You know Lada, right? Makers of infamously terrible Communist snotboxes that you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. Well, this not at all bad-looking saloon is Lada’s latest offering.
It’s called the Vesta and goes on sale in Russia early next year, priced at 465,000 – 700,000 rubles (£4,700 – £7,000). That buys a mid-ish size (4.4m) saloon with a relatively generous wheelbase (2.6m) and boot (480 litres). Expect there to be legions of them on Moscow’s taxi ranks within months.
Underneath, it uses an all-new platform, designed by maker AvtoVAZ with help from parent company Renault. Power comes from various 1.6-litre engines ranging from 87bhp to 114bhp – the latter sourced from Nissan – with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox.
The Vesta’s styling looks good in a bland kind of way, though we’re not sure about the pointed scallops on the sides. A line sweeping from the rear corner of the front wheelarch up to the rear lights would probably have worked better. But at least it’s distinct. The Vesta’s main competition, the Hyundai Solaris and Kia Rio, really aren’t.
Likewise, the interior seems pleasant if nondescript. It looks well laid-out with decent equipment on top-spec models. Though the materials are probably from the ‘hard and scratchy’ end of the spectrum. And Lada may still not have learnt how to screw a car together properly.
On paper, and in pictures, the Lada Vesta looks promising. On the other hand, Lada has never knowingly built a good car, but perhaps Renault’s guiding hand will have reversed the trend.
It could turn out to be actively bad, but even if the Vesta is inoffensively dull, that will still be a big step forward for Lada.
For more information click here
By Only Motors