Meet the all-new Lada Granta Classic.
Meanwhile, in Russia, Lada has started producing cars again. Lada resumed production this week for the first time since Putin decided to invade Ukraine.
Building a car in Russia is proving to be difficult, however. As you might know, various sanctions are currently in place, making it impossible to import all of the necessary parts to build a car. It's also impossible to get parts out of Russia, which had dire effects on Volkswagen's production.
Despite said sanctions, Lada is not giving up. Instead, it unveiled a new trim level for the Granta, one of Russia's top-selling cars. It's the same size and price as a Chevrolet Spark but horrible in every way.
The factory where the Granta is being built was nationalized earlier this year. Renault previously owned 68% of AvtoVAZ, which is Lada's parent company. Instead of letting Putin simply take over the factory as he threatened, Renault struck a deal. It let the Russian government buy its stake in AvtoVAZ for one ruble, but it has a six-year option to buy it back for the same price. It's a pity because Lada was on a roll last year.
After claiming the factory, the engineers needed to find a way of producing a car without relying on foreign parts. That's proving to be quite tricky, and for proof, one has to look no further than the standard features you get when you pay $13,200 for the Granta Classic.
Like the Spark in the USA, the Granta Classic is currently the most affordable new car in Russia.
It's powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-pot that produces 90 horsepower. The power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. Many people will be bothered by the lack of power, but we see it as good. As it turns out, many of Granta's safety features were imported, which means it doesn't have traction control, a passenger-side airbag, air conditioning, or keyless entry.
Standard features include a driver's side airbag, power steering, and front electric windows. We've seen workhorse truck beds more luxurious than the Granta. You can have the Granta Classic as a hatch, sedan, or station wagon.
Still, Lada plans on seeing it through, and the Russian people don't have any alternative since various manufacturers left Russia since the invasion.