1981 Lada 1200 Estate 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cheap, honest, not that cheerful


Not much really - timing chain pad wore out and rattled - easy job to replace, and the clutch went at 50000 miles just before I sold it.

Bodywork was corroding around the rear arches and at the front of the door sills.

General Comments:

Very uncomfortable car with poor performance from a rough, thrashy engine. Awful seats and a bouncy ride. Long journeys were definitely not its forte.

As a local hackabout, though, it was quite good fun. There's nothing like owning a cheap car you really don't care about - leave it anywhere, thrash it to within an inch of its life with impunity (fairly necessary to maintain even modest progress), and generally use and abuse it. It was surprisingly reliable - always started, only broke down once when the clutch failed.

Fuel consumption not great - 30 mpg at best. Handling best described as 1950s - vague steering, roly-poly cornering and poor grip. Quite a laugh to drive in the snow.

It had to go when I had more long distance journeys to make, and the best bit was selling it for £20 more than I bought it.

Not in my all time list of favourite cars, but I had a grudging respect for it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th August, 2005

28th Sep 2005, 10:02

"Trash it within an inch of it`s life"? "Use and abuse it"? What an interesting owner! I`m sure the Lada was pleased when you got rid of it.

10th Dec 2005, 14:21

Not quite on par with the fiat variety then. As soon as my auntie bought her lada she wanted to sell it, but no takers so she stuck with it, alas for a number of years.

30th Dec 2005, 23:16

Alas, and I bet she enjoyed relatively trouble-free and economical motoring for those years.