1994 Lada Samara 1.3L from North America


All in all, a good value car for the price


The only major repair to date has been to replace the clutch... Although original brake pads and axle boots had to be replaced quite early due to being manufactured from inferior material.. Corrosion is mainly on the hatchback as well as rear wheel wells.. Rear window washer motor has failed a number of years ago.. Exhaust system also seems to wear out quite often.. Lots of squeaks and heater system not currently operational.

General Comments:

The Samara is NOT built for speed, but seems to have an amazing towing capacity.

Interior trim is all cheap Russian plastic that cracks in the sunlight.

Having a rear seat that folds down completely flat is very useful.

1960's technology make this car a very easy one to self-repair and mileage is quite good, about 400kms on a 40L fuel tank.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 2003

2nd Jun 2003, 16:54

I drive a 1500 i Samara. The fuel consumption I have reached within a city was 5.35l of 95 octane fuel. The maximal speed I reached (on the speedometer) was 175 kph. But seems like the car gets rusty much faster than any other cars.

1994 Lada Samara 1100 1.1 5-speed from Netherlands


Do not get involved


Both headlights needed to be replaced.

Rubbers around joints needed replacement.

I made a big trip with it trough Scandinavia, 7500km in three weeks, and after ca. 6000km it left me stranded with a broken ignition, the costs where 400 Euros to be towed 100km and 100 Euros for repair costs.

After the trip the fuel indicator broke down.

Also the heater got stuck in on position.

Horn did not work anymore

Heater of rear screen does not work.

Plastic winders of both side windows broke in pieces.

Hole corroded trough in wheel arche.

Corrosion on hatchback.

Hatchback also opens very heavely, people who are not used to it think it is locked when it is not.

Side windows do not close properly.

Lock of left door does not always work.

General Comments:

It is a very basic form of transportation, it is very slow in acceleration, but after a long time it can reach a tops peed of 160 km/hour to everyone's surprise.

It has a lot more space than it looks like at first, more space (and comfort!) than for example a 1995 Opel Astra, 1997 Volkswagen Golf or 1992 Toyota Corolla. This space is only available for the front seats and booth, at the costs of the rear passengers.

It also is quite fuel economic, in city 15km to the liter is possible 18km to the liter on secondary roads.

Most of the noise (and it's a lot) comes from the side windows that do not close properly.

All the used materials are of inferior quality and crumble to pieces.

The hatchback of this car seems to be of different quality than the rest of the body work. It's paint is not as smooth (or should I say even rougher) and of slightly different color. It does not fit very well, it opens difficultly, and corrodes a lot more than the rest of the bodywork. Still the previous owner and dealer claim it has never been replaced.

It makes coming and going squeaking and rattling noises from everywhere.

It is not very reliable and looks awful, although it grows on you (except the front, you need to be blind for that).

To my opinion it could be a good car for developing countries with poor road conditions where cars tend to breakdown anyway and labor is cheap, in the developed world it is a dissapointment, rediculed by others (that have to overtake you, even if you do 160km/h on the freeway and they cannot go faster either) so do not get involved in them!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th October, 2002

8th Jan 2003, 17:52

Once you have owned a Lada, you know for sure that you will never, under any circumstances travel in a Russian helicopter.

21st Oct 2003, 17:09

I saw an 'N' registered Lada of the same model last week.

This one had several rust holes in it.

When the driver was driving off, the engine just cut out at the junction, and I know he did not stall it because I do know what a stall sounds like.

It also had a very lean smell of unburnt petrol coming from the exhaust.