagona


Perfect off roading bargain


The only thing so far is that I had a bad connection on the battery, other than some cheap plastic gone awry. Front brakes are getting down to about 2 thirds and the light bulb replacement is a common thing.

General Comments:

This vehicle is very good on any off road terrain, and a hell of a lot better riding than my Suzuki was. The power is very good and the fuel economy is not too bad at 30+mpg.

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

Review Date: 25th September, 2001

8th Feb 2002, 19:40

Transfer case is bullet proof. Differentials eat spider gears. With minor modificiations my Niva with 31 inch tires runs easily with other vehicles with 38 inch tires. Walks all over the expensive Land Rovers... :)

12th May 2002, 04:12

To all you doubters. My Lada cost me $2000. It leaves far more expensive and far more technologically advanced off roaders in its wake. And when I bend it,..who really cares.

It is an off road vehicle and very good at it.

But I do have to do a bit of work on the beast from time to time.

It all ways got me home and my kids and I had a great time playing in it.

It is up to the buyer. Cheap off road fun verses the expensive, rapidly depreciating ego caressing vehicles from,... well just about anyone who thinks they can build one. Most won't make the first serious hillside.

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