1991 Lada Niva 1.6carb/Lpg from Turkey


A 4x4 VW Beetle!


1 month after I bought it, My friend had an accident with it and ran into a wall after jumping off a sidewalk 30 cm (1 feet tall). (replaced radiator with a new one and newer overheated again) However after repair, I drove it another 50 000 km and had my wife and my friends kept having minor accidents on and off-road. :)

Many things fail by the time if you buy a lemon in the first place! but the car keeps going and even survives accidents.

General Comments:

When I bought the car. I was told it had been in a very bad condition before and saw some restoration. The seats weren't original. Paint was in bad condition and the engine overheated easily although did not consume oil. It was an LPG conversion and almost never ran on petrol since LPG is cheaper.

The car is really solid. The engineering is very clever, but the material quality is very low. Rust, electric problems (blown fuses, blown bulbs are very common) are nature of the car. Clutch plate wears every 25 000kms (Heavy car with 1.6L engine.

Amazingly the car survived all the accidents and off road driving. Started very easily in winter even below minus 30 C.

Really slow on road and offroad, negotiating steep climbs can only be done using 1st low gearing. Otherwise a superb offroad car to amuse your friends.

Limited cargo space tells you that it is a small car. It is a 4x4 vw beetle!

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

Review Date: 16th September, 2005

27th Sep 2005, 09:10

Good review of your Niva, which sounds like it`s had a pretty hard life - what with all the accidents etc. However, it kept going- and that`s the main thing. Your comment about the clutch was curious. My Niva has done over 60,000 kms. and the clutch is still original, with plenty of lining still left. Maybe, on occasions, you inadvertently rest your foot on the clutch pedal when you drive. This practice will burn up the clutch rapidly on any car. The only other logical reason for premature clutch wear, is the installation of an inferior quality after-market clutch kit,- which might have been the reason in your case, considering the relatively high mileage on your Niva when you bought it in the first place. Cheers!

1991 Lada Niva Cossack 1.6 petrol and LPG from Australia and New Zealand


Buy a new one, they're cheap enough


On the day I bought it I burned out the coil, by sitting in the cab with the engine off, but ignition on, trying to work out the dash gadgets. By the time we could smell smoke the $120 sports coil was toast. Japanese cars don't do that!

It would never start on LPG, had to be on petrol. Mechanic told me it would need an original Lada air intake to be modified, as the after-market intake it had was the problem. Never got around to fixing that.

One wheel bearing had to be replaced and the cost was horrendous. Any parts and labour at the Lada dealers cost an arm and a leg.

General Comments:

Driving the Lada, once it was up and moving, was great fun, with the full-time 4WD, the retro interior, sunroof, stereo, 5 speed. At slow speeds it was like a tractor, if there was ever a car needed power steering it was this. I was told that low-profile tyres can make steering easier, but you sacrifice off road ability.

Off road ability was amazing. Anything a Suzuki jeep can do, the Niva can do just as well, and has better suspension and more comfortable long distance.

This would be a great car if it weren't for the general unreliability! If you replaced everything that could be replaced, i.e. built yourself a new car, it might be quite good for a while.

There are diesel converted Nivas running around down here, I think they use a Toyota 2L. That could be a really good combination.

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

Review Date: 24th December, 2003

30th Apr 2005, 22:17

2 liters diesel? You've got it. This is just what I'm driving at the moment. 1996 Niva with Toyota 2 liter motor. Can't fault it. Gets me wherever I want to go, never left me stranded, also fuel economy is very good. Important when converting to diesel: pay particular attention to the quality of alignment of drive train, as some bell housings are less than perfectly machined and assembled after conversion. This is my second Niva, first one was 1984 1.6 liter petrol, and the one I'm driving now leaves the first one for dead.