This is especially true of the Eastern Bloc and Russian cars that trickled across the ideological divide during the 20th century. And if you're looking at Lada Rivas, Samaras, Yugos, FSO Polonezes and the like you'd have to say that the preconception stands up. These are, without exception, miserable cars.
Most significant was the fact that this was one of the first mass-produced 4x4s to feature unibody construction and independent front suspension in a compact body, thereby making itself the precursor to the modern soft-roader.
It was even quite popular in the UK for a while, especially 'Cossack' models such as this, which were tarted-up by the importers with body decals, 15-inch alloys, and even occasionally a sunroof and bull bars (as here).
How Many Left? suggests that there are fewer than 100 trundling around), and the vendor's alarming admission that jacking the car up has caused one of the sills to disintegrate implies that rot may be a possible cause for that, but as an automotive off-road curiosity this 49k-miler is still pretty intriguing.
Although it is possibly telling that the seller would consider a part-exchange of a Land Rover...
Advert is reproduced below
lada niva cossack (1991)
49,000 miles £900
white alloys, bull barr, crank handle,
The car is taxed until next year and mot until sept 2012,There are some bad point it dose has rust in a few places eg.front wings and now drivers side sil,
It needs a rear wheel bearing and now some welding work on the sil because i jack it up and the jack went in a bit.