1990 Lada Samara S 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland
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.
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