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Rent Chevrolet Niva – our heritage

Rent Chevrolet Niva – our heritage

13.04.2016
Here's a review of the Chevrolet Niva – a Russian car for off-road. This is a powerful and comfortable model, but it isn't enough spacious. However, rental prices are low in Moscow, so you can easily try this model for yourself!

Who doesn't know the Niva? The VAZ-2121 is still on the line since its first descent in 1977.

But this SUV got the real world fame in the 1980s when crews of these cars went on the podium of the Dakar Rally and got gold and silver medals. That's when the legend of the Russian Niva started.

In Europe, the VAZ-2121 is popular. Also, it makes up a significant proportion of AvtoVAZ's sales in Russia. Customers appreciate the Niva due to its simplicity and good behavior on roads. But times goes forward and needs progress. In 2000, the VAZ-2323 appeared on the market. And in 2002, the car was renamed as the Chevrolet Niva (it was a joint venture with GM). Over the years, restyling has been periodically done. The chassis and engine were renewed. Reliability of components and assemblies were improved, and the appearance and equipment were changed. The last renovation was in 2015. But the main question still needs an answer. Can the Chevrolet Niva be considered as the successor of the real Niva? Let's rent a car and try to figure out the answer.

Exterior

The Chevrolet Niva looks modern. The Bertone improved the design of the body, so it became more stylish. For example, the large headlights have nice reflectors. Also, the black plastic kit is quite durable and in harmony with the whole design idea.

Interior

The quality of materials is poor, and the plastic is hard and hollow. Also, there are large gaps between the panels. But in general, the interior is good. The dashboard with a small monochrome board computer and air conditioner look old-fashion. The three-spoke steering wheel looks nice, but your hand might slip.

It’s better to replace the driver's seat with a more comfortable one. There is no adjustment for tall drivers. Also, there is no lateral support and profile, so you might feel tired during a long journey. There is no armrest between the front seats, but there is a niche for small things and cup holders. The rear seat isn’t spacious, so even two rear passengers might feel uncomfortable. The trunk is also small (320 liters), and if you fold the rear seat, it will be increased up to 650 liters. You can't transport cargo within the size range.

Driving performance

The Niva is equipped with a 1.7-liters engine (the VAZ-2121 has the same one) with the injector fuel injection system and updated nodes. Its capacity is 80bhp. Also, there is an all-wheel-drive system and 5-speed manual transmission.

Despite the engineers' promises, the engine still has vibrations. The gear lever, rear-view mirror, and small things in the niches always tremble in the cabin. Also, you can hear the transmission noise that is very annoying. At the same time, the engine has poor dynamics. It becomes alive only at medium speeds. At low and high speeds, it doesn't work well. The fuel consumption is about 12 liters in the combined cycle. The transmission doesn't work clearly, and the lever dangles.

However, you can forget about this when the car drives off-road. You realize that this is a real Niva. The car stubbornly drives even on deep dirt, sand, and clay. The transmission partly compensates the lack of engine thrust. The car is light (1,410 kg), so you can easily on bumps. The suspension is long-stroke and soft. Sometimes, it needs more energy consumption, but it's easy to climb a steep ascent. This is a real Niva!

Let's sum up

The Chevrolet Niva is a worthy successor of the VAZ-2121. This car is more comfortable and modern than its predecessor. However, customers might prefer low-priced SUVs (e.g., Renault Duster) than this model because they are more comfortable. However, the Niva’s off-road capabilities are high. There is no another alternative if you drive off-road!

Advantages:

  • modern appearance;
  • more comfortable and modern interior compared to the VAZ-2121;
  • excellent off-road capabilities;
  • long travel suspension;
  • cheap car rental in Moscow.

Disadvantages

  • narrow cabin and small trunk;
  • strong vibration of the engine;
  • transmission's hum;
  • poor dynamics of acceleration;
  • unclear work of the manual transmission;
  • high level of fuel consumption.

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