What does the new Niva VAZ 2123 look like against the backdrop of a long-formed family of three cars (VAZ 2121 3, 21218 and 2131) with similar names? What is similar and how is it different from "old women"?


For a long time under the name "Niva" three different cars get along, not counting their modifications and pickups. The first is the Niva itself, the shorty VAZ 2121 3, which is still leaving the factory conveyor. Next - the long five-door VAZ 2131 produced in the Pilot Production (OPP) with the once working, but still not accustomed name “Cedar”. And finally, the “average” VAZ 2121 8, manufactured by BRONTO, according to the Fora documents. Any of them is simply called “Niva”.

This year, a new all-terrain vehicle VAZ 2123 will join this company, which at first (two to three years) will be assembled by the VAZ OPP. This car is also called the “Niva” for the time being - and, very likely, it will remain. Of course, obsolete models will continue to be produced, but with the transition of new items to the factory conveyor, the previous generation of machines should gradually make room.

What consumer niche will the Niva of the new generation fall into? To understand this, we decided to evaluate all four cars on several important indicators for the buyer. To do this, they conducted five comparative tests, putting marks on the school system. The best car in each nomination was the “five”.

It is known: almost the most important thing for our motorist is the useful volume of the body. Therefore, the first test is “Cabin and trunk capacity.”

It is clear that the main differences between the first three "fields" are determined by the rear of the body - the front is the same for everyone. At the same time, the back seat was evaluated by pushing the front ones all the way back.

In a short car, the rear seat, sandwiched by the wheel arches, can be called childish, although, with due persistence, two adult ladies can somehow sit here, hugging the backs of the front seats with their knees. The third, even very slender - will not enter. I don’t want to talk about the landing of elderly citizens here - this is a painful business for them.

The trunk - the minimum size. Will come from the strength of a pair of medium suitcases. Perhaps the 213rd car is difficult to call a four-seater, rather - "two plus two." However, all this has long been known.

On the "average" 21218 the situation is much better. Here in the back seat are three adults. It is not necessary for someone who is sitting in the front seat to get out of the car in order to let passengers into the rear seats - it is enough to lean forward.

Three solid suitcases were already placed in the trunk of the Fora, but the car remained a two-door and the pay for these gains was a noticeable increase in the size of the doors. Closing them - obviously heavier - from the front seats is much more difficult, it requires some skill, especially for people of short stature.

The really long “Niva” VAZ 2131 in comparison with the previous ones in this respect is the queen. There is a three-seater sofa in the back with "personal" doors, and a very spacious luggage compartment.

And now, finally, with our “arshin” we will approach the new product - VAZ 2123. Landing? Approximately, as in "Fore". But the entrance and exit of the rear passengers is not worse than that of 2131. True, the luggage compartment pumped up - it’s small, a little more than that of shorty 21213.

Ratings: 2131 - five, 21218 - four, 2123 - four with a minus, and 21213 earns a "triple".

Let's move on to the next test and, leaving the cramped yard, we’ll call it: “In a tight parking lot”. Anyone who happens to park in such conditions will understand the importance of this maneuver.

We start again with the small 213rd. She, of course, the most maneuverable among the "old women", will easily squeeze into the cramped area. But, perhaps, a great effort on the steering wheel and small exterior mirrors.

At the 218th in this situation a little more complicated. But 2131, compared with short rivals, is perceived as heavy and slow, and be healthy on the steering wheel!

"Twenty-third" behaves best. Although its size and turning radius are closer to VAZ 2121 8, good visibility (large windows and exterior mirrors) and a lighter steering wheel (increased gear ratio of the steering mechanism, close to zero running-in shoulder and, of course, electric power assist) help.

Ratings: 2123 - five, 21213 - four, 21218 - four with a minus, 2131 - three.

Now our task is to get out of the city on the highway. So, the third test is “In the city”.

Here the picture is almost no different from the previous one. True, on city streets the 213rd and 218th are practically compared. On the move, they are quite obedient, allow you to move confidently and easily maneuver in a dense traffic stream. But they still annoy, albeit less, a heavy steering wheel and small mirrors.

