1978 Lada 2103 1.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand
A compact, but roomy car that should easily go beyond 200,000 miles - not bad for 1.5 litres
Clutch and brake cylinders needed replacement, as did water pump (all after high mileages)
Original carburettor was missing some parts and was hard to start.
Replaced driver's seat after stitching came apart (also after high mileage).
Valve grind done at 150,000 miles, when the mechanic told me the engine was otherwise like new and had no wear at all!
I have heard some negative comments on Ladas, but most of these are from owners of cars built in the few years after the collapse of the USSR when supplies and workmanship were erratic.
Likes the open road and long trips, and happily cruises effortlessly at 80+ mph.
Chrome work still like new after 25 years.
Very safe - passenger cell has double reinforcing in B and D posts. Door panels and roof also reinforced.
Performs and handles well, even with 4 or 5 passengers. Also tows a good sized trailer/load with very strong monoque body.
Totally reliable and easy to work on - a child could maintain it!
Original carburetor was very dodgy - tried repairing it, but ended up getting another one altogether. No further problems.
You never get tired or uncomfortable driving it on long trips.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th December, 2003
27th May 2004, 10:16
I owned a VAZ2103 (LADA 1500) produced at 1979. When I bought it second hand at 1997, it was 18 years old and about 170 000 km. I ran on it more than 70 000 km for 4 years and excluding consumptives as oil, filters, spark plugs (1 time), etc, I had to replace just few things. In my opinion that car is a very reliable, cheap-maintenance and low-costs running car. It can't impress you with any special feature, but it shows the good sides of old automotive technology - simple to maintain and reliable in all conditions of use.