Lada’s working on an all-new Niva for 2025 | Top Gear
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Wednesday 29th March

Lada’s working on an all-new Niva for 2025

The original has been on sale for 45 years and looks set to continue

Published: 03 Feb 2022

It’s time to party like it’s 1979 – there’s an all-new Lada Niva on the way. The original 1977 model is still on sale in Russia, where customers remain fond of the no-compromise budget brand founded by the Soviets.

Lada owner Renault merged the brand with its cheap and cheerful stablemate Dacia last year, and the company has revealed that it’s already working on a new version of the iconic off-roader to be launched in 2025.

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The original car was rebranded last year as the Lada Niva Legend, while another model – the Niva Travel – is a hangover from a partnership with General Motors, refreshed in 2020. Despite being 45 years old the Legend is set to go on as long as possible in Russia, says the company, thanks to high demand and fewer of the pesky rules that make older cars obsolete in other countries.

Lada began as a partnership between Fiat and the Russian ministry of trade in the Sixties, called AvtoVAZ until the Lada brand was launched in 1973. The company was notorious for its boxy, slow products, with cars like the Riva, Samara and Niva available in the UK as relentlessly cheap runabouts. Renault took over the brand in 2016.

Dacia’s vice president of product, Lionel Jaillet, revealed the news at the launch of Dacia’s new Jogger seven-seat MPV, which is based on the Renault Group’s ubiquitous CMF-B platform that underpins cars all the way from the Renault Clio to the Nissan Juke. That engineering will also be put to use in the new Niva, with Lada’s 4x4 expertise supplemented by help from an outside agency.

There’s no word on whether the new Lada Niva will make it as far as the UK, but with a Suzuki Jimny-shape hole in the market we’d love to see a cheap 4x4 filling its wellies. Will you be Russian over to try the new car? Let us know in the comments below.

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