But the 31st car is distinguished from the rest by several "bus" manners. In any case, in a dense city stream, she demands more concentration from the driver than her short relatives.

VAZ 2123 is again the best here, its trump cards are a good view in all directions, large exterior mirrors.

The ratings are almost the same as in the previous nomination: 2123 - five, 21213 and 21218 - four, 2131 - three.

We got out of town … - now the fourth test: "On a suburban highway."

And here is almost a cardinal rearrangement. VAZ 2121 3 immediately moves to last place, and the lack of smoothness, if not to say - its absence, is to blame. "Shorty" swinging on the slightest bumps in the road, trying to throw the backside to the side. And the vibration inside annoys - in the cabin everything is buzzing and itchy, especially with VLI-5 toothy tires.

The middle 218th here justifies its “middle” position, but still it is closer to the long 31st than to the short 213rd. Under these conditions, the five-door looks almost like an ocean liner, “despising” the waves, and it makes noise, even shod in the VLI-5, much less.

The new Niva behaves even better. And above all, it stands out for its dynamics at high speeds and the lowest level of noise and vibration. To a large extent, these qualities are due to a completely new aerodynamics of the car, incomparable with the performance of "old women".

Ratings: they decided to put five to the 23rd car, 2131 earned a five with a minus, 21218 - a four, and 21213 - a three.

It is the turn of the most interesting - how all-wheel drive will behave in their native element - on a dirt road and on impassable roads. The fifth test: "Without roads."

It is unlikely that anyone doubts the patency of the shortest car. These qualities of her are well-known not only in Russia. In our comparison, it served as a benchmark for evaluating all other "fields". So, we know that the 213th “shorty” can do almost everything on the roads, which is enough for the driver.

At the "intersection", the 218th is not much different from the short version, which can not be said about the long 2131. And the reason here is not so much in the larger mass of the car, but in the size of the base, more precisely, in the corner of the ramp (under the belly), which is determined by the ground clearance and the distance between the axles. It is this angle that limits the vehicle's ability to overcome pits, ditches and mounds.

The VAZ 2123 is practically indistinguishable from the 218th, although in a hard, dirty rut, the new car sometimes moves less confidently. It affects a little more mass and not much, but still reduced ground clearance.

The estimates here are: 21213 - naturally, five, 21218 - four, 2123 - a little worse, four with a minus, 2131 - three.

And now to summarize. To do this, add up the points: 21213 - 19 points; 21218 - 20 with a minus; 2131 - 19 also with a minus; and VAZ 2123 - 23, albeit with two minuses! The result is obvious - the novelty put on the shoulder blades of all! However, the formal amounts of the accumulated “points” do not give an idea of ​​the nature of the cars. Therefore, we briefly comment on them.

Short 21213 is a low-capacity dashing “rogue”, noisy and “itchy, ” while quite convenient in the city, but unpleasant on the highway.

The long 31st is the exact opposite. This is a roomy full-size five-seater "cruiser" with the makings of an all-terrain vehicle. Noticeably loses to the "shorty" in cross-country terrain and without power steering is inconvenient in the cramped conditions of the city.

The average 218th is the most even in all respects, which means the most versatile all-wheel drive of the family. It is not much inferior to a short car on the roads and a long one on a suburban highway.

All three cars successfully complement each other, serving various consumer destinations.

VAZ 2123 is noticeably more comfortable and easier to drive than its predecessors. This is a faster and more dynamic car. True, for this small step “towards the asphalt”, she had to give part of the super-passability of the short “Niva”.

It seems that many will like the new car. But, probably, there will be those to whom that little bit of the all-terrain vehicle lost for the sake of comfort will be lacking.

Tested "old women": 21213 (white), 21218 (red), 2131 (blue). "Niva" of the future - 2123.

1. In the back seat of our 213rd model is a bit cramped.

2. "Handicap": compared with the 213rd is still more comfortable.

3. Long "Niva": the most spacious back seat and comfortable fit …

4. Welcome to the twenty-third!

1. VAZ 2121 3: the trunk is not an attic - you can’t put too much.