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Car video reviews:

Body style: SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle)
Segment: Small SUV

At the beginning of the '70s, the Soviet Union premier Alexei Kosygin assigned AvtoVaz and AZLK to create an off-road vehicle, and competition between the two Russian carmakers began.

The Communist party understood the need for an off-road vehicle, ideal for rough remote areas where roads existed only on lines on some maps. The older GAZ off-road vehicle, built since WWII, was outdated, very uncomfortable, and unreliable. AvtoVaz, who were already producing Lada cars under Fiat's license, won the competition and started building the Niva in 1976.

It was a simple-looking, two-door vehicle. Unlike most other 4x4 cars on the market, it featured a unit-body construction and coil springs in all corners. At the front, it sported two round headlights and a black plastic grille. Unusually for those times, it featured the parking lights and the turn signals above the headlamps. The wrapped-around bumper was metallic on the center section and with plastic ends. At the back, the carmaker installed a liftgate with a very high loading area.

Inside, it was just as rugged and simple as it looked on the outside. There were two seats at the front and a bench in the back advertised for three, but with minimal legroom and headroom. Its dashboard was black and simple. It looked like AvtoVaz carried it over from a soviet military vehicle with rugged buttons. The carmaker installed the gear-stick and two transmission levers on the floor between the two occupants to engage the low-range and lock the center differential.

AvtoVaz installed a 1.6-liter gasoline engine under the hood and paired it with a four-speed manual gearbox. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the carmaker upgraded the drivetrain. It installed a 1.7-liter fuel injected engine, and later on, an option for a diesel carried over from Peugeot-Citroen.

LADA NIVA 1976 - Present 4 Photos
LADA NIVA (1976 - Present)LADA NIVA (1976 - Present)LADA NIVA (1976 - Present)LADA NIVA (1976 - Present)
LADA NIVA 1976 - Present
  3 gasoline engines
  • 1.6L 5MT AWD (77 HP)
  • 1.7i 5MT AWD (80 HP)
  • 1.7i 5MT AWD (84 HP)
  1 diesel engine
  • 1.9L D 5MT AWD (65 HP)

LADA NIVA 1.6L 5MT AWD (77 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.6L 5MT AWD (77 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1568 cm3
Power
57 KW @ 5400 RPM
77 HP @ 5400 RPM
76 BHP @ 5400 RPM
Torque
89 lb-ft @ 3000 RPM
120 Nm @ 3000 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
82 mph (132 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
23 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-manual speed
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70SR16
DIMENSIONS
Length
147.2 in (3739 mm)
Width
66.1 in (1679 mm)
Height
64.6 in (1641 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.3/55.1 in (1,430/1,400 mm)
Wheelbase
86.6 in (2200 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2535.3 lbs (1150 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3417.2 lbs (1550 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
20.3 mpg US (11.6 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
276 g/km

LADA NIVA 1.7i 5MT AWD (80 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.7i 5MT AWD (80 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1690 cm3
Power
59 KW @ 5400 RPM
80 HP @ 5400 RPM
79 BHP @ 5400 RPM
Torque
98 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM
133 Nm @ 3200 RPM
Fuel System
Monopoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
85.1 mph (137 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
19 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-manual speed
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70SR16
DIMENSIONS
Length
147.2 in (3739 mm)
Width
66.1 in (1679 mm)
Height
64.6 in (1641 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.3/55.1 in (1,430/1,400 mm)
Wheelbase
86.6 in (2200 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2667.6 lbs (1210 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3549.4 lbs (1610 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
20.6 mpg US (11.4 L/100Km)
Highway
26.1 mpg US (9 L/100Km)
Combined
22.2 mpg US (10.6 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
282 g/km

LADA NIVA 1.7i 5MT AWD (84 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.7i 5MT AWD (84 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1690 cm3
Power
62 KW @ 5400 RPM
84 HP @ 5400 RPM
83 BHP @ 5400 RPM
Torque
101 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM
137 Nm @ 3200 RPM
Fuel System
Monopoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
85.1 mph (137 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
22 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-manual speed
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70SR16
DIMENSIONS
Length
147.2 in (3739 mm)
Width
66.1 in (1679 mm)
Height
64.6 in (1641 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.3/55.1 in (1,430/1,400 mm)
Wheelbase
86.6 in (2200 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2667.6 lbs (1210 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3549.4 lbs (1610 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
17.8 mpg US (13.2 L/100Km)
Highway
26.1 mpg US (9 L/100Km)
Combined
22.2 mpg US (10.6 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
264 g/km

LADA NIVA 1.9L D 5MT AWD (65 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.9L D 5MT AWD (65 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1905 cm3
Power
48 KW @ 4600 RPM
65 HP @ 4600 RPM
64 BHP @ 4600 RPM
Torque
90 lb-ft @ 2200 RPM
122 Nm @ 2200 RPM
Fuel System
Indirect Injection
Fuel
Diesel
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons (45.0 L)
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
77.7 mph (125 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
25 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-manual speed
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Drums
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/70SR16
DIMENSIONS
Length
147.2 in (3739 mm)
Width
66.1 in (1679 mm)
Height
64.6 in (1641 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.3/55.1 in (1,430/1,400 mm)
Wheelbase
86.6 in (2200 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2733.7 lbs (1240 kg)
Gross Weight Limit
3615.6 lbs (1640 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
30.1 mpg US (7.8 L/100Km)
CO2 Emissions
186 g/km
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