Almost a year has passed since our LADA XRAY Cross test, and now we are again getting acquainted with the Russian car industry, namely with the LADA Vesta SW Cross. According to AUTOSTAT, this model ranks second in the top ten most popular cross-versions of cars in Russia, yielding only to the Korean representative in the person of KIA Rio X-Line, which we have already talked about.
If we again turn to the data of AUTOSTAT, at the beginning of the year LADA took the first place in car sales in our market, overtaking KIA and Hyundai with a decent margin. And the first two lines in the rating of the most popular cars in the Russian Federation were also occupied by LADA models, the first place – for LADA Granta, and the second – for Vesta family models. In general, such a balance of power in favor of the domestic automaker is understandable, whatever one may say, and the cars produced by AvtoVAZ are still the most affordable on the market. Take, for example, today’s guest LADA Vesta SW Cross, prices for which start at 830 rubles and end at around 900 rubles, and its Korean competitor KIA Rio X-Line, which starts at 1 rubles and finishes at 031 rubles (shown are the recommended retail prices without discounts and promotions). As you can see, though not by much, but LADA is cheaper than Kia, although when choosing an affordable car for many, the difference of 900 rubles will be very significant.
We tested a LADA Vesta SW Cross in the maximum configuration Luxe / Prestige with a variator, the price of such a car today is 1 rubles, and taking into account all the current shares, it can be bought for 031 rubles.
When looking at the fresh LADA Vesta SW Cross, memories and comparisons with the AvtoVAZ classics – 2106 or more modern 2110 – do not even run through my mind, Vesta is a modern, interesting and quite relevant car. If I compare the Vesta SW Cross with anything, it is with the Korean competitor, and, in my opinion, the superiority in terms of design is clearly in the domestic car. Yes, I do not really like the proprietary VAZ stamping on the body, which is the same for the Vesta and XRAY families, but in general this is more of a nitpick. The Cross version, again from my point of view, looks more interesting than the usual LADA Vesta SW station wagon. The skirt made of unpainted black plastic and the ground clearance increased by 25 mm make the appearance of LADA Vesta SW Cross more brutal, hiding also some “stoop” of the body.
The orange color, trademark for the cross-version of the car, is very suitable for the model, moreover, it goes well with the orange accents in the cabin. True, you can refuse from orange in the interior, but then its place will be taken by inserts of light gray color, which look somehow quite simple.
What is commendable is that the designers of AvtoVAZ have worked not only on the exterior, but also on the interior of the car. Take, for example, decorative plastic inserts on the doors, which have a smooth bend and go into the door opening handle. The shape and curves of the front panel are also pleasing to the eye, and small decorative inserts do not look superfluous, as do the glossy black plastic inserts. In general, the interior of the LADA Vesta SW Cross, though not amazing, looks very decent for a relatively inexpensive car, especially a domestic one.
But, of course, everything cannot be perfect in a car that costs less than 1 million rubles. So, the plastic in the cabin is of various sizes, but everywhere it is oak, and what is interesting, the most pleasant to the touch is used only on the edging of the lower part of the central tunnel. The inserts on the doors have a thin soft layer, apparently of foam rubber, and are covered with a very mediocre imitation of leather, and on the door armrests there are not even such soft linings. The central unadjustable armrest with a small niche underneath has a magnetic lock, just like on inexpensive furniture, and a backlash under the elbow. On the other hand, the same KIA Rio X-Line also does not shine with the quality of materials, it also mainly uses hard plastic, and the seats are upholstered with rough artificial leather. So LADA is not alone here, you have to save somewhere in order to offer the most attractive final price for the car.
