It’s been nearly 17 years Chevrolet Niva was launched for the first time. A result of Chevrolet and AutoVAZ joint venture. The Niva is based on the Russian Lada Niva. Although the look is way behind from satisfactory level compare to the present generation SUVs, but Chevrolet Niva is one such car which can give several modern SUVs real tough competition. Given the fact, that Russia is one of the most diverse terrain countries in the world, this car has proved its ability to perform well.

In 2014 Chevrolet showcased a new Niva model, which sports plenty of changes at the exterior and inside the cabin. This new model is much more aggressive looking, appealing and powerful than the outgoing model. In Indian automobile market SUV segment is one of the most happening segment. Chevrolet recently launched the Trailblazer in India with an objective to get a foothold in the SUV segment. They have a plan to bring another SUV based on the Adra Concept showcased at 2014 Indian Auto Expo. In the meantime, the American automaker has planned to bring Niva in India as well. Although, there is no official statement or detail information available from Chevrolet or General Motors; but I assume, Chevrolet will bring their popular Niva SUV sometime around 2017 in the country, as they will launch the next generation Niva in Russia only in 2016.

Before Chevrolet makes progress about launching the Niva SUV in India, I take the opportunity to bring a detail review of the car.

Click past jump to read more about the all new Chevrolet Niva SUV.

EXTERIOR

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Chevrolet Niva is built for toughest off roading tasks. The butch looks and rugged design says it all. The first thing grabs the eyeballs is the off roading gears adorned by the SUV all over its body. The front profile looks menacing with the wrapped up headlamps sporting a sharp look and they would probably get LED units. With the off-roading gears on, the headlamps get body coloured sleek guard rails in front of it. The hexagonal shaped front grille sports several sharp body coloured horizontal slats and the Chevrolet logo sitting at the centre top position of the grille. The front bumper is huge and round shaped foglamps sit neatly at both sides of the bumper. There is a scuff plate visible at the bottom. Chevrolet Niva comes with a taller stance because of its tall bonnet.

At the side profile the butch look is persistent; with the claddings, sharp cuts and creases. The huge wheel arches are the home for BF Goodrich mud tyres on the five twin spoke wheels. The B pillar at the greenhouse area is completely blackened. A sharp crease in form of character line is running upward to the rear profile just beneath the greenhouse area and blends to the rear tip of the car. There is another thick character line visible at the lower part sitting in between front and rear fenders. Although it is not standard; but when the Niva is fully armoured with the off-roading gears, the exhaust vent comes attached with the A pillar.

The rear profile sports equally butch look. The taillamps come in three parts with the turning lamps at the middle. Rear window gets a wrapping up look while the rear door sports the spare wheel. The rear bumper is not big like the front one, but it also sports a thick and bold look with the registration enclosure sitting at the centre position. A rear scuff plate is visible at the bottom.

The roof rails of the car come in chrome garnished look, while a roof carrier with another spare tyre is also visible at the available image, but that would be the complete geared up look of the car. The entire car gives us a hint of its taller ground clearance. The dimensional figures of the upcoming Chevrolet Niva are not available yet, but it would probably come closer to the outgoing model. Check out the outgoing Niva’s dimensions.

DIMENSION

Length4056 mm
Width2120 mm (With ORVMs open)
Height1690 mm
Wheelbase2450 mm
Ground clearance200 mm
Boot space320 litres (Expandable up to 650 litres)
Fuel tank capacity58 litres

INTERIOR

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Although there are no chrome garnishing visible at exterior, but inside the cabin, Chevrolet has given the car a bit of styling touch in form of chrome garnishing at the round shaped AC vents on the dashboard, door trims etc. A leather wrapped multifunction three spoke steering wheel is visible which is the home for several control buttons. In front of the steering wheel the driver information panel looks like completely digital. At the centre console a touchscreen infotainment panel is visible, while below that several control buttons and knobs can be seen easily. The control buttons get a backlit garnishing, while at the centre top position of the dashboard three round shaped dials are visible. This feature definitely adds on the style and sportiness of the car. Unfortunately, there is no further information available about the interior. The outgoing model comes with a seating capacity of three occupants. Inside the cabin, there are several other features like comfortable sporty leather seats, bottle holders etc. At rear of the cabin, Chevrolet Niva has a luggage space capacity of 320 litres, which can be expanded to 650 litres with the rear seats folded.

FEATURES

• 2 DIN music system.
• Central lock with remote control.
• Front doors’ power glass lifters.
• Height adjustable steering column.
• Folding back seats 60/40.
• Rear interior lighting.
• Removable ashtray.
• Glass holders and section for small objects.
• Heated front seats.
• Heating of rear passengers’ legs.
• Inner air filters.

DRIVETRAIN

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There is no information available regarding the powertrain of the upcoming Chevrolet Niva. But, we guess it would be powered by a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder Peugeot sourced engine under the hood; mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox and a full time four wheel drive system, this engine will churn out 135 hp peak power.

In the outgoing Chevrolet Niva power comes from a 1.7 litre (1690 cc) engine, which is paired with a 5 speed manual gearbox and constant 4 wheel drive by inter axle locking differential. The powertrain produces 80 hp peak power and 127.5 peak torque. The car has a top speed of 140 kmph.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Engine1.8 litre
Transmission5 speed manual
Maximum power135 hp

RIDE AND HANDLING

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Being a true off roader Chevrolet Niva gets a pretty good brake and suspension set up which ensures safety and good handling of the car alongside a comfortable riding experience. The front of the car gets spiral spring, independent, double lever suspension, while at rear Niva gets spiral spring, rigid axle type 5 rod suspension. The braking duty is done by disk brakes at the front wheels, while the rear wheels get drum brakes.

BRAKE AND SUSPENSION

Front suspensionSpiral spring, independent, double lever
Rear suspensionSpiral spring, rigid axle type five rod
Front brakeDisc brakes
Rear brakeDrum brakes

SAFETY

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Chevrolet Niva gets safety features like Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) dual front airbags, central lock with remote control, immobilizer with alarm system integration, beam adjuster, load limiter of a driver’s and front passenger’s safety belts.

PRICING

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There is no information available regarding the pricing of this car.

COMPETITION

FORD ECOSPORT

1. Ford Ecosport

Ford Ecosport is the best selling compact SUV of India. It is available in three different powertrain options, which are 1.0 litre Ecoboost petrol delivering 125 PS peak power and 170 Nm peak torque, 1.5 litre petrol unit producing 112 PS peak power and 140 Nm peak torque. The lone diesel unit comes in form of 1.5 litre engine churning out 115 PS peak power and 215 Nm peak torque.

Read the Ford Ecosport review here

RENAULT DUSTER

1.

Renault Duster is undoubtedly the most popular compact SUV in India. It gets power from 1.6 liter petrol engine which produces 104 PS peak power and 145 Nm peak torque, while the 1.5 liter diesel engine generates 110 PS peak power and 248 Nm peak torque. Transmission duty is done by a 6 speed manual and a 5 speed manual gearbox.

Read the Renault Duster review here

CONCLUSION

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It is really hard to predict anything positive or negative about the Chevy Niva so early, but as far as the look and design is concerned, this car will surely give its competitors run for money.

P. S:- The image displayed in this review are of the Niva SUV concept. We will update the original images of the compact SUV as soon as they are available..

Image source: TopSpeed.com