The Lada Niva is an off-road vehicle produced in 1977 by the Russian automaker AvtoVAZ. While it’s now seriously dated, the Niva possesses some definite suburbanite-daytripper-to-the-country off road potential—it was designed to handle the Russian Steppes after all. In fact, the word “Niva” actually means “cornfield,” which is interesting, if not terribly inspiring.
The Niva is one of Russia’s best-selling export vehicles, and continues to be manufactured and sold almost everywhere. Almost — the USA is never slow to say no to bad influences, even if they’re good ideas. This might explain why a formerly Soviet vehicle of otherwise solid, even inspired design (functionally speaking), never saw the light of day in the land of Purple Mountains’ Majesty.