The AvtoVAZ team that worked on the LADA Vesta SW Cross amazes me a lot. Sometimes the thought crept in that different teams were working on the same model in shifts, since they managed to do both good and bad things in the car at the same time. For example, in Vesta there is an illumination of the exit zone in the front doors and automatic folding of the side mirrors with a key, but there is no banal automatic glass closer, at least for the driver’s window. Or we see “atmospheric lighting” with soft pleasant light in the cabin, LED reading lamps in the front and rear, fog lamps with illumination in corners, but all the optics we have with halogen lamps. Moreover, they even managed to make daytime running lights on halogen lamps, although what could be easier than installing LEDs, which even visually make the car more attractive and are used by all and sundry. On the other hand, the low and high beam of LADA Vesta SW Cross are not bad for halogen lamps, although they are inferior to high-quality LED optics. In general, for some things I really want to praise the people who worked on the car, and for others – shower with curses.
Driving with a height of 187 cm, I sit down quite comfortably, unlike the LADA XRAY Cross, there is enough longitudinal adjustment of the seat with a margin, and I don’t even have to go down as much as possible. The position of the steering wheel is adjustable in two planes, I just miss the adjustment for reach, but in general it is normal. The seats are flat, medium in rigidity, with pronounced lateral support, but, however, the pillow is still short. The driver has an adjustable lumbar support, but only in one plane. On a long trip, you get a little tired in the chair, so you have to make stops a little more often in order to warm up. The platform for resting the left leg was not very comfortable either, it is small and sloping, so you have to put your leg sideways. In addition to this, the manufacturer did not make an overlay on the site, so that after winter, the upholstery in that place may wear out. I recommend looking for rugs with a special tail for the site, since it is not on the branded ones.
I sit down behind myself more or less freely, although, of course, my knees rest against the back of the front seat, under the upholstery of which a special recess is made. But the child has to be seated already behind the front passenger, there is not enough space behind me. There are Isofix mounts along the edges of the rear sofa, they are located between the pillows, but protrude slightly, which makes it a little easier to install the chair. You can also put the child in the front seat, however, there is no Isofix here, but do not forget in this case to turn off the front passenger airbag, the handle for this is located on the side of the front panel and is accessible with the door open. Yes, there is, of course, the locking of the rear doors so that the child cannot accidentally open them from the inside, there is a mechanism at the end of the door. As for safety, front and side airbags are installed in LADA Vesta SW Cross, which is quite normal for this price segment.
The trunk of the Vesta SW Cross is quite good, with a volume of 480 liters, which is more than the competitor KIA Rio X-Line with its 390 liters. The amount of usable space can be increased by folding the backrests of the rear sofa, which are folded separately, but only from the salon. In the trunk there are two lampshades, a convenient mechanical shutter, a large niche, for example, for anti-freezing, and a small underground for various small things. Under the floor is a 15 ”dock. There is no electric tailgate, of course, but it can be easily opened and closed manually. In the first case, fingers can get dirty, especially in bad weather.
Climate control in Vesta SW Cross is the same as in XRAY Cross, single-zone with a simple control unit with its own screen, an adjustment step of 1 degree and the ability to work in automatic mode, for some reason, only together with an air conditioner. At high humidity, as in XRAY, you have to play with the settings, as the glasses begin to fog up, but otherwise there are no questions about its operation. For our winters, a heated windshield is provided in the car, however, the spirals on it are not even visible in the bright sun, which may not be pleasant to someone. There is also a three-level, well-working heating of the front seats, a separate heating of the rear sofa with buttons on the center tunnel and a heated steering wheel with a convenient button on the steering wheel itself. In general, everything would be nice, but AvtoVAZ engineers should still work on the work of the climate system, it is still not very pleasant when your windows start to fog up on the go.
One word can be said about the LADA XRAY Cross media system – Windows. Where in 2020 AvtoVAZ found a system on Windows CE is a mystery to me, perhaps some Chinese electronics manufacturer found a large dusty batch of these dinosaurs in the backyards of their warehouses and sold it to our auto concern at a cheap price. Of course, it is very strange that, having concluded an agreement with Yandex last year, AvtoVAZ has not yet switched to Android systems with Yandex.Auto on board, but continues to install such a rarity in its cars.
