|Also called||Lada 4x4 (3-dr version since 2009)
Lada Sport (Iceland)
Lada Taiga (Austria, Germany & Italy)
VAZ 2121 (Russia)
Bognor Diva (Uruguay)
Lada Bushman (Australia)
Lada 4x4M (Italy)
Lada Job (Italy)
Quito, Ecuador (AYMESA)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door and 5-door SUV
2-Door, 4-door Pickup and van
|Engine||1.6 L I4 (petrol)
1.7 L I4 (petrol)
|Wheelbase||2,200 mm (86.6 in) (3-door SUV)
2,700 mm (106.3 in) (5-door SUV)
2,700 mm (106.3 in) (2-door pickup)
|Length||3,740 mm (147.2 in) (3-door SUV)
4,240 mm (166.9 in) (5-door SUV)
4,520 mm (178.0 in) (2-door pickup)
|Width||1,680 mm (66.1 in)|
|Height||1,640 mm (64.6 in)|
The Lada Niva or VAZ-2121 (Russian: Лада Нива; Niva (нива) is the Russian word for "crop field") is an off-road vehicle produced by the Russian (former Soviet) manufacturer AvtoVAZ. It was also marketed as the Lada Sport in Iceland, Lada Taiga in Austria, Bognor Diva in Uruguay, the Lada Cossack in Britain, and is offered since 2009 on most markets as the Lada 4x4.
It was the first mass production off-road vehicle to feature a unibody architecture, independent front suspension with coil springs, and is a predecessor to current crossover SUVs which nearly all follow this format; it inspired the Suzuki Vitara. Pickup and emergency van versions are produced by VAZInterService.
A notable Niva buyer in May 2009 was Russia's then-premier Vladimir Putin. He flaunted his camouflage-painted offroader in the Russian media, to boost AvtoVAZ's 'vehicles' sales despite the financial crisis' - but, in January 2010, he admitted to students in Cheboksary his vehicle had a German-made Opel engine. "It turns out that it's more powerful," he added.
The Niva (VAZ-2121) was described by its designers as a “Renault 5 put on a Land Rover chassis.” Development began in 1971, when a team of VAZ designers under Vladimir Solovyev began work on a "civilized" four-wheel drive vehicle. It was inspired in part by the IZh-14 prototype of 1974. It was VAZ's first non-Fiat based model. Much of its mechanicals are carried over from the Fiat 124-based Lada models, though the body, four-wheel drive system, and front suspension were designed by VAZ. The first prototypes appeared in 1971 and 1972, but were rejected as too utilitarian, so doors and hardtop were added; this version debuted in 1973. This took inspiration from the VAZ-1101, and was created by designer Valery Pavlovitch. The engine was changed to a 1,568 cc (95.7 cu in) from the VAZ-2106, with permanent four-wheel drive and locking differentials. On trials during 1973 and 1974, it showed it could climb a 58° slope or ford 60 cm (24 in) of water or 100 cm (39 in) of snow. It was approved for production in 1977 as the Niva (Field).
In basic form, the Niva has a carbureted 1.6-litre overhead cam four-cylinder petrol engine producing 54 kW (72 hp) and 126 N·m (93 lb·ft), a four- or five-speed manual transmission, and full-time four-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive system employs three differentials (centre, front and rear). The transfer case involves a high/low range selector lever and a central differential lock lever. Low range can be selected with the centre differential locked or unlocked. The original Niva had a maximum speed of 81 mph (130 km/h), and can cruise at 90 km/h (56 mph) 90 km/h (56 mph) while consuming petrol at 8.25 L/100 km (34.2 mpg-imp; 28.5 mpg-US). Its towing capacity is rated for up to 860 kg (1900 lb). It debuted in Western Europe at the 1978 Paris Motor Salon, and rapidly captured forty percent of Europe's market for four-wheel drive vehicles, making it Lada's top-selling export. Because of export demand, and higher priority for exports, domestic customers faced long waiting lists.
