The same Niva born to the Soviet world in 1977, but slightly different.   

You still have to use a little key to unlock the doors, and there’s still a gun rack and snow plough on the options list, but now it has a real headlining, extra soundproofing and optional AC.

You can also buy it in the UK again, thanks to a small importer in London. Jonny has always had admiration and respect for this jolly ex-communist cockroach. It has just enough comfort and utilitarian style to feel like one of the late Defenders. Albeit one with a healthy turning circle and unquestionable reliability. He knew about the latter from all the stories of when one of these was posted to the Antarctica research station and Everest base camps to live. Nivas are the anti-SUV, and all the more cool for it. Left hand drive only, but they can be bought new from £12k (+vat).

Jonny got the exclusive UK test drive of the 2021 model, and enjoyed filming it on and off road during what was Britain’s hottest day of the year thus far. All was going just fine until he encountered what we now know is a fairly unfriendly puddle in the Tixover quarry offroad course. No cones or signs mentioned that what he presumed was a shallow slip way, was in fact a huge step that had claimed the lives of numerous mud pluggers. In fact, it had sunk a Unimog a few weeks previous. A UNIMOG.

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