1988 Lada Niva Review

1988 Lada Niva 1.6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired170000 kilometres
Most recent distance190000 kilometres
Previous carVolvo 264


A good car on the cheap, good if you have some mechanical know how


Motor packed up, due to mistreatment I'll be honest.

Front diff came loose, also due to mistreatment.

Drivers seat back broke, had to be held up with something.

Window wipers gave up.

Indicators stopped working (only a solder had come off, easy to fix)

General Comments:

A very good, go anywhere car. Better off road ability than the much hyped Suzuki Sierra.

The simple design makes repairs easy. The cars use a Fiat engine and gearbox.

Constant 4x4 can make the cars a little difficult to steer, and with the front drive shaft removed, they go faster and handle better.

I had a lot of fun with this car, perhaps too much at times, as I buggered up the engine. But hey, it's not like the cars cost much :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2006

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 1 review