A 1.7-litre petrol engine was introduced later in production, as was single-point fuel injection supplied initially by General Motors. Around this time the rear hatch was revised to have a lower opening. Multi-point fuel injection designed by Bosch is used currently since 2004. In some markets a 1.9L Peugeot XUD diesel powered Niva was sold.
Coil springs are located at each of the four wheels, and suspension is independent in front, whereas the rear axle is a 5 link live-type, with ratios between 3.90 and 4.30 depending on the model and market. Ground clearance is good at 235 mm (9.25 in) and water 510 mm (20 in) deep can be negotiated.
The brakes (disc front, drum rear) are servo-assisted dual-circuit style and the clutch is hydraulic. The turning circle is a relatively low 36.25'. Cargo space is 0.48 m³ (17 ft³), or 1.33 m³ (47 ft³) with the rear seats folded down. A spare tyre is located in the engine bay under the bonnet. The latter feature is considered a useful and practical feature by off-road fans.
During the 1980s local Lada importers in various markets made their own upgrades to help compete with more modern SUVs. In the UK the Cossack model featured large body decals, roof rails, running boards, 15" alloy wheels, and on some versions a sunroof, steel bullbars, spotlights, a rear-mounted spare tyre and semi-bucket seats. Other markets' importers made similar upgrades and many were also called Cossack.
In 1995, Lada UK introduced a face-lifted version of the Niva Cossack and renamed the basic model as the Hussar. Whereas the Hussar had the original 1977 trim, the new UK Cossack featured a new Rover-designed grille and other body kit items, and gained soft nudge-bars at the front in deference to public opinion against bullbars. Both models received the same new 1.7-litre engine and a new deeper tailgate which extended the rear opening to the level of the bumper - a vast improvement over the original model's high lip. Official Niva imports to the UK ceased in 1997 due to the importers having difficulty in sourcing the GM fuel injection unit required to satisfy ever-tightening UK emissions regulations.
There were several attempts to reintroduce Ladas back into the UK. In May 2010, the basic Niva became available again, through an independent importer. Aimed largely at the agricultural market, three models were made available (all LHD), the 3-door 4-seat hatchback at £10,000, a 2-seat commercial van, £8000 and a 2-door, 4-seat pickup for £12,000. All meet the current UK Vehicle Certification Agency standards. The only engine available is the 1.7 litre petrol, but this can be provided with or without a LPG conversion.
In 1974, when VAZ 2121 development was almost finished, the engineers from Togliatti began working on an amphibian off-roader, VAZ 2122 'Reka' ('River') based on VAZ-2121 'Niva' underpinnings. It was intended to be sold to the Soviet Ministry of Defence. It had a 60 hp (45 kW; 61 PS) 1,300cc engine based on the VAZ-2101's, for a top speed of 71 mph (114 km/h) on road or 5 kn (5.8 mph; 9.3 km/h) on water.
Six evolutions of prototypes were built, and much development work was done. The car was tested in an experimental military unit, on the proving grounds of the Ministry of Defence, and in the Turkmenistan Karakum Desert. VAZ-2122 received very positive feedback, by 1987 VAZ had finished all development work, and the car was ready for production.
However, at the end of the 1980s, the Ministry of Defence did not have the financial resources necessary for large-scale purchases of the VAZ-2122. As a result, it was never put into mass production.
Long-wheelbase versions - the five-door VAZ-2131 and three-door VAZ-2129 - were also produced from 1994, but not generally exported.
The Lada Niva will be named the Taiga soon and the model will continue to be offered with a low-range gearbox, with a differential lock, with ABS, underbody protection and more. Prices for the model start at 10,990 euros. The Taiga will be available in five body styles; 3-door SUV, 5-door SUV, 2-door Pickup, 4-door Pickup and van. Two petrol engines are available for the model, a 1.6L and a 1.7L, along with two transmissions, a 4-speed or a 5-speed manual.
Starting 2014 model year, the "Niva" nameplate has been discontinued for the Russian market too, and the vehicle is currently branded as "Lada 4x4" for both short and long wheelbases. This was done to make way for the upcoming reboot of the Chevrolet Niva series, which is slated to start production by March 2015. However, due to the current economical situation in Russia-West relations, AvtoVAZ analysts have suggested that the production of Chevrolet Niva may indeed get delayed furthermore into 2015, especially considering any upcoming automotive sanctions packages against Russia. AvroVAZ currently plans in keeping the former Lada for its domestic market, branding it as economy class SUV.
