Lada Niva (2021): test, engine, price

Is that supposed to be our good old rumbling Russian? Of the Lada Niva Travel looks completely different from the classic, known since 1976: five doors instead of three, but with 4.10 meters long Still compact, the spare wheel is now outside instead of in the engine compartment. From the front it is similar to the Toyota RAV4, but from the A-pillar it looks somehow familiar to us. No wonder, it is the latest facelift of the Chevrolet Niva, which was created in 1998 under GM direction and since then in Tolyatti, Russia, parallel to classic Niva is built. (Important tips for buying a new car on the Internet)

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Outside, everything is new on the Lada Niva

You can find it under the sheet metal well-known Niva technology; the wheelbase is exactly in the middle between the short and the long version of the classic Niva, which we only offer for a short time. So old wine in new bottles; but he creates now Euro 6d, is therefore eligible for admission with us again. It is available from Lada Automobile in Neu Wulmstorf or Made in Russia in Prutting / Bavaria.
Lada Niva Travel

New look for the Lada: Except for the name in the 2021 model year, nothing really reminds of the old Niva.

Reasonably modern on the outside, preserving the organically round “biodesign” of the 90s on the inside, the Travel cannot hide its technical basis even during the seat rehearsal. This strangely flat standing not adjustable steering wheel and the slightly fishy smell of the Interior plastic in a liquorice look – no doubt this is our old friend.

Lada Niva Travel

Greatly improved: The new Niva has an air conditioning system for the first time, instead of three selector levers there are only two.

Much has gotten better inside

All sorts of worries are still there funny noises for amusement: when the door is opened, a ringtone sounds that someone probably saved from a historic Nokia. The archaic contact transponder for deactivating the immobilizer has finally had its day. Unlike the Urban, they sit Window regulator now where they belong: in the driver’s door panel. Previously, they were impossible to put out of view. The thin, confusable plastic levers for turn signals and high beam are also there hand-tight levers gave way. That the Tailgate not upwards, as with the Klassik-Niva, but to the side, is a matter of taste. At least they are Left hingedso that you can load the car from the sidewalk without having to circumnavigate the rear door. The asymmetrical rear window in the style of the Land Rover Discovery actually creates a little more overview.

Instead of 80, the Niva only sounds like a jet taking off at 110 km / h. The main advantage of the Travel over the classic: He brakes better. Eleven years ago we measured a warm braking distance of 52.8 meters on the Niva, now it is 42.1 meters – still too much, but this value can be pronounced aloud.

Lada Niva Travel

Off-road talent: the Lada Niva is in its element off the beaten track. It’s anything but a soft-washed SUV.

Its true purpose is the terrain

However, there is no ESP here either. the steering is working indirect as usual, but also tearproof. And a more effective one heater we haven’t seen anywhere else – like opening the lid of a blast furnace. An oversized heat exchanger makes it possible. The third gear lever of the old Niva is no longer necessary; are in travel Reduction and central lock combined into one lever – unfortunately stiff as usual. It’s nice that the Lada still doesn’t patronize its driver: if the driver engages the reduction, the center differential is not automatically locked as in many Japanese cars – advantageous if you want to maneuver a trailer in a tight space.

Lada Niva in the AUTO BILD used car market

Offroad shows the robust Russian with his axes willing to twist exceptionally talented. The fact that it cannot shine at all in our rating scheme does not mean that we want to melt it down – it is just a specialist for really rough use. (Calculate maintenance costs? To the car insurance comparison)

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