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Lada Reviews

Lada was created by the the Soviet government, both to create a people's car for the home market, and to sell well in export markets. And to make this happen it looked to the west. After Fiat signed a deal with the USSR in 1966 to supply expertise for a massive new car factory at Togliatti, AvtoVAZ stared building a model based on the Fiat 124 from 1969.

When exported, the cars were badged as Ladas. They were crude, cheap, and gained a following with those who wanted a new car but couldn’t afford capitalist prices. The Niva – a dependable 4x4 – joined the catalogue in 1979. However, financial difficulties as a result of lack of quality and constant jokes about Lada quality prompted AvtoVAZ to withdraw from most European markets in 1997. The Riva remained in production until 2012, replaced by a range of Chevrolet-based cars.

Good: Simple to work on with the best stanard-fit toolkit you'll ever encounter, rugged, essentially reliable, roomy and well equipped in the top models
Bad: Stodgy to drive, rare in the UK, and you can buy much more capable cars for the same money
Good: Brilliant off-road, chunky and good fun
Bad: Not many of the original ones left in the UK, but you can still buy them new
Good: Roomy, cheap - if you can find one - and endowed with lots of classic appeal despite not actually being that old
Bad: Styleless, heavy to drive, stolid handling, if you don't get them - you really don't get them
Good: Affordable and you'll stand out from the crowd.
Bad: Awful build quality and truly appalling to drive. Crude in every respect.