Lada Reviews and Road Tests

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Lada Car Company


Lada was set up in 1970 with help from Fiat which was also instrumental in establishing FSO in Poland. A new factory was built at Togliattigrad, west of Moscow, and production commenced of a Soviet version of the ageing Fiat 124, although the Lada iteration did make some concessions to the harsh Russian conditions it would operate in, particularly with the use of thicker steel.

There was a departure in 1979 with the all Russian Niva, a small four-wheel-drive with reasonable off-road ability and a low price. This was followed by the Samara hatchback in 1984, this car featuring a more modern layout with front-wheel drive, although the car soon earned a poor reputation due to incosistent build quality and non-existant reliability

In 1996 the new 110 looked very different, with rounded styling and the option of 8 or 16 valve fuel injected 91.5ci 1.5 litre engines with up to 94 bhp (70.1 kW). Despite the economic upheavals in Russia, VAZ was able to report a profit for 2001, when it claimed to have built well over 700,000 cars.
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Lada Niva  

Lada Niva 4x4

1977 -
The Niva (2121) was Lada's (VAZ/AvtoVAZ) first non-Fiat based model. Much of its mechanicals were carried over from the Fiat based Lada models, though the body, four-wheel drive system, and front suspension were designed by Lada. More>>
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Lada 1600  

Lada 1600 LS and ES

1978- 2001
Lada set about making changes to the 124 design to ensure some degree of longevity in the harsh climate of Eastern Europe. These included the use of aluminium brake drums which were added to the rear, and the original Fiat engine was dropped in favour of a newer design also purchased from Fiat. This new engine had a modern overhead camshaft design but was never used in Fiat cars. More>>
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Lada Samara

Lada Samara

1984 - 2004
The Lada Samara had a short stay in Australia, and few shed a tear when it left our shores. The brand name Samara originally was used only for exported models, being named after the city of Samara in Russia. On home soil the same model was called "Sputnik", although we are not sure what the Russian words are for "space junk", which would have been far more accurate. More>>
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