As you already know, the current Chevrolet Niva is the (more or less) modern-day incarnation of Russia’s iconic offroader, the Lada Niva, with the two sharing quite a lot of parts. The vehicle is produced by a joint-venture between Avtovaz, the maker of the original Niva and General Motors. But let’s move on to the Avtovaz fan site description, shall we?
In the beginning, we are told the Niva was the best-selling SUV in Russia, between 2004 and 2008. So far, so good.
We’ll jump straight to the interior chapter, where the issue of the cheap cabin plastic is discussed - “You must admit that the plastic, true, hard, however, for the texture reminds definitely soft. One of the negative points should be noted cross backlash covers ashtrays, as well as the glove box, but, considering the price of this machine, for this complaint is just ridiculous.”
The luggage compartment comes next - “In the trunk of "a small bag with a tool” - that is, as such an instrument, supplied as always no. However, in the foreign cars but Jack didn't put. And why? You might think that the owner of dear foreign cars learns to repair his car, and wants to get the experience now.”
Moving to the tech area, the handling side is briefly covered “Even got the shock absorbers of their own making. Reviews for drivers, standard absorbers are <<too soft>> - when overtaking, drivers feel <<kamikaze>>."
While the Niva now has an Opel-sourced 1.8-liter 125 hp engine, it used to be powered (well, sort of) by an 80 hp unit - “More directly to the release of this car, many «experts» claimed that, at a mass equal to 1350 kg, and a constant full drive, the engine with a capacity of 80 h.p. this utility vehicle will clearly not missed any in the city, or on the road. However, the results of the test have discovered that it's all absurd conjectures.So, in the urban crowd Chevrolet Niva is more than worthy - it is only necessary to timely shift gears and turn the engine up to 3500 - 4000 revolutions per minute. Of course, the sports car the car is still far away, however, and [russian] to call such a car is impossible.”
Let’s just say the five-speed manual, an Aisin unit, wasn’t exactly a dream “It should be noted, however, that a bit frustrating transmission - is often very difficult to include the first and also the second transfer, in particular in the cold time of the day okay with that - as long as the box is quite warm, hard pumping lever.”
We are even giving a piece of driving advice “The most important thing is - not to exceed the speed. You should go at a speed of approximately 100-110 km/h. Only at this pace the car was very stable and well managed. From extraneous sounds there is only noise that comes from the side mirrors.”
We are assured the steering works perfectly “It should be noted that against the steering wheel, as well as the brakes of this model claims there is no, and be of them may not. «Bagel» works very easily.”
The offroading part couldn’t miss and boy oh boy do we get a funny one here “If you are driving in hilly terrain, then you become it is clear that the power of the motor, alas, is really starting to miss... Even on the lower gear to start hill car is very difficult - motor her roar, the car starts to slowly creep up, and sometimes, unfortunately, even the clutch begins to burn... all This testifies to the fact, that travel over rough terrain must wisely, to once again not «rape» of the engine.”
Napoleon may have failed to conquer Russia, but he certainly made it to this text “But if you will be attending the Napoleonic thoughts about the conquest of the serious impassable swamps and frequent trips to [russian], and also remembered hills, better consciously prepare the car and stock up on all the necessary [russian] accessories.”
The description even goes on to talk about the reliability of the Chevrolet Niva, which, unsurprisingly, isn’t the car’s top asset.
“The propshafts may cause noise and vibration at high speeds. The reason - the imbalance and clearances in the spline connections. However, experienced owners have learned to avoid traffic at certain speeds, excluding the resonant vibrations. Replacing Kardanov new problem does not resolve.”
We are also told when to expect certain parts to fail - “The weakest place - the ball supports front: some of them may not be «live» up to 40 thousand km. «Consumables» suspension on later cars serve up to 80-90 thousand km. Not less hardy shock absorbers. All ball bearings and silent blocks can be changed separately from the levers. Bearings front hubs need to be periodically adjusted.”
A little comparo is also provided, with the targeted vehicle being the first-generation Kia Sportage - “Alternative VAZ 2131 «Kedr» with a five-door body, and the old Kia Sportage of the first generation is clearly losing Chevy in comfort and reliability.”
While you can read the full text in the... press release section below, you should know that this is the cold, hard reality of communist motoring. Many communist countries chose to stick with a certain platform for decades, only bringing minor tweaks. Not only was the design outdated, but sometimes the tools in the factory were so worn that the build quality dropped to frightening levels.
There's one conclusion here that has nothing to do with amusement - even with the tons of recalls going on, we really shouldn't take our modern cars for granted.