I have been living in Sakhalin for many years, so I was not familiar with AvtoVAZ products, and the stereotypes in the Far East about Russian cars are strong. He owned almost all Japanese SUVs, the latest cars are Rocky, Surf, TLC80, Prado, Terrano.
But because of the high import duties that are relevant today, plus the high dollar rate in the eighteenth year, he decided to buy the domestic Niva, which is now Lada 4x4a. After the most aggressive off-road test drive (on the island these are standard roads) and a serious run of 10,000 km, I am sharing my impressions.
Review of Lada 4 × 4 1.7 (83 HP) MT 2018
I read on the forums that in a year on the Niva, bubbles on the body will creep out at the seams, and after three there will be holes. Having left for 1.5 years, I examined everything (with a magnifying glass) – there is no hint of corrosion at all. Chips in places with sandblasting on the fenders at the bottom of the doors often appear, but even there I did not see the “mushrooms”.
The dashboard in the cabin has everything you need, no frills. But the driver’s seat is something. Designed for dwarfs with very long arms. You always have to keep your legs strongly bent, roll the seat back – the sleds are short, the steering wheel is shifted from the chair to the right, there are no armrests and lumbar support. I am accelerating into three deaths. In an amicable way, you need to change the seat and make it coaxial with the steering wheel.
Although I prepared for the Niva, the first trip was a shock – I had never heard the razdatka squeak so much, and the transmission beat so hard when shifting gears with the clutch depressed. Then he got used to switching silently and without jerking and realized that these were the features of the domestic box. Well, the razdatka continues to rattle, especially loudly at speeds over 90 km / h.
The 1.7 engine is frankly dead, a kind of hello from the 60s, it has only 83 forces, which is very, very little for an SUV. The dynamics are moderately vigorous, but traction, especially off-road with a low gear, is not enough.
In traffic jams, the engine heats up quickly, additional cooling is provided by fans, which freeze at minus two and do not twist. You have to put your finger in the radiator grill in the morning and spin them, otherwise the fuses will burn out. There is no oil at all, the consumption is kept at the level that AvtoVaz promised – 9 on the highway and 12 in the city.
The myths that the VAZ breaks down after the first hundred of the run remain myths. For 10,000 km, nothing broke at all. I ran the car carefully, but after the first thousand I stopped holding back and drove it through the swamps and forests.
The running gear on the Niva is quite soft, absolutely impenetrable suspension – for off-road conditions this is the best option, but for the city and family you need to take something more comfortable.
In general, the SUV is not bad, but you get very tired while driving because of the seats and the constant squeal of the hand-out. In the spring I will make an anti-corrosion treatment with full treatment of the hidden cavities, replace the seats and the chain tensioner with a mechanical one, until my own one has destroyed the timing, and in principle everything. For 500,000 rubles it is quite an adequate car, you won’t take a “Japanese” for that kind of money for a long time.