1993 Lada 2104 1.5 gasoline from Costa Rica

Summary:

Lada is built to last

Faults:

I had to clean the carburetor since it was taking too much gasoline; an easy job.

I have only owned the car for less than a year.

General Comments:

The car has been a really good car. The car body is extremely hard, the paint was done new 2 years ago, and the car was overhauled 1 year ago.

I drive it every day to my work, and I have to say that I put in 2 tanks of gas per month, I run like 700 or 800 kilometers per month. The car is not that fast, and it needs to be warmed up every day before I run it.

I would say it was the best car I could buy with the money I had I bought it for; $1400. I just have to say that Lada makes really good cars.

I want to change its carburetor for a 3k, which I have heard its a lot more economical than the original one, and also a lot of friends tell me that it is good to change the motor for an Datsun 1200, which is actually smaller, but way more potent. But well in the meantime, my Lada moves strong, and maybe in December I will do some changes to it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2008

1989 Lada 2104 1.3 carb from Belgium

Summary:

No-nonsense space (at a medium pace)

Faults:

The primary fault was the clutch, needing replacement at less than 50k km. This seems to be a common problem with the Lada station wagon. But then again, they are generally driven by octogenarians or those with a similar style of driving, which tends to contribute to this problem.

The exhaust developed a hole in the pot around 52k km.

The car would always start when cold, but did not like to idle as such. So the choke had to be kept at half-mast, or the car would stall.

Body rust is beginning to develop, but not in full bloom.

The pistons to support the trunk failed, causing the hatch/trunk to descend upon the unsuspecting forehead. Soon solved by propping the jack between the body and the hatch.

No other technical problems.

General Comments:

While slow, bulky and awkward, the car is endearing. I miss it terribly (at the time, could not afford the repairs - I still regret not finding the cash to do so).

The seats are springy and spongy. My 10 and 8 year-old daughters loved it, but can get irritating on longer trips. But pleasant and amusing otherwise.

Dash/instruments are what one expects from a Lada. No frills (anywhere). Part of the charm.

Defrost absolutely screamed (to daughter's great amusement).

Drives like a truck. Drinks fuel heavily.

Repairs are ridiculously easy, with the engine mounted in a cavernous space so everything can be easily reached. Changing plugs or air/oil/petrol filters is heap and easy. Little to maintain, little to go wrong.

As long as one is not concerned with one's image in the eyes of others - or at least does not need to express oneself with one's car (for this car expresses nothing but a resolute apathy for style), this is a fine car to own. Beware of the (costly) clutch. All of these models seem to need a replacement (500 euros) by the time they reach 70k km (+/- 45k miles).

Fuel economy poor (not sure about later injection models: 1300 carb. model seems weak for the weight of Russian steel; have not driven the 1700 injection model), but maintenance (and price) is cheap.

If you need a station wagon on a budget, and can deal with the idiosyncrasies, do buy one. But budget a new clutch into the deal, because it will fail you sooner rather than later.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2004

8th Jun 2006, 09:33

I also own a 2104, and here in the cold winter nights of northern sweden everybody outside is freezing to the point of turning to ice cubes.

But not myself, I sit in T-shirt and jeans inside my oven-on-wheels Lada :)

Just loves the heater of that car!