There is no doubt that exterior of Lada Vesta looks 100 per cent, but today I would like to pay attention to some of the details of pre-mass produced new model so we can clearly see some new functional improvements and some of the faults we found. At the same time we can appraise the quality of the design of Lada Vesta
Let's begin. I have said already that the car we have tried is one of five cars given to the garage of the Togliatti City Hall. It has the best specifications-the engine is 1.6 L and it is got 106 hp. It has manual transmission (although there are examples with semi-automatic gearbox AMT). We will have a better look at the engine later. Now let's have a look at the door design.
The front door locks mechanism is very responsive, doors open and close smoothly without much noise and resistance. Door seals provide good dust and water insulation for all 4 doors. Rear door locks are similar but on the car described in here there is a small difference in the sound of the locks: on the rear door is a small click in the mechanism when door is opened.
The door upholstery is of good quality. What really improves the look is the plastic insert with detail in X-Ray style. Same pattern is used in all interior elements of Lada Vesta. The window winder controls at the driver`s side is slightly similar to the previous models but looks better. Although you can still see the old self tapping screw in the niche by the left arm support, this time with the” torque” head.
Front panel is ”well-made”, with the high quality materials in comparison with previous models of LADA. There is no “low-budget” feel so common for old generation of Lada cars.
You can immediately see steering wheel-nice to the touch styled after perforated leather with controls for cruise control and multimedia system. Another pride of AUTOVAZ is airflow controls. They are not random anymore but reliable and manage airflow very well. Although some of the controls bring the bleak sense of Deja-vu.
The main improvement in ergonomics of driver seat is 2-D steering column. It can be adjusted in two directions - the angle and up/down, which is new for Lada cars (telescopic steering). The only option which Vesta is lacking is heated steering wheel. This option would be useful for driving in cold Russian climate.
When it comes to adjusting the angle of steering there is a certain inconvenience-in the lowest position, it obscures the view of upper part of instrument cluster. I have to say that it will be difficult to find a driver who’d need this position.
The control for car seats heating is located between seats and looks ergonomic. It has only two positions-ON/OFF. The arm support can be fixed in 3 positions or lifted up and back.
When it comes to the look of front seats, AUTOVAZ can be proud. The driver seat has got a wide selection of positions: the height, the angle and low back support. The lever holds tight in any position. We will have to see for how long it stays this way after the mass production of Vesta starts. Seats have got a good side support as well but the stuffing itself feels too soft and too giving to touch. The practicality of this we can only judge after several years of car usage.
The passengers on the back seats can enjoy a generous foot well and good quality head supports which can be adjusted with even one hand. Back seats are folded in proportion 60/40, the process is pretty easy.
Unlike LADA Granta, rear seats upholstery is easy on eye and of good quality. As usual small oversight-seat belts are dangling over the seats rather chaotically.
Car boot can be opened from the inside of the car and by key. It is pretty spacious - the space for the spare is gigantic – both fire extinguisher and first aid kit can be kept there if needed. The carpet is rather too soft. How it would look in mass produced car? We shall see.
The parking sensor is located on the lower unpainted part of rear bumper. In general it is a “plus” not being painted - many of the drivers will feel more relieved while parking in the city. Parking sensors together with video camera will reduce the risk of bumper damage dramatically.
Lada Vesta has an interesting design for the tow eye. The rear is easily accessed – it's welded to the spare wheel compartment. The front towing eye is behind a plastic cover of the bumper as usual.
The petrol flap is unlocked, which is usual for all Lada cars. The petrol cap can be hanged on the flap. There is a sign that Lada Vesta can be filled with 92 and 95 petrol.
The engine compartment is opened by the usual but slightly improved button. Under the bonnet there is surprise - new bonnet lock. It is much bigger and more reliable as is the bonnet stay with yellow plastic ends. The engine is 1.6 L 16-valves and 106 brake horse power. It’s got dynamic boost as well as an inlet manifold with variable volume which improves the engine performance. It looks like the absence of the decorative engine cover was meant as a trial design. The oil dip stick is easy to reach, it is long and it's got a bend in lower part.
This is how Lada Vesta looks in closer detail.
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