1980 Lada 1600ES 1.6
A seriously trusty friend
Only minor faults:
Clock has never worked properly.
Radio is useless.
Clutch hydraulics packed up at 30000 miles.
Persistent rattle from the steering which has so far eluded all attempts to cure.
This is my third Lada. The first was a Samara and it was unreliable, uncomfortable and generally miserable.
My previous Riva Estate was probably one of the best cars I have ever owned: it covered around 126000 miles and, apart from a broken cam-belt (my own fault) and, eventually, terminal rust, it was virtually unburstable.
The 1600ES which I have owned for the past two years came with around 23000 miles on the clock and is absolutely reliable. With its bright red paintwork and brown vinyl roof I reckon it looks just a tiny bit cool too! What else can you find for £200 which is completely dependable?
If you can cope with the mind-bogglingly heavy steering and the mediocre fuel economy, there's nothing to touch them.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th June, 2001