Is the Lada Niva set to make a comeback!
Some importers believe with the Land Rover Defender now no longer being produced there is a hole in the market, which the Lada Niva could take advantage of. Main dealers ceased selling the Niva in the UK during 1997 when it quietly left the shores with nick names like the ‘skip on wheels’ and much ribbing for those who dared to not only posses one but be seen driving one.
As we previously reported the Niva is still made in Russia, Vladimir Putin proudly drives his painted in camouflage and heavily modified but will this help the reputation and revival in the UK. Marketed as a light and capable 4×4, reasonably priced, easy to repair with economical parts Importers are hoping it’s basicness and on trend retro shape will make it a winner.
Mark Key a motor dealer from Blackheath in London is importing the Niva back in to the UK after nearly 20 years, and at £13,000 they are a very affordable tried and tested 4×4.
At half of the price of a basic Defender, Mr. Keys has had plenty of interest from land owners, farmers and estate managers who are looking for a cheap work horse that is easily repaired and will fill the Defender gap. Although a basic vehicle, power steering is standard and the option of a short or long wheel base is available, however there is no RHD version in production.
Parts are available from Germany and the Ukraine with a delivery of time of just 48 hrs.
The old Niva has a cult following throughout Europe for being a very capable off roader,
The new Lada 4×4 has been built in partnership with Renault, who will provide the platform from the Dacia Duster.
The tweaks for the new Niva were done by Brazilian designer Irmao do Decius, who has chosen to keep the design as true as possible to its roots. Whether it will return en-mass to these shores in the future, only time will tell.