Sometimes even legends have to retire after many years of service. This would happen in the case of the Niva Legend 5-door, with Lada planning to end production in December. The iconic Niva Legend 3-door, however, has nothing to fear as it will continue, at least until the arrival of the all-new, long-awaited model in 2024.
The five-door version of the Niva, code name VAZ-2131, is one of many variants that appeared in the mid-1990s, several years after the three-door was unveiled in the late 1970s. Despite the increased space for the legs of the rear passengers thanks to the significantly longer wheelbase (+500 mm / 19.7 inches), it was not a very good seller with only 100,000 units out of the factory since 1993, out of the 3 million Niva units sold since 1977.
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It’s a fact that most buyers prefer the classic three-door short-wheelbase Niva, which is the best off-roader, lightest and most fuel-efficient despite using the same engine. However, during all these years there was still a market for the five-door variant dubbed a station wagon version of the 4 Ã 4.
Regardless of the body style, all Niva Legend models are fitted with an (older) 1.7 liter engine producing 82 hp (61 kW / 83 hp) and 129 Nm (95 lb-ft) of torque coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox and a four-wheel drive system.
Supply issues interrupted production of the five-door Niva Legend in February, only to restart again in March. Our Australian colleagues at Drive.com.au report that the AutoVAZ plant stopped taking orders last week in order to catch up before the final end of production in December.
See also: You can now convert your Lada Niva into electric current for only 2,800 â¬
In Russia, the Niva Legend five-door is currently offered in Classic, Luxe, Urban and Black Series trim levels with prices ranging from 747,900 ($ 10,556) to 832,900 ($ 11,756). The flagship variant is equipped with 16-inch alloy rims, integrated plastic bumpers, fog lights, heated front seats, power windows, heated mirrors and air conditioning. The off-road-oriented Bronto trim was offered exclusively in three doors.
AutoVAZ’s decision to end production of the long-wheelbase Niva Legend was obvious since the newly refurbished Niva Travel can be seen as an indirect replacement. This model is an updated version of the AvtoVaz 2123 which debuted in 1998 and was also sold as the Chevrolet Niva, but it is still significantly more modern than the fossilized Niva Legend. For the record, the Niva Travel starts from 820,900 ($ 11,587) in Russia, which is a fair price for such a vehicle.