1996 Lada Samara S 1.3


A super car for the price no-matter what anyone says!!!


Nothing all except from one morning when my mother managed to flood the engine. I started it straight away though.

General Comments:

Not a bad car to drive.

Very solid build. It once withstood a very hard smack in the rear end by a Fiat Punto. The front of the Punto was wrecked, but no damage was found on the Lada!

However it takes a bit of winding up sometimes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2002

1994 Lada Samara 1.3


A complete waste of money. Better secondhand cars around for less. Does anybody want to buy it?


Poor build & bad design have led to many irritating problems such as:

Driver's door top hinge broken.

Water bottle cracked.

Poor seals around the heater air intake vent allows water into the cabin when raining hard.

Rear wash wiper motor packed in.


Very heavy on steering.

Gearbox/engine tilts on changing gear and sommetimes bangs on the underbody.

General Comments:

OK if you want to go short journeys, ideal for going to the local TIP.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th December, 2000

14th Sep 2001, 02:25

I don't agree with the above comments as I have had an N-reg Samara ,and it never gave me any problems. The build quality of the Samara is to a reasonable standard and I would buy another!

29th Sep 2001, 09:30

Myself and my partner have driving a samara for over 5 years. Always starts in winter.

What more do you want?

4th Oct 2001, 05:42

Fair comments if that is what happened, but why give it 7/10 for reliability if you say all that has happened???

23rd Nov 2001, 13:19

Firstly, I assume that you didn't pay a kings ransom for this "car"; secondly you cannot possibly have been unaware of Lada's dreadful reputation in the UK. What did you expect?

15th Jan 2002, 08:35

I went to test drive a 96 Samara once. The car really scared me as the steering or brakes didn't seem to do a lot. I didn't buy it in the end as I was too scared, but for £350 is would have been a very cheap car and I know it would of lasted for ever because it was built like a tank.

1990 Lada Samara S 1.3 petrol


Inexpensive, reliable, fun!


On delivery one cell of battery was pure water (no acid): dealer replaced under warranty. Electronic ignition pack failed after 6 months: dealer replaced with new model under warranty. Carb full of grit caused misfires at 9 years old (but there are 3 petrol filters in series!). Same problem at 9.5 years. Carb failed altogether this week, no spares available from dealer or dismantlers, so it's "goodbye old mate".

Wheels rusted and leaked air internally (2 changed). Drivers seat back broke and folded backwards in half after 7 years.

General Comments:

After 13 years with a special series Capri 2 litre, I needed a family car on a very tight budget. An enthusiast bought the Capri from me for just enough dosh for me to buy the new Samara (I'm generally a lucky sod). 10 years of (almost) reliable running and then she died suddenly, whilst still having immaculate bodywork and chassis. A pity they don't import them any more, and there's not enough well-looked after ones for a second-hand bargain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2000

4th Oct 2001, 05:38

Back in June purchased myself a 4 year old Samara 1.3 S for £600, with 11,000 miles on the clock. Seems to be running well at the moment.

Shame the insurance cost me over twice that. The joys of getting insurance at 18.

1995 Lada Samara S 1.1


Good, if uninspiring, no-frills transport from A to B


Distributer went after two months - fixed under warranty.

Took it to Halfords to have cam belt changed, and it suddenly developed a nasty flat spot on acceleration. They couldn't fix it, so after much searching found a Lada dealer(!) They did a good job, and it's still running OK.

General Comments:

Starts first time. Fair MPG (average 25mpg).

BONUS - Eligible for lower rate road tax, as engine is just below the 1100cc limit (1099cc)!

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

Review Date: 19th March, 2000

1997 Lada Samara GSX 1.3 petrol


Gearbox clunked when going into 3rd and reverse (with 3500 miles on clock) so new clutch fitted. Problem not resolved !!! Fuel line problems cost £220. Bonnet frame coming away from skin of bonnet (seals broke in car wash). Stalls every time started from cold.

General Comments:

Do not buy one of these cars, they are bloody awful. No wonder Lada had to pull out of UK over tightening of fuel emissions. I had the car six months and had heaps of problems with it. Apparently the newer models are worse since the new fuel system technology does not work well with these technologically old engines.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th March, 1999

30th Jan 2003, 13:06

Firstly, they did not pull out of Britain over emissions. The Satra UK importer closed down, because Russia would not supply enough models with fuel injection systems, because of sourcing problems in Russia, and they could not satisfy home demand. The old engine you relate to runs very well in the 2003 Punto; the Samara engine was based on the fiat fire unit. Quality did go down in late nineties, as the company struggled with the political change in Russia, but in their heyday in the 80s, they were as good or if not better than a lot of the cheap nasty rubbish built over in Britain.