1994 Lada Samara 1.5 from North America


You get what you pay for


Brake calipers and pistons (back and front) seized several times.

Clutch burnt out.

All locks including hatchback lock seized.

All doors (despite oiling hinges) seized.

Rocker panels and floor rusted through.

Rear wheel articulation bolt to frame rusted through, rendering the car all but irrepairable.

Floor of trunk rusted through.

Carburetor barrel warped.

Constant trouble with idle speed.

Had to replace the entire exhaust system every two years.

General Comments:

Inferior quality control.

Extremely poor quality metal body. My '84 Toyota Van continues to be rust free, this Lada bought new in '94 has been rendered undrivable due to rust.

All interior parts are extremely cheap quality.

All interior fittings are loose and rattly.

Handles very heavily.

Poor gas mileage for the displacement.

Rust, rust and more rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd June, 2001

7th Aug 2001, 08:50

I am quite fussy with my Lada, and I have no rust at all. Granted, they are not the best built, but properly maintained they are a reliable car that does need more than the average amount of maintenance. Mechanically they are reliable too, as long as you perform the maintenance as soon as any problem arises. Maybe you should have washed your car after you bought it.

3rd Sep 2001, 13:23

I have the same car now. I paid 1800 for it and I have a lot of trouble with the cooling fan for the motor.

Also the master cylinder is now leaking, the pick up coil needed to be replaced and now the knob that controls the air flow in the car is broke.

I think I got burned when I bought that piece of crap, but there is no rust on the car, also the wiring of this car is really poor.

14th Sep 2001, 02:32

Yes, I agree that you should have washed the car after you had aquired it, take some advice, don't slag a car off just because you couldn't be bothered to maintain it!

31st Oct 2001, 20:04

Are you sure you bought a Lada Samara or did you just retrieve one from the sea?? I've had one since '91 and no rust at all!!! This car has 120000km and the only problem was some piece in the clutch, and Lada repaired it for me!!! The interior sucks :)

29th Mar 2004, 23:00

I have driven (a lot) 2 Ladas, property of my father. They feel good during the first 5000 km if you have not tried anything else. However they always feel better than a Moskvich. For a person who drove a regular car the Lada feels a little nonsense or a lawn mower. I have done 160 km/h in a Lada when I was very young and I did not care of my life enough. I was shocked that the same Lada would not do more than 120 km/h at 50000 km (30k miles). This might be a 60's technology, but the quality is back in the mid ages.

1994 Lada Samara 1.5 from North America


Dependable and inexpensive transportation


Seat had a loose weave which got snagged. LadaCanada replaced the interior with Sport fittings.

Resonator replaced twice (once under warranty).

Starter rebuilt at 120,000 kms (slipping a touch and I didn't want to risk it as I commute 500 kms per week in the car).

General Comments:

I have read other individuals comments on these cars. I do wonder if the preparation and dealer support is the difference in this case.

I enjoy and rely on my car. I have driven a number of different vehicles in the past, and find this one stacks up with most others.

The multi-port fuel injection system has never let me down, and get approx 5.9 L/100kms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2001

1994 Lada Samara 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A complete waste of money. Better secondhand cars around for less. Does anybody want to buy it?


Poor build & bad design have led to many irritating problems such as:

Driver's door top hinge broken.

Water bottle cracked.

Poor seals around the heater air intake vent allows water into the cabin when raining hard.

Rear wash wiper motor packed in.


Very heavy on steering.

Gearbox/engine tilts on changing gear and sommetimes bangs on the underbody.

General Comments:

OK if you want to go short journeys, ideal for going to the local TIP.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th December, 2000

14th Sep 2001, 02:25

I don't agree with the above comments as I have had an N-reg Samara ,and it never gave me any problems. The build quality of the Samara is to a reasonable standard and I would buy another!

29th Sep 2001, 09:30

Myself and my partner have driving a samara for over 5 years. Always starts in winter.

What more do you want?

4th Oct 2001, 05:42

Fair comments if that is what happened, but why give it 7/10 for reliability if you say all that has happened???

23rd Nov 2001, 13:19

Firstly, I assume that you didn't pay a kings ransom for this "car"; secondly you cannot possibly have been unaware of Lada's dreadful reputation in the UK. What did you expect?

15th Jan 2002, 08:35

I went to test drive a 96 Samara once. The car really scared me as the steering or brakes didn't seem to do a lot. I didn't buy it in the end as I was too scared, but for £350 is would have been a very cheap car and I know it would of lasted for ever because it was built like a tank.