Is the Lada Niva Travel the Russian Ford Bronco Sport or Toyota RAV4?

Perhaps the Lada Niva Travel is what the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue should have been?

The new and updated Lada Niva Travel is a surprisingly rugged little crossover that can come with an optional snorkel. This is a small, inexpensive crossover that is expected to have a base price of around $9,600 US. A loaded Lada Niva Travel may come in at about $11,500 US. These prices are estimated based on the previous Chevy Niva crossover that preceded this new Travel model. With those paltry prices, you get a modest little vehicle that has a little bit of off-road ruggedness baked in.

This is a facelifted version of the same Lada built in conjunction with General Motors last year. GM recently pulled out of the partnership, hence the new face and name.

The Niva Travel has an 80 horsepower 1.7-liter 4-cylinder that makes 94 lbs-feet of torque. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission that sends power to all-four wheels via an all-wheel-drive system that comes standard. It is not a fast or powerful vehicle by any means, but we hear the 1.7-liter engine is fairly reliable.

AVTOVAZ will build the Niva Travel. It’s poised to reintroduce the Niva name to Russian consumers as other Niva vehicles are slated for future production.

Here’s a statement from AVTOVAZ:

This is a great achievement especially for the team of (Lada West Togliatti), which managed efficiently on time this important project. Niva has a long history and a glorious path. More than 650 thousand of these cars today drive on the roads and off-road in Russia, the CIS, and other countries. With the return of the legendary Niva name to the LADA family, we open a new page in its history. I want to assure you that in the coming years, this name will be associated with a lot of important and interesting news.” Yves Karakatzanis, President of AVTOVAZ

Read about the Lada Niva off-road RV (here).

Of course, the Toyota RAV4, the new Ford Bronco Sport, and the Nissan Rogue that are sold in the United States are far more expensive, but they provide a lot more power and refinement as well. The thing is: the RAV4 and Rogue (among others) started off as affordable crossovers, now they are becoming remarkably expensive for certain models. The idea of having a cheap, rugged crossover in a world of overpriced vehicles is compelling – no?

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.