Even though we think of GM, Ford and Chrysler as all being American companies offering the American consumer vehicles that show off with whatever the current trend is for the U.S. Economy, these automakers have a global reach. For GM, their Buicks can be seen on the roads in China, with Ford many European models are being built and Chrysler has an all new reach with some of their new global connections in Europe. With this in mind we are going to take a look at a Russian SUV made by GM called the Chevrolet Niva.
The excitement surrounding the Chevrolet Niva is due to a new model being released for the 2016 model year despite the economic crisis in Russia which has halted many of the offerings from other manufacturers. What is the Niva? According to Chevrolet, the Niva is a short SUV that seats five and would be easily classified as a compact crossover SUV in the U.S. The Niva in its concept form at the 2014 Moscow Auto Show offered a look at a stylish but rugged SUV that appears to be fitted to the gills with necessary features and be more than capable of traversing rough terrain.
Inside the Niva shows off a wide range of control features, all seem to be top notch and add the latest in technological advances for the Russian public. The interior and exterior have both be redesigned to rid the model of the blank and dull look it once had. Even though the U.S. would classify this vehicle as a compact crossover the new model is actually larger than the previous version. Looking at the Niva from the outside it appears to have very little room in the rear for cargo, making me wonder where anyone is going to put all the stuff they might need on a trip to the wilderness.
The Niva is expected to receive an engine upgrade from the 1.71-liter to one that is 1.81-liters in size and add 30 percent more torque. This version will also show up with an expected horsepower of 135 which is plenty for the size of this vehicle. Some of the fun features shown at the Moscow Auto Show include large terrain stomping tires, a front winch, additional headlights on the roof along with a roof storage rack (I guess you can put gear up there) and a full size spare wheel on the back. Add front grills across the headlights and this SUV is ready to take on the rough and rocky wilderness that makes up much of Russia.
It’s not often we take a look at a vehicle that is primarily built for another country by our own automakers and the Chevrolet Niva seemed to make a great choice to show this effort. Built to handle Russia the Niva seems to have the rear cargo space of a small hatchback but offer exceptional off road features and equipment to make it an SUV that will show success and continue to gain a great following in Russia.