1984 Lada Riva signet 1.3 petrol from North America
As crude and durable as an AK47
The distributor gave out early on; I rebuilt one from parts of two other, making it tough to set timing correctly, but it stayed together for the life of the car.
The car rusted even though I gave it an annual oil spray. The rust damage was minimal, however, compared to unprotected Ladas.
The only other thing close to a major problem was u-joints. The car ate 4 or 5 of them, but in nearly half a million kilometers, that can't be complained about.
The drivetrain was crude, but bulletproof. In more than 400,000 km, I never even had the valve cover off.
The car had no block heater, and a cheesy little battery, but as long as the sump had 0w30 or 5w30 in it, the car would start every morning (even at -40). A good winter car, for sure; lots of heat.
Mine had a 4 speed gearbox, and I often wished for another gear, while cruising along at 4500rpm.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th August, 2002