2005 Chevrolet Niva 4x4 (VAZ -2123) 1.7i from Russia


Yet is not Chevrolet, but already is not Niva


Water pump leaked at 15000km.

Work clutch cylinder leaked at 23000km.

Engine head has been repaired because of faulty valve seat placement, resulting in low compression.

General Comments:


The initial quality of some of the parts is very weak.

The 80hp old-type engine is not in correspondence with the weight of the car. Engine controller (power train control module) is not smart enough to produce maximal output.

Hydraulic valve lifters are so bad quality that they need to be replaced with mechanical bolts (as made on the old Nivas) in order to have stable idle speed.

Some vibrations at speeds of 40-60km/h and 80-90km/h.

Noisy gearboxes and reduction gears with always wet sealing rings.

Front wheel hubs need to be checked every 5000km in order to adjust the gap of bearings. If a running limit is exceeded, the bearings get worn and need to be replaced with the hub.

The arm bushings of the front suspension need to be tightened every 5000km because of weak rubber quality, resulting in hit-on-the-fly.

Seats are not comfortable for long trips.

Painting finish is not strong enough.


Real full 4x4 off-roader with full time 50/50, demultiplicator and axles blocking.

Car body built very well - strong, robust and excellent.

Suspension is very comfortable with long travel and high absorbing capacity.

Interior looks good enough for that price.

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

Review Date: 1st November, 2006

28th Feb 2013, 21:40

I should say that now the situation with this car has been changed for the better. From 2011 there is model of Chevrolet Niva with two airbags and ABS. Also kardans are not installed anymore, to reduce vibration and noise. And the factory began to use two bearings on the output shaft from the gearbox, and also the seals are from another manufacturer.

So, overall, it is still not a Chevrolet and not a Niva. Something in between. Of course 4x4 possibilities are perfect, but price on top is more than 20000 US. It's a lot, that's why sales of this car are not so good.

Quality is rising, but a lot of people still remember how much time they spent in garages with old Russian cars. So, the factory has to make a lot, to change their minds...