Lada Review


How far have we really come? The 2020 Suzuki Jimny squares off against the 1988 Lada Niva to see which pint-sized 4X4 performs best on a RTI (Ramp Travel Index) test, and a tug of war!


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Lada Riva – VAZ 2105

We’ve never had a Lada on IDRIVEACLASSIC before, so this is something a bit different and exciting!

If you’re watching this from the UK you’ll know this car as the Lada Riva but if you’re abroad, you may know this as the Lada Kalinka, Lada Laika, Dennis Signet or the VAZ-2105. As the car progressed through its lifecycle, it became known as the Lada Classic.

So I guess for everyone moaning this isn’t a classic, it technically is on all accounts I suppose!

Before VAZ launched the Riva, it had launched the 2101 – which was the first car they’d ever Brought to market and like a lot of budding car manufacturers, looked to others in the market for a car they could essentially jazz up and re-badge for their appropriate target audience.

Which is where Fiat came in. The 124 had won European car of the year in 1967 and VAZ worked with Fiat under license and adapted the 124 to fit the needs of the Russian driver. The new car – the 2101 – was given upgrades including aluminium brake drums to rear, a suspension which could withstand Russian terrain, a body made of heavier steel and reinforced chassis in key stress points and a new engine designed by NAMI which sported an overhead camshaft design not used on the Fiat.

However if you’re watching in Italy and you never saw this car, it’s no surprise, because part of the agreement was that VAZ wouldn’t sell these early Ladas in Italy to protect Fiat sales.

So how does this all relate to the Lada we are testing today?

Well, on the back of the runaway success of the 2101, the Riva we are testing here today was launched and for most parts, there aren’t an enormous amount of differences.

There were a few updates including a revamp of the 1.3 engine and the old overhead camshaft design once driven by chain now being driven by toothed belt drive, but things like the aluminium alloy drum brakes, which could be a bit of a pain when warm and suddenly ineffective, stayed firmly on the car.

The only other significant update was a change In the early 90s to single point fuel injection and catalytic converter – but it wasn’t done to keep up with other manufacturers – but simply as a box ticking exercise to meet emissions legislation

Now I know you may be sat at home thinking, this is ridiculous that a car so basic was selling so well and even coming to market like this in 1980, but consider the home audience and it all makes a bit more sense.

the car at launch in 1980 was born into a world where your average Russian may have to wait over a year for a new car – so buyers were at a point where simply owning a car was a massive privilege – so buyers were a lot less choosy and spoilt for choice than other European markets.

But it wasn’t just popular in Russia and over 18 million Lada Riva sold across the world in everywhere from their home territory of Russia to the UK, to Egypt to New Zealand. In fact, it’s worth mentioning the deal with New Zealand, the cars were actually sold and distributed by the New Zealand dairy board and were weirdly swapped for deliveries of mutton and butter to the Soviet Union – a deal that went on as a late as 1990.

When it launched in the UK in 1983, you could’ve picked a 1300GL or the Riva 1200L and in the UK, the car did relatively well and by 1986 had sold 20,000 cars and by 1988, had sold 30,000.

The cars, wherever you bought them globally, were only ever available with a 4 or 5 speed manual box.

Now there are lots of different variants across the the world in terms of how these cars came to market – which really proves the versatility of the car but also leaves me in a position to tell you that I cannot simply list them all here!

So despite cheap car competition coming in from various other manufacturers across the world, the Riva continued to sell – albeit slower as the 90s progressed as more cheap car options became available. The only reason the cars stopped selling in 2007 in the UK was simply due to emissions and VAZ deciding to withdraw rather than modify the cars.

The Riva was possibly one of the world’s most loved cars and ceased production in April 2011 and the estate variant stopped being sold in Egypt in 2015.

Now that we’ve talked a little about the car, let’s meet the owner Steve.

PS. I know the numberplates shouldn’t be black and white – but it’s not my car to mess around with – so they were present for video and filming.