Uses of the Niva
In Russia and Europe the Niva has been used as an ambulance, a military vehicle, and by various police forces (e.g. Czech Republic) and utility companies (e.g. Manx Electricity Board). It also saw service for a time as a vehicle for lifeguards on beaches in the Netherlands.
Transmanche-Link, the commercial consortium that built the Channel Tunnel between England and France, used a fleet of 45 Nivas to aid in the enormous project. Each Niva accumulated in excess of 70,000 kilometres (43,000 mi) off-road during its employment, and after construction had been completed in 1993, the fleet was sold off to a local dealer.
In Brazil, the Niva was the best-selling off-road vehicle during the early 1990s. In fact, the Niva was so cheap that even with the 85% importation value tax, it was less expensive than Brazilian competiors such as the Envemo or Gurgel. It sold so much more than the Gurgel Carajás, that Gurgel discontinued production in January 1991. The Niva was the first imported 4X4 in the Brazilian market, following then-Brazilian president Fernando Collor's decision to permit the importation of foreign vehicles in 1990. In the Brazilian market, a used 1991 Niva in good condition costs about R$11,000. Competition and higher importation value taxes forced the Niva to be retired from the Brazilian market. Even so, thousands of Nivas remain in use in Brazil.
Nivas have been driven on land, up mountains, through mud, and underwater.
As of early January 2013, a Niva became the symbol of the opposition's Resistance movement in Republic of Macedonia.[dubious ] Nivas can be seen in almost all public gatherings organized by the movement.
Assembly outside Russia
GM-AvtoVAZ, a joint venture between AvtoVAZ and General Motors, produces the Chevrolet Niva. The car was previously known as the VAZ-2123 in the design stage. It features an updated body and 1.7-litre gasoline engine with fuel injection. Although the body and the interiors are new, it is still based on the old VAZ 2121 engine, transmission and most mechanicals. Its off-road ability is exemplary compared with many modern budget SUVs, having been designed for tough tundra territory.
- VAZ-2121 Niva (export name Lada 4x4 Niva) - basic model with the engine VAZ-2121 (1.6 liter, 75 hp, 116 Nm) and 4 of Art. PPC. Several prototypes of the VAZ-E2121 was created in 1972-1975. At the end of 1976 released a pilot batch of "Niva". All the cars in this series have the color "Gold Ochre" and headlamp cleaning different location - on the pilot shaft gearmotors machines "sticking out" from the front and not from the grid, as in mass-produced cars. Standard model was performed from April 1977 to the end of 1993, existing on the line parallel with the new model 21213 for six months;
- VAZ-21211 (Lada Niva 1.3) - export version of the engine 21211 (adapted engine VAZ-21011 1.3 liter, 69 hp, 92 N · m). Made since 1978 in countries with higher taxes on the engines of more than 1500 cm ³ (mainly the Benelux countries and Southern Europe). Used a limited demand because of low high-torque motor for off-road and poor speakers on public roads;
- VAZ-21212 (Lada Niva 4x4) - right-hand drive export modification. Made in limited quantities, especially for the British market and also sold in Australia, New Zealand, and as the "Neve" in Japan;
- VAZ-2122.600 "The River" - Army amphibious vehicle using aggregates VAZ-2121. In the 1976–1985 years. developed several prototypes of amphibians with utilitarian open sealed 2-door body. In 1987 the revised model VAZ-2122.600 "The River" was the state tests, but the standard was not made because of amphibian conversion ;
- VAZ-21213 (the original name of "Taiga" did not stick) - restyling model "Niva" in 1993 with the revised rear end with a low loading height (another form of the rear doors and rear lights), more powerful and high-torque engine VAZ-21213 (1.7 L, 81.8 hp, 125 Nm) with the carburetor "Solex" and contactless ignition system on the microcontroller (and that both reduces fuel consumption and improves the flow of oil), Silumin radiator, and many others. In 1993, the transition game was released with a standard engine VAZ-2121.
