The car manufacturing industry can be very interesting and strange for those who are interested in searching all its history and discovering how a simple car can become a brand or, even better a symbol. Today we are going to talk about Lada Niva, one of the less glamorous, yet one of the most reliable cars ever to be produced. Speaking of production, manufacturing of the Lada Niva started in 1977 and is still active today. The manufacturer is Russian automaker Lada, and with the Niva it wanted to create a noteworthy off-road vehicle that would serve numerous purposes.
The Lada Niva was assembled in countries like Russia, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Ecuador and Uruguay, and it was sold almost worldwide. Besides Russia and Europe, the Niva was sold in Austria as the Lada Taiga, in Iceland as the Lada Sport, and in Uruguay as the Bognor Diva. Current models sold in Russia are called Lada 4×4. This compact car became a favorite for many because it was sturdy and it cost much less than other cars in its category and class. Lada Niva is a mini SUV and it can be found either as a three-door hatchback, or as a five-door wagon.
This Russian off-road vehicle even broke barriers, being the first mass production vehicle to be fitted with unibody architecture; moreover, it featured independent front suspension and it set the trend for crossover SUVs. Moreover, it is the first car produced by Lada that wasn’t based on Fiat models, on the contrary, the four-wheel drive system, the body and front suspension were all Lada’s work and concept. Obviously, Lada Niva is fitted with manual transmission, with four or five speeds. Initial models were fitted with 1.6 liter four-cylinder petrol engine, which allowed for 72 horsepower and 93 lb-ft of torque.
While it is not a very big car, Lada Niva is quite capacious and capable of satisfying a driver with its 130 km/h maximum speed. And since it is an off-road vehicle, it is also capable of towing a maximum weight of approximately 860 kg. Like we mentioned before, the Niva was first produced in 1977 and was mainly build by Lada, but sometime later General Motors started supplying a 1.7 liter petrol engine. Even later on, Bosch designed a multi-point fuel injection engine, and it was assumed by the Niva as well, starting with 2004. Lada Niva can be considered a hero of automobiles, as it traveled around the world completing essential missions, being used as an ambulance and as military vehicle in European countries.