2020 LADA 4×4 Urban Luxe. Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour.
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What would a 2020 Lada SAMARA or VAZ 2108 look like? Let’s find out.

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LADA NIVA TEST: Offroad Legende? Oder Hipster Kult SUV? Der ausführlichste Lada Niva Offroad Extreme Test auf YouTube! LADA NIVA 4×4 Test Offroad & Onroad. From Russia with Love – Lada 4×4 Taiga 2018 Review. André fährt den Lada 4×4 / Lada Taiga (aka Lada Niva 1.7) auf der Strasse, Offroad im Gelände & im Drift! Dabei überrascht der robuste Russe der 1977 auf den Markt kam mit ein paar bemerkenswerten Details die man bei keinem SUV heute mehr findet… Unsere Offroad Test Playlist:

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Hello! Since the 1970s, LADA has been building this exact same SUV, the 4×4, previously known as the Niva. Is it any good in 2019? We have the whole weekend to find out. Enjoy!

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The 2019 LADA 4X4 is almost the same car since the 1970s and it costs $14,000. I believe it is the perfect choice for people who want an affordable yet capable small SUV with minimal luxuries and tech.
What do you guys think?

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2019 Lada 4×4 VISION SUV Unveiled

The Lada 4×4 Vision was unveiled overnight at the Moscow motor show, previewing what could be a spiritual successor to the legendary Niva.
Riding on 21-inch wheels, and finished in a shade of matte bronze, the Vision takes Lada’s current design philosophy and cranks it to the max.
The X-shaped motif currently used on a variety of production models has not only been applied to the side sculpting, but also the tail-lights, headlight graphics, cabin vents, rear bash plate, and other areas.
The 4×4 Vision’s usage of chrome on the front fascia looks similar to Mitsubishi’s dynamic shield. Interestingly, the two brands are part of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, with Renault holding a majority share in the Russian car maker, and Nissan having a controlling 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi.
According to Lada, the 4×4 Vision is just 4.2 metres long, and is equipped with high- and low-range ratios, as well as “advanced off-road technology and assistance systems”.
The company is pitching the 4×4 Vision as capable of handling both the urban jungle of Moscow, and exploring the volcanoes in Kamchatka. With his high ground clearance, it should be able to at least handle the country’s notoriously poor roads.

2018 LADA XRAY CROSS 1.8L 122HP. Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour.
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2019 LADA VESTA SPORT 1.8 (145). Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour.
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Abschiedstour im Lada Vesta SW Cross. Die russische Marke zieht sich mittelfristig aus Westeuropa zurück. Der kompakte Kombi im Offroad-Dress zeigt, ob er seinen günstigen Preis wert ist.

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Whilst in Bulgaria, I have my first experience driving one of the most iconic Eastern European cars of all time, a LADA. I jump behind the wheel of a LADA 2107 1500 (or better known as the LADA Riva in the UK) before also checking out a bespoke LADA Rally car.

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A héten ráeresztettünk a ringre egy brutális VFTS szörnyeteget, illetve rögtön azt is megnéztünk, hogy mennyivel marad el mögötte a kistestvére.

2017 Lada Vesta SW Cross 1.8. Start Up, Engine, and In Depth Tour.
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2018 LADA 4×4 Bronto. Engine and In Depth Tour.
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Russian cars. What Soviet Cars are Really Like, Russian Made Lada, car review and car tour with Scotty Kilmer. Old Russian Lada car review. Russian made cars. What cars are really like in Russia. Who makes lada cars? Old Soviet cars. Car show off contest winner Stoyan and his 1974 Russian Lada. Russian is home to many old and unique cars like this old Lada. DIY car repair with Scotty Kilmer, an auto mechanic for the last 50 years.

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Russian car manufacturer Lada is huge in Eastern Europe, but not so well known in the West. It wants to change that with the Granta subcompact. It’s a bare-bones model that’s only available with a 64 kW engine. But the Granta’s starting price can’t be beat: just under 7,000 euros in Germany.

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