1987 Lada Niva from North America


The best Hummer in the world!


My back seat retaining clip broke.

My ignition had to be replaced.

The left rear axle bearing needed replacement.

The steering box needed replacement.

The rear lights need constant attention.

Lots of other miscellaneous repairs.

General Comments:

I love my Lada Niva! I call it my Russian Hummer because it will go anywhere on any terrain. People like to laugh at the looks of it, but they don't laugh for long when you crawl through the trail their brand new F350 got stuck in!

It's got it's problems, I'll admit. The electrical is a real pain, and the steering box is a problem. But I really don't mind these things because you can fix almost anything on the Niva with a peice of string or some duct tape. I have never been stuck, nor have I ever broke down and not been able to get it home in an hour.

The one thing I do complain about is the fact that here in Canada it is hard to find parts for it. So if there is something that you can't fix with a weld (which is rare), the parts can be expensive. I get to be good friends with auto-wreckers then.

All in all though, the Niva is the best vehicle I have ever had, and no one can pay me enough to get rid of it.

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

Review Date: 8th October, 2004

4th Oct 2005, 00:25

Just going to say, the steering boxes are only a problem when people fit non genuine wheels.

A lot of people say to fit Suzuki wheels etc., BIG mistake. Offsets are miles out, go through more wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends, and even smashing steering boxes. Also makes the Lada heavier to steer etc.

Only time they give problems is when people muck around by lifting them, or fitting gas shocks etc.

Parts are easily available www.ladaparts.com, or if in New Zealand, cherie@ladaparts.co.nz

Hope this helps.

1987 Lada Niva 1.6 Unleaded from Australia and New Zealand


0 to 100 in 60 seconds


Master brake cylinder

Front driver side calipers

Oil Leaks (not much, but probably the gasket)

Electronics not that great

Starter motor

Some rust repairs in the lower front panels and various other places

Bent parts of the suspension system, front and back.

Cracked diff housing.

General Comments:

Most problem have been my own fault either through lack of care or going too hard while off road (). I am still absolutely amazed at it's resilience. I haven't been very easy on this car as I only paid AU$1600 for it, but the amount of fun I've had in it versus how much I've spent on it.. well.. I think I'm breaking even :)

The niva is built like a tractor and could probably be used as one if needed. It has amazing torque. It's OK on the highway, I can do the speed limit most of the time. Up hill at 100kph is a bit of a fantasy though.

This car has been through a lot in it's life, the previous owner had taken it though the desert and made some mods to accommodate for this, such as dual tanks and air-con.

Extremely strong for it's size. No matter how badly I've damaged this car it has never failed to get me home. Some cars limp for an hour or so, but the niva seems to limp for weeks. I've towed several people out of trouble with it. Once while it was limping.

When the starter motor died I used the crank for a couple of weeks until I could book it in to get fixed.

This car isn't for somebody who knows nothing about cars and has never changed a tire. I would say that while i've owned it i've treated it like a project and have constantly made fixes and upgrades to it. I've had much fun.

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

Review Date: 7th September, 2004

1st Apr 2005, 02:35

The previous owner wasn't a Russian automotive journalist by any chance? Our mag took 3 Niva's through the Sahara to Timbuktu in '88, I think... White Niva's, but I don't remember whether they had air-con or not...