1992 Lada Niva Quadro 1.6L from Australia and New Zealand


Brilliant concept that reflects a REAL 4x4!


The gearbox was noisy, due to a faulty bearing. The car had a 3 month warranty, and the dealer rectified the problem.

Original electronic ignition module failed, and was replaced with a Bosch unit.

Headlight beams needed re-adjusting - too low.

Rear stop light - in one tail-light - was not working.

Steering was quite heavy. Previous owner had fitted wide alloy wheels, plus steering adjustment nut had been set too tight.

Plastic trim alongside clutch pedal was cracked and had broken away. There is not much clearance between this side panel and the pedal - on a R.H.S. drive Niva.

A number of small niggling problems like rattles from the plastic interior trim panels - which I fixed myself by inserting small strips of double-sided tape into the crevices where the panels were not flush with the bodywork.

General Comments:

Apart from some minor faults, the Niva is extremely well made.

It is a strong, "no frills", go anywhere vehicle - in other words, a true 4x4! It is not pretentious nor is it loaded up with unnecessary gimmickry.

The Niva has incredible torque, and when in 1st. gear, in low range, and with the diff. lock engaged, it will literally "walk vertically up a tree" - well, almost.

On the open road, the Niva will cruise all day in 5th. gear, in high range, at speeds of up to 120-130km./hr. However, it does get quite noisy at these speeds, and some extra sound-proofing should have been a consideration in the design.

The Niva is inexpensive to run and service, and above all, it is extremely reliable. Not a car for everyone, however. More suited to buyers who have some basic mechanical knowledge and skills. Most Niva owners do their own maintenance and servicing. Parts are accessible and cheap.

My current car is a later model Niva (1.7L), and has been thoroughly reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2006

14th Dec 2006, 14:59

Nice review... I love Nivas.

1992 Lada Niva 1.6 from North America


Best vehicle I have ever owned and will definitely own them again


Seats tore at 50,000.

The transfer-case self destructed at 100,000.

The timing chain needed replacement at 110,000.

Other than that the vehicle has been totally reliable other than the usual maintenance.

General Comments:

Since I have owned this vehicle the entire car has been great, it can always be counted on to get you where you need to go no matter what happens. They are obviously below par compared to other cars of the same year, but all in all can't be beat for a cheap 4x4, think of them as an ATV with a heater. I have 7 of these in my "collection" and just can't part with them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2005

9th Dec 2005, 00:34

Great Review! I fully agree about the total reliability of the Niva. I had a `92 1.6 Niva, which, apart from normal maintenance items, never missed a beat. My current Niva is a 1997 1.7L model, with the face lifted interior and re-designed tail gate. It is as good as my first one. Starts first thing every morning, and has never failed me. I do my own servicing, and parts here in Australia are plentiful and inexpensive. If you get stuck for parts, contact Lada Parts Australasia Pty. Ltd. 42 Aerodrome Road, Caboolture, Queensland, 4510, Australia. They have a huge stock of Niva parts. I have been using them for quite a number of years, and have always found their service to be tremendous. Re- the timing chain you mentioned, it is important to adjust it every 10,000 kms.- as you would know anyway. The transmission can be a bit problematical with some Nivas. I think it is good practice to add a bit more gear oil to the housing than indicated in the manual- e.g. I put 1.8 L into the gearbox- to ensure adequate lubrication- especially for the 5th gear. With regard to the seats, the 1.7 seats are better- they allow much easier access for rear seat passengers. If you find a good 2nd hand set of the newer seats- they are definitely worth the money. ENJOY your Niva- one of the world`s best kept secrets! Cheers!

1992 Lada Niva Utility 1.6 litre from Australia and New Zealand


A good budget four wheel drive


This Car is typical Lada.

The wiring and electricals could be better.

Overall fit and finish very average.

No major faults.

General Comments:

Lada's are not for people wanting to get places fast.

They require mechanical participation on the part of their owners to keep them running well.

Having said that they are easy to work on with the only major hassles being access to some components.

They are for people that want a good and rugged four wheel drive on a budget. To use as a four wheel drive.

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

Review Date: 16th October, 2003