1984 Lada Riva Review

1984 Lada Riva signet 1.3 petrol from North America

Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership1990
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired30000 kilometres
Most recent distance410000 kilometres
Previous carFord F100


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.

General Comments:

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

19th Apr 2005, 06:38

Sorry if I'm wrong, but : Lada in US? That's something that I wish I could touch, I guess it's as rare as blue tomatoes!

Enjoy your Lada another half a million miles!

...and come back with the review!

28th Oct 2005, 19:52

Not in U.S.A.!... Canada!

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 1 review