You go on holiday to relax and have fun. So why on Earth would anyone want to go on holiday in a Lada camper van? After all, Ladas are utterly miserable grot boxes, aren’t they? So this must, by definition, be as appealing as a run-down B&B in Skegness.
But let’s give it a fair hearing before passing judgement.
It’s built by Moscow-based Lux-Form, a company that specialises in turning Lada’s small trucks into box vans with a modular – err – box. This Autohouse camper goes on the back of a Lada Granta truck chassis.
The Granta is Lada’s smallish, entry-level family saloon/hatchback/estate. It was launched in 2012, though large parts of its anatomy can be traced directly back to the Samara of 1984 which was… terrible.
The truck is actually only half a Granta. Up to the B-pillar it uses the same monocoque bodyshell as the saloon, but from there back a separate, heavy-duty frame is grafted on. So far, so unpromising.
Inside the camper box, there’s a 6ft 6in, fold-out double bed, table, some seats, kitchen with gas hob and sink, some cupboard space and even a proper bathroom with toilet and shower. Though showering in a space only 5ft 1in tall might be a bit tricky.
You also get a 70 litre water tank, water heater, 5kg gas bottle and various power outlets. All of which is pretty standard in an entry-level camper like this. At just over 16ft long it’s not massive, but it will be extremely slow.
Even at its sprightliest, the Granta only has 106hp from its 1.6-litre, 16-valve four-cylinder engine, which drags the thing from 0-62mph in a yawning 10.5secs. Add a few hundred kilos of camper box to it and acceleration will be extremely leisurely.
We’ve no idea what Lux-Form’s build quality is like. But you usually get what you pay for and prices for the Autohouse start from 1,150,000 Rubles – just under £14,000. I
t’s not stacking up well, is it?
But before we condemn it completely, consider this – the Granta truck chassis is actually pretty tough and rugged, so the Autohouse could well be much better able to stand up the rigours of the Russian wilderness than much more expensive European camper vans.
By Graham King