The system is equipped with a 7 ”touch screen, not the best in response and with a low resolution, the menu design is simple and, one might say, outdated. There is a day and night display mode, but only with manual switching, which is not very convenient, since the icon for this option is small in size and is located in the upper right corner, that is, far from the driver. As a navigation, the application “CityGuide 7” is used with not the most up-to-date maps, at least I did not see interchanges and roads launched more than a year ago, but with POI points and a base of speed cameras. Navigation builds a route well, works well with voice prompts, but visual prompts are displayed only on the display of the media system, there is no integration into the car’s dashboard. Navigation “CityGuide” I crashed several times with an error, and completely suspending the system until the screen turned off, and to completely reboot the head unit, I had to turn off the car for a couple of minutes. I would, of course, recommend abandoning this system and choosing a complete set without it, but there are still advantages to it and the options available with it. For example, a good rear-view camera with markings that turn on quickly enough and gives a decent picture even in low light. In addition, the standard camera is located in such a way that it does not get dirty quickly and does not require constant attention. The head unit also has a good speakerphone, the Bluetooth connection is stable, and the interlocutor always hears you well, even though the microphone is on the device itself.
Also, the LADA media system has the ability to display photos, videos and music from a USB flash drive or SD card, but these options are already outdated. This would support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but, alas, this is not.
There are two USB connectors in the car for recharging devices, in the front and rear of the passenger compartment. Modern gadgets are charged slowly from the car’s on-board network, so if you need this option often, you should put the USB adapter into a 12V outlet.
Since we are talking about an affordable car, then of course there are not many electronic driver assistants here. In addition to the rear view camera, LADA also has rear parking sensors with only sound prompts. The light and rain sensors work well, the latter being even better tuned than in the BMW and always on time. There is also a simple cruise control and a speed limiter with steering wheel controls. The cruise control works correctly, it allows you to adjust the speed from the buttons, however, the speed of the car’s reaction to these actions is relatively low. If you are on a cruise and there is a slide on your way, the car will descend from it, picking up speed and only cheerfully notifying you with a buzzer that the set limit has been exceeded. There is also a system of assistance when starting off on the rise, but for some reason it worked for me every other time, in some cases allowing a slight rollback of the car, while the brake, as in other cases, was fully depressed.
The dashboard in LADA Vesta SW Cross is analog with three deep wells, all data on it is well readable in any conditions, which is commendable. There is a small monochrome display under the speedometer, which displays data from the on-board computer, as well as tips for the operation of the cruise control. Interestingly, the speedometer and cruise control data differ, if you set a cruise at 110 km / h on the track, the speedometer will show about 112-113 km / h, while the GPS speed will be around 103 km / h. The discrepancy between the cruise control data and the car speedometer looks strange, and the error with real speed is slightly higher than usual.
You don’t expect much revelation from the Vesta SW Cross in terms of comfort, although on good surfaces it proves to be very quiet. But since the wheel arches have the weakest point, it is enough to move down to not the best road, and it becomes already noisy in the cabin. On the track, it is the noise of the wheels that gets the most, while aerodynamic noise practically does not penetrate inside. The suspension transmits almost all the defects of the road surface to the cabin with a small shiver, but the car passes large irregularities quite smoothly.
The LADA Vesta SW Cross model is available with three petrol engines, these are 1.6 liters 106 and 113 hp. and 1.8 liters with a capacity of 122 hp, the variator is only in conjunction with the middle version, for all the others, only a five-speed mechanics is available. Within the city limits, there are no questions about the motor-variator link, but there is already a lack of power on the highway, and the variator fails, when pushing the accelerator for too long turning down virtual gears and spinning the engine. Moreover, it is quite difficult to catch the moment when the box realizes and goes down, you press the excessively tight gas pedal and try to catch when the moment is necessary for acceleration. Yes, it is possible to switch to manual mode and change virtual gears on your own, but there is no particular desire to do this, why then take a car with a gun at all. In general, on the track, it is ideal for the LADA Vesta SW Cross to smoothly pick up the permitted speed and already roll calmly