1990 Lada Samara Review

1990 Lada Samara S 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired12 miles
Most recent distance52000 miles
Previous carFord Capri


Inexpensive, reliable, fun!


On delivery one cell of battery was pure water (no acid): dealer replaced under warranty. Electronic ignition pack failed after 6 months: dealer replaced with new model under warranty. Carb full of grit caused misfires at 9 years old (but there are 3 petrol filters in series!). Same problem at 9.5 years. Carb failed altogether this week, no spares available from dealer or dismantlers, so it's "goodbye old mate".

Wheels rusted and leaked air internally (2 changed). Drivers seat back broke and folded backwards in half after 7 years.

General Comments:

After 13 years with a special series Capri 2 litre, I needed a family car on a very tight budget. An enthusiast bought the Capri from me for just enough dosh for me to buy the new Samara (I'm generally a lucky sod). 10 years of (almost) reliable running and then she died suddenly, whilst still having immaculate bodywork and chassis. A pity they don't import them any more, and there's not enough well-looked after ones for a second-hand bargain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2000

4th Oct 2001, 05:38

Back in June purchased myself a 4 year old Samara 1.3 S for £600, with 11,000 miles on the clock. Seems to be running well at the moment.

Shame the insurance cost me over twice that. The joys of getting insurance at 18.

Average review marks: 8.2 / 10, based on 1 review