1988 Lada Riva 1.5L from UK and Ireland


A simple means of travel that was generally reliable


Radiator fan switch failed.

Alternator failed.

Rust on outriggers.

General Comments:

A simple, no frills, easily maintained and generally reliable car, using old, simple and trusted technology. No computers meant simplicity of servicing. Only real gripe was the amount of rust after 6 years - extensive welding was required to the floor and chassis! Lada claimed their cars were made of very thick steel and well rustproofed - in my experience this was not the case.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2018

26th Apr 2019, 15:48

You unfortunately appear to have bought one of the cars made on a "bad" steel day - one of the 3 Ladas I have owned had rust all over the place when it was only 5 years old, but the other two had barely a spot of it when they were 15-20 years old. Luck of the draw, I'm afraid!

1988 Lada Riva from UK and Ireland


Cheap, cheerful run-about


Not a great deal has gone wrong. But recently I've been told that my trusty lada needs a new sump gasket, rocker-box gasket and front timing cover gasket.

A lot of rust damage to the underside when I first bought him.

He doesn't like starting when it's been raining. (so I cover his engine up, it sounds stupid, but it works!)

The color he was. Beige!

General Comments:

The seats are really comfy, but I'd like some black vinyl ones, and a metallic black respray.

It has been up and down the country loads of times, and has never broken down on me, unlike my previous cars.

Overall, my car is great. It's not everyones' cup of tea, but it's cheap and very cheerful.

One thing I have learned is that you can't judge every car by the one you have now, all cars in the same range are different. So don't be put off by the fact you may have bought a lemon, you should learn from it, and research things better!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2003

1988 Lada Riva E 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


A reliable load carrier with surprising performance


Pneumatic strut on tailgate failed.

Fuel line clogged.

General Comments:

Driven properly, it could beat any BMW off the lights.

The car cornered well, once you got used to the body roll.

It was very comfortable, like sitting in a motorised sofa.

The hard springs and soft seats made rough tracks feel like motorways.

The car on the whole was quite basic, but that was the charm of the thing.

Boot space and load carrying ability was phenomenal, the car swallowing five people and enough gear for a Scout Camp easily. Fully loaded, it could carry nearly 3/4 of a tonne with no complaints.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2003

1988 Lada Riva SL 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A very cheap reliable car


Nothing really - just a wire came off the alternator and was fixed easily - that's it!

General Comments:

Good very reliable car, performance is crap, but that's to be expected. Fairly cheap to run and very cheap to purchase. I don't know why Lada's have their bad name - I've had 5 now and they've all been the same - RELIABLE.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th June, 2000

3rd May 2001, 20:50

LADA is a very reliable car, generally and economical to operate. The Riva (2105) is the best of them so far. I have not yet experienced the 2110 and its variant. Only problem is rust. The Samara has a few minor problems that can be rectified.

Overall the cars are not very difficult to work on, but methods are different from other makes and you have to accept that and do it the Lada way. I would buy a Lada any day.

16th Jun 2001, 06:31

My parents had a Lada Riva 1500GLS about six years ago. It was the worst car we ever had.

Ladas are every bit as bad as the jokes.