- VAZ-21214 (LADA 4x4) - modification of the model 21213 with the engine VAZ-21214 (1.7 L, 81.8 hp, 127.5 N · m) equipped with central fuel injection. Since 2002, this model is set engine VAZ-21214-10 (Euro-0) with fuel injection, upgraded in 2006, under the norms of Euro-2 (21214-20), in 2008 under the Euro-3 (21214 - 30), and finally, in 2011, under the norms of Euro-5 (for export) and Euro-4 (for home use). C 2006, in accordance with the agreement on the joint venture GM-AvtoVAZ renamed LADA 4x4 3-dv. At the end of 2008, the first rumors about the next update LADA 4x4 - LADA 4x4m . Changes were protracted. The first steps were taken in early 2009, and finally the development of upgrades was completed in late 2011. Changed the interior and exterior lighting devices, upholstery, transmission units. Part of the components is unified with the project Chevrolet Niva .;
- VAZ-21215 - export version of the diesel-powered Peugeot XUD 9SD, originally produced in 1999-2007. The modification was made on the short-run export, so a full-time assembly is to improve obveska (bumpers, spoilers, covers, alloy wheels, etc.);
- VAZ-21216 - export version of the model 21213 with the right wheel and carburetor engine VAZ-21213;
- VAZ-21217 - export version of the model 21213, with the engine VAZ-2121 (1,6);
- VAZ-21219 - reduction combined with body modification and suspension of the VAZ-2121 and 1.7-liter engine and the transmission of the VAZ-21213. Beauty and rear window washer reservoir also saved from the VAZ-2121. Made in 1993-1994.
- VAZ-2121B - of armored car based on the VAZ-2121. It was created in 1992 by experts VAZ subsidiary company of JSC Special Production Cars Bronte Produced in a limited edition from 1992-1993. First tested foamed polymers for ballistic reservation. Served as a starting point for creating a family of armored vehicles, "Bronte Force."
- VAZ-2121F - export commercial version of model-based VAZ-2121 and 21213 with a body such furgonet . The rear of the cabin turned into a cargo compartment by replacing the side windows (rear door saved) metal panels, remove the back seat and finish. Behind the front seats installed tubular protection from displacement of cargo during braking. Vans version of "Fields" is made in small batches by OPP AvtoVAZ to supply exclusively to the markets of foreign countries, local laws provide tax benefits for such commercial vehicles.
- Lada 4x4 Urban — version of the base 3-door car. It has new bumpers, grille and steering wheel, there are some addition to the options list: power and heated mirrors, power windows, air conditioning and alloys. The car produced by VIS-Auto since October, 2014.
- VAZ-21218 "Fora" - extended by 300 millimetres version of the model 21213. Short-run was performed from 1996 to 2011 by "PSA Bronte" (wine-code «X7G»). It differs from the basic model increased the width of doors and doorways, raised by the add-back of the plastic part of the roof and a wider rear triple seat type 2108. The standard equipment of "odds" enable automatic fire extinguishing system in the engine compartment of an armored car "Force", and for a fee - power steering, air conditioning and a plastic "kenguryatnik" in front of the radiator grille. Due to the use of larger diameter wheels (alloy wheels Togliatti by "Slick" with tires «Nokian HRC») «reserve" taken out of the engine compartment and is secured over the rear bumper.
- VAZ-212182 "Force" - of armoured version of the model VAZ-21218. In addition to the booking system is additionally equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system in the engine compartment, fuel tank explosion and fire, extra battery, air conditioning, remote control door lock, right from the driver seat. As additional equipment is offered armored floor, and warning beacons, etc. Since the "Force" to 430 kg heavier than the "odds" are applied suspension springs of larger diameter rod and reinforced shock absorbers;
- VAZ-212183 "landole"  - outdoor beach SUV based on the "odds" with a body like " Lando "or" landole. " Produced "PSA Bronte 'individual orders since 1997. The lack of a roof and door pillars offset original power roll cage, which, if necessary, fixed light tent or mounted brackets for transportation of bulky sports equipment. Tailgate swings to horizontal loops. Legkomoyuschiysya Salon (seats upholstered in imitation leather, the floor is covered with a soft linoleum). Exterior complemented by original plastic "underweight" and two-tone colouring.
