Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
1 minute read
22 Dec 2020
8:08 am

Niva given Toyota RAV4-inspired restyling as Lada welcomes moniker’s return

Charl Bosch

Refresh for the once known Chevrolet Niva has not filtered through to the mechanicals.

Restyled Lada Niva Travel

With the departure from Chevrolet and therefore General Motors (GM) from a number markets, Lada has taken ownership back of the iconic Niva moniker, albeit not for the long running Soviet era off-roader known as the 4×4 since 2006.

Instead, parent company AvtoVAZ has restyled what was known as the Chevrolet Niva to resemble to the Toyota RAV4, while also replacing the bowtie badges with the sailboat-like Lada logos.

Officially called the Niva Travel, the revisions include new headlights, the RAV4-inspired grille, a redesigned front bumper with an integrated skidplate, flatter bonnet and shoulder-line, LED taillights, new wheel arch moulds, a selection of optional off-road accessories consisting of a snorkel, black plastic wheel arches and all-terrain tyres, an updated rear bumper and a new spare wheel cover. No images or details of the interior were revealed.

Aside from the fog lamps and rear-view mirror, the Niva’s biggest carryover is the drivetrain made up of the long-serving 1.7-litre petrol engine and five-speed manual gearbox. Producing the same 62kW/129Nm as the unit in the 4×4, the Niva is also only available with four-wheel-drive with low range being selected via a second gear lever as opposed to buttons or dials.

In Russia, sales are expected to commence early next year with pricing to be revealed at a later stage. Although offered in South Africa in original guise for a short period after the turn of the century, the Niva Travel is not expected to make a local market return any time soon.

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