1997 Lada Samara Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1997 Lada Samara 1500CC i from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1500CC i Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 miles
Most recent distance73500 miles
Previous carLada Samara


As long as I have parts, I'll drive a Lada


Not Very much at all.. This is my 3rd Samara and I have always been very happy with this model.. The timing belt has gone on this latest one as well as having to change 1 front brake hose..The 1997 fuel injected version is a BIG step up from the previous Samaras.. I just hope that the newer ones don't get too "westernized"..The simplicity is what originally attracted me to Soviet cars.. I do wish that they would cover the seats in sturdier fabric as they all seem to rip & tear.. Mileage is always fair to good.. At least 400kms to a 40L tank and I've never gone below 1/4 tank!!

General Comments:

I wish Canada was still importing Samaras..1997 was the last year!! So sad!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2004

17th Jan 2005, 06:04

Hello there!

I'm writing to you from Romania (ex communist country, you know that) and frankly I just can't understand why would someone like to buy and use a soviet made car in U.S.A.

It's just like being on a tropical island and buying a thermo-central. Why that when you have all the heat in the world, and yet for free?

I guess some weird (auto) taste?

1997 Lada Samara S 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired27000 miles
Most recent distance30000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Astra


Cheap and cheerful with bags of fun. Just don't race anyone


The exhaust started to blow, so looked underneath and found 2 13mm bolts slack. Tightened them up and it was a minter.

Slight vibration at 92mph, but apart from that, it's sound.

General Comments:

When I first purchased the vehicle for £170 at auction, the front tires were badly worn. £36 plus VAT got me two mud and snow remoulds, and what a machine it turn into. It will go anywhere; snow, mud, grass, hills, you name it, she'll go through it. OK, so you get over taken by mopeds, but at least you're warm and dry.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2004

1997 Lada Samara GSX 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1997
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.0 / 10


Gearbox clunked when going into 3rd and reverse (with 3500 miles on clock) so new clutch fitted. Problem not resolved !!! Fuel line problems cost £220. Bonnet frame coming away from skin of bonnet (seals broke in car wash). Stalls every time started from cold.

General Comments:

Do not buy one of these cars, they are bloody awful. No wonder Lada had to pull out of UK over tightening of fuel emissions. I had the car six months and had heaps of problems with it. Apparently the newer models are worse since the new fuel system technology does not work well with these technologically old engines.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th March, 1999

30th Jan 2003, 13:06

Firstly, they did not pull out of Britain over emissions. The Satra UK importer closed down, because Russia would not supply enough models with fuel injection systems, because of sourcing problems in Russia, and they could not satisfy home demand. The old engine you relate to runs very well in the 2003 Punto; the Samara engine was based on the fiat fire unit. Quality did go down in late nineties, as the company struggled with the political change in Russia, but in their heyday in the 80s, they were as good or if not better than a lot of the cheap nasty rubbish built over in Britain.

Average review marks: 6.2 / 10, based on 5 reviews