2024 Lada Niva Is Finally Getting ABS, but It Doesn't Even Have Airbags

2024 Lada Niva 12 photos
Photo: Lada
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The Lada Niva has been around since the 1970s. The Russia-made model is now getting an upgraded variant, which finally receives features that have been mandatory in the European Union and the United States for ages. But it still has no airbag and no ESP.
There are parts of the world where safety and comfort in cars are not familiar notions. This is the case for the Russian carmaker Lada, a brand that has been selling its models in markets from South America, Europe, Australia, and also Canada. Budget cars with not much to offer, they have always been cheap, reliable, and easy to fix, since there is not much electronics on board.

Made by the Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ, isolated since Russia attacked Ukraine in February 2022, with no chance whatsoever to get any technical or technological infusion from the West, the Lada Niva is living its best days so far.

That is, if you only compare the upgraded version to what the local car market has done so far for the past 47 years in which the Niva has been in production. The only exception is the government-financed Senat, which provides the high-end presidential state car Aurus for President Vladimir Putin.

The Russians are finally equipping the Niva with features that have been mandatory in cars that are sold in the US and the European Union. The model is getting ABS (Antilock Braking System), supplied by the Pegasus factory in Kostroma, located in Western Russia.

2024 Lada Niva
Photo: Lada
The Niva is also getting Euro 5 engines, which will replace the – are you sitting down? – the Euro 2 units. Meanwhile, Europe is preparing the introduction of the Euro 7 standard for internal combustion engines, most likely in force starting 2025, before switching to an entirely electric car industry by 2035.

The upcoming Lada Niva Travel and Legend will be slightly safer than before, but also more environmentally friendly. Lada has already tested the prototypes on mountain roads and off-roads both, and they passed all tests before they enter production.

The Russian car manufacturer fitted the Niva with cruise control with speed control function, onboard lighting, and a more modern (can it even be called that?), still no-color onboard computer.

The Lada Niva has never had the ESP (Electronic Stability Control), airbags, an automatic transmission, or a digital instrument cluster. We can all wait for 2050 to happen. At least.

The new features, which are far from modern in 2024, will make the Niva more expensive. The outgoing model starts at 830,000 rubles, which translates to $9,145 at the current exchange rates. The new engines and the ABS take the Niva Travel all the way to 927,500 rubles, which is $10,219. Meanwhile, the Niva Travel goes from 1,198,900 rubles ($13,209) to 1,215,500 rubles ($13,392).
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