Any self-respecting article about the Lada Niva needs to start by telling its age: the car is now nearly 38 years old, and while it has been improved over the years, there’s no denying it thoroughly looks its age. The latest raft of improvements aim to make it relevant for another few years, and with them, AutoVAZ also decided to change its name – they now call it Niva Urban.
Niva is the Russian word for “crop field,” so it’s an urban crop field now – excellent; hipsters will be flocking to buy it now…
Looking at the photos (not official, but leaked via Russian mag Drive) immediately obvious are the (decadent) body-colored bumpers and 17-inch alloys, probably the highlights of the update, since we’re skeptical as to the mechanical and engineering improvements it sports.
Power will most likely come from the same 1.7-liter petrol engine it’s used for the past two decades, when very obviously a stronger diesel would have obviously made it much more of a Suzuki Jimny-beating hit (and generally more efficient). They could have used the same 1.5-liter unit Renault lends to Suzuki, since the French rhombus owns a quarter of its stocks and the two do cooperate in other areas.
By Andrei Nedelea