- VAZ-2129 (the informal name of "Cedar") - extended by 500 mm model is based on a standard VAZ-21213. "Cedar" was created in the early 90s as the carrier units for prospective minivan VAZ-2120, but in 1992-1994. produced in small series for OPP AvtoVAZ. Body lengthened at the expense of the central insert. Served as the basis for a five-door model VAZ-2131;
- VAZ 2129 "Utiliter" - a commercial modification of the "Cedar". It differs from the basic model the lack of rear seat and barred from the inside rear side windows. The piece was manufactured under an order for OPP AvtoVAZ and distribution has not received;
- VAZ-2130 ("Cedar") - modification of VAZ-2129 with a reorganization of the interior. Three-seat bench type 2108 is shifted forward. According to unconfirmed information, then the index of the model was changed to 2129-01. VAZ-2130 was made in small batches in 1993-1994. Served as the basis for a five-door model VAZ-2131-01;
- VAZ-2131 (LADA 4x4 5-doors.) - Extended by 500 mm five-door model on the basis of units of VAZ-21213. Available in the pilot production of AvtoVAZ (OPP AvtoVAZ) since 1993. VAZ-2131 is based on the model 2129 "Cedar" by adding a pair of rear doors. On February 2009 has already produced 100 thousand VAZ-2131 , making this the second most popular model in the family of the old "Field". Lengthening the body is produced by the central 500-mm insertion into a standard body model 21213. Accordingly, changes wheelbase and length of the car. On the 2131 version of the distance between the front and rear seats is increased by 125 mm, and applied to the 2131-01 three-seat bench type 2108. The fuel tank is enlarged to 65 liters. With the development of a PPO production engines of VAZ-2130 (1.8 liter, 84 hp, 132 Nm), 21312 version made with this engine. Because of the typical appearance of love and manufacturers to green, VAZ-2131 in the people got the nickname - crocodile
- VAZ-2131 SP (213105/213145) - model manufactured at the OPP VAZ ambulance on the basis of the VAZ-2131. Differs increased by 300 millimetres rear overhang and high plastic roof. A characteristic feature of the exterior of this car is that there are two doors on the right side and one on the left. Due to the increased volume of the luggage compartment allows you to carry a patient on a stretcher and two accompanying physicians with a set of equipment. VAZ-2131-45 is the version produced by OSC Motility, an autovaz subsidiary, which has a stepped roof.
- VAZ-213102 - model manufactured at the OPP VAZ "civil" 5-door version of the health model VAZ-213105. Located in the same increased by 300 millimetres rear overhang and high plastic roof, but was equipped with a conventional five-seat saloon. Increased to 1900 liters luggage compartment allows you to put in it two extra seats that turned the car in the 7-seater (and translates it into a class of medium-sized SUVs). VAZ-213102 produced on demand in 1999-2003.
- VAZ-2121 sugar 1 small-sized saloon "Niva" forced to think about lengthening the machine. In this way, at the end of the 80s were trying to go at the plant, and some designers enthusiasts. That's such enthusiasts in 1991, it was created six copies elongated "Niva" with the increased height roof. Part of the machinery of the party is registered as homemade, fell into private hands, and the part was bought "Lada-bank" as a service and is issued under his own name "Sahara". Further developments on this machine were used to create extended versions of VAZ-2129 "Cedar" and VAZ-21218 "Bronto".
- VAZ-21317 front wheel drive electro car.
