The Lada Riva is a medium-sized family car built by Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ, introduced in 1980 in the Soviet Union, and progressively in other European markets through the early 1980s and sold in both saloon and estate versions. Collectively, the Riva is the export badging for the VAZ-2105, VAZ-2104 and VAZ-2107 models.
Although introduced in the early 1980s, the Riva's origins are older: it is a restyled version of the Fiat 124-based Lada type VAZ-2101"Zhiguli" saloon, which was introduced in 1970. The Riva itself is officially designated – and known in the home market – as VAZ-2105(base saloon), VAZ-2104 (estate), and VAZ-2107 (deluxe saloon identified by large chrome grille). Other names sometimes used include Pyatyorka ("the five") and Semyorka ("the seven"). In Russia, VAZ-2105, VAZ-2104 and VAZ-2107 are considered to be different cars rather than variants but nonetheless all of them are part of a single "Klassika" ("Classic") family along with older models such as the VAZ-2101.
Mechanically, the car is virtually identical to the first-generation VAZ-2101 model, featuring the Fiat-derived engines and transmissions,coil spring suspension all round and aluminium drum brakes on the rear wheels. The major mechanical changes came in the 1990s when single point fuel injection and catalytic converters were specified in an attempt to keep up with emissions legislation.
Tightening safety and emissions legislation led to the Riva being withdrawn from most Western European markets by 1997, although it is still in production at the AvtoVAZ factory in the Russian Federation. In 2005, production of the estate model was taken over by Izh, before assembly was transferred to the Bogdan Group's LuAZ plant. The 2107 model is still in production, not only at AutoVAZ but also at the ZAZ factory in Ukraine, and at Suzuki's factory in Egypt.
In the United Kingdom, the Lada Riva was one of the most popular low-budget cars on the market. Its spartan interiors, dated styling and outdated mechanicals meant that it was never actually aimed at buyers of market leaders' similar-sized products, such as the Ford Sierra, Vauxhall Cavalier and Austin Montego. The Riva was still selling well in Britain and many other western markets in the early 1990s, but the next few years saw a raft of new models come from budget competitors such as Daewoo, Hyundai, Kia and Proton, pushing Lada sales into terminal decline. This, combined with the much-needed investment to adapt cars to stricter European Unionemmissions requirements not being available, resulted in the decision to withdraw Lada from the UK ,(and other European Markets) on 4 July 1997.
Model variants included the Riva Signet, Riva 1200, Riva 1300, Riva 1500, and Riva 1600, with trim levels "E" and "L". A Turbo charged model Lada 2107 Turbo was sold in Finland, this version was made by Finnish Lada importer.
Production at Suzuki Egypt
In Egypt, the Amal Foreign Trade Company and Lada's parent company AvtoVAZ signed a joint venture agreement to assemble Ladas for the North African market in 2000. However, as they did not have their own factory, space was found at a local Suzuki plant in Cairo to assemble the 2107 version of the Riva. As of 2006, production continued at Suzuki with an additional model, the 2110, being produced. Plans are under-way for a separate factory to open in Egypt later this year for Lada production.