Lada Niva Review & Ratings: Design, Features, Performance, Specifications ...

Lada Niva Review & Ratings

AvtoVAZ is a Russian automobile maker better known by its trade name Lada. The auto maker is a publicly traded company that was founded in 1966 by the former Soviet Union, in collaboration with Italian auto maker Fiat to produce cars for the people. It is one of the largest production companies in the world, churning out a million cars a year. AvotVAZ began producing the Lada Niva in 1977, and is still in production today.

The Niva is an off-road vehicle that since 2009 has been marketed as the Lada 4×4. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been an owner, though he has admitted his model has a German-built engine that he claimed was more powerful than the standard engine the Niva is built with. Other models include a 2 or 4-door pickup and a van. The Niva is actually classified as a mini SUV.

The Lada Niva is available in many countries. It has also been used on the racing circuit; it has been used as a police car, ambulance, military vehicle, utility vehicle throughout Russia and Europe, and has even been used by lifeguards in the Netherlands.

Niva bought out different upgraded models from time to time, with changes majorly affecting the wheel size and engine.


The base price for a Lada Niva averages out to around $15,000.00 US dollars, but the cost goes up for vehicles with additional features and accessories.

Engine Options

The Niva comes with either a 1.6L Inline-4 or 1.7L Inline-4 gasoline engine.

Transmission Options

The car comes with either a 4-speed or 5-speed manual transmission.

Size and Space Options

The car is a mini SUV and has a small interior that can get cramped if you’re on the larger side. Although it can seat for people, the car offers decent cargo capacity when the rear seats are folded down.

Control Panel and Display

The Niva comes with a VDO instrument cluster containing a fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, and temperature gauge.


The Niva is a utilitarian vehicle built for off-roading. The interior offers only the basic of comforts, including cloth or vinyl semi-bucket seats.


The Niva is available all over Europe and Russia, as well as Iceland and parts of Asia, South America, and North America.

Security Systems

The car does not come with a standard security system, but an anti-theft alarm system can easily be added at additional expense.

Safety Options

Safety has never been a concern of the Lada Niva. The car offers no the standard features. It was designed as an off-road vehicle, marketed primarily to hunters. The car does come with seatbelts and headrests, however.

Interior Options

Available interior options with the car include all-weather floor mats, fold-down rear seats, a sunroof on certain models, power steering, and air conditioning.

Exterior Options

The Niva offers an optional roof rack, alloy wheels, and optional gun rack.


Lada offers an optional snow plow that you can buy and easily attach, making clearing your driveway a breeze. Other accessories that the car offers include water-resistant seat covers and rubber floor mats.


The Niva was built to be a sturdy, reliable car. Given the fact that so many government and private organizations have added the Niva to their fleets of emergency and military vehicles, one cannot doubt the quality of the car.


The car is a stripped-down rugged vehicle.


For hunters and weekend warrior-types, the Niva is a great value for what you get—or don’t get. For others, if you fall into that category, you’d better spend your money elsewhere.

Our Verdict

For the relatively cheap cost, the Lada Niva is a great choice.

Lada Niva Gallery

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