Vehicles based on the Niva
- VAZ-2123 - Russian compact SUV a second-generation pilot batches which were produced by the WHA in 2001-2002. Preserved the continuity of the old "Niva" in aggregates and after considerable modernization was launched in mass production in September 2002, at the facilities of the joint venture GM-AvtoVAZ as the Chevrolet Niva . Part of the units of Chevrolet Niva (e.g. WTP firm ZF) eventually moved to LADA 4x4;
- VAZ-2328 "Wolf" - pick-up with a short 2-person cabin on the base model VAZ-2131. Had to get up on the pick-up in parallel with the production of VAZ-2329, but due to low demand "LADA-Toole," released only the initial batch of "Wolves";
- VAZ-2329 "Bear", "Niva Pick-up", LADA 4x4 Pickup - pick-up with an extended five-passenger cab model based on VAZ-2131, short-run manufactured by OPP VAZ. The car retained the bearing body (wheelbase 2700 mm) with a reinforced base and differs increased by 300 mm rear overhang. Load capacity is 650 lbs. On the VAZ-2329 retained the mechanical part of VAZ-2129/2131. Under the order instead of the engine VAZ 21213 was possible to install the engine VAZ-2130 (1.8 liter, 84 hp)., An additional fuel tank, bringing their total capacity to 84 liters. The rear seat in the cockpit of the original, when folded flat, forming the cargo area. The first issues were of his own pickup truck called the "Bear";
- VIS-2346 - the family of pickup trucks with poluramnym chassis on the basis of units of "Niva" Togliatti production company "VAZInterService" produced from 1996 to the present, short-run release two versions of a pickup truck: VIS-2346 with a short two-seat cockpit and VIS-23461 with an extended 5 - the local unit. Formerly produced as pickup VIS-23464 with a queen-size four-seater cabin and a pickup VIS-2348 with the cab of the LADA Samara 2 . Reinforced rear suspension spring is made.
- Bronte-1922 "March 1" - terrain vehicle ("pneumatic") on wheels for low pressure units VAZ-21213. Short-run is made of "PSA Bronte" from 1997.
- APAL-21541 "Stalker" - modification on the basis of units and parts of VAZ-21214, was planned for series production at the plant "Pishchemash" in the city of Argun, Chechen Republic . Short-run is made, LLC "APAL" since 2003.
- CCF-2302 "Bison" - pick-up chassis with frame on the basis of units of "Niva". Pickup truck with double cab and a short wooden platform short-run Togliatti produced by "Eastern Ring" in 1993-1995. Reinforced rear suspension "Buffalo" was a spring. Pick-up in demand did not use.
- Lada Australia advertisement for Lada Niva and Lada Bushman, Wheels (magazine), April 1997
- "Ao"Азия Авто"". Aziaavto.kz. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Icelandic Automobile Association". Fib.is. 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.239 caption.
- Thompson, p.238.
- Putin flaunts new Lada Niva Associated Press in Moscow, used by New Zealnds Stuff.co.nz news portal, 18 May 2009.Retrieved: 4 September 2014.
- Putin Pimps His Russian-Made Ride With German Engine Associated dispatch quoted by Moscow Times, Moscow, 27 January 2010.Retrieved: 4 September 2014.
- ##', Andrew Osborn in Moscow, Daily Telegraph , London, 26 January 2010.Retrieved: 4 September 2014.
- "A quick look at the Lada Niva". Ran When Parked.
- Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.180.
- Thompson, pp.185-186.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.caption.
- Thompson, p.187.
- Thompson, p.238.
- Thompson, p.241 caption.
- Thompson, p.238.
- David Cousins. "Farmers Weekly". Fwi.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Thompson, p.189.
- "Niva allroads models". RusLada.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- "Russian Lada Niva is renamed Lada Taiga – News Feed – Kazakhstan news today". Bnews.kz. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- "Lada Niva is renamed as the Lada Taiga". Inautonews.com. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- "Каде си Никола ечеше пред здравство, диригираше ладата на Отпорот" [Lada Resistance protests before Nikola's Health building]. Бриф (brif.mk) (in Macedonian). 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "Automeccanica Αebe". Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Lada 4x4 Urban Production Begins". Wroom.ru. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lada Niva.|
- Official Lada Niva page at Lada.ru
- UK and Ireland Importer
- Chevrolet Niva website
- Lada Niva technical manuals
- Baxter's Temple of Niva, a large collection of resources for Lada Niva owners
- Bronto PSA official page
- Lada Niva in bulgarian
|Lada, a brand of AvtoVAZ, car timeline, 1970–present|
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