Set to debut at the 2014 Moscow International Auto Show, the Chevrolet Niva Concept has raised a lot of eyebrows. It looks stunning, mean, capable and it looks like it should be driving on North American streets! There’s only a tiny bit of information available right now, but we know that the Chevrolet Niva Concept resembles the actual Chevrolet Niva which is going on sale in 2016.
Sources say it has a 135 horsepower (PSA-sourced) 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, rear drive with a locking center diff allowing for real 4×4 use. It’s no soft crossover, that’s a solid rear axle in the rear and the whole platform looks like it’s meant to be used like a truck.
The current Chevrolet Niva resembles a second-generation Toyota RAV4 and never had a particularly tough image. As you can see in these photos, Chevrolet in Russia wants to change that. The Chevrolet Niva Concept has a very muscular, off-road-worthy stance. I like the tire/wheel combination and that roof-rack setup is pure awesomeness.
Here’s the best part. The old Chevrolet Niva was known for being very rugged and capable off road. Its street manners were often called mediocre, but a longer wheelbase may help that. We lack small 4x4s in the United States. Not everybody wants a Jeep Wrangler and there are quite a few folks who miss the rugged simplicity of the Suzuki Grand Vitara.
I bet I’m not the only one who digs this look. I think GM-Russia (GM-AvtoVAZ) should seriously consider building a production vehicle that strongly resembles this Chevrolet Niva Concept. Hell, if it could tow more than 2,500 lbs, I would try to convince the TFL crew to get one.
Speaking of SUVs in Russia…
Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious, delighting in the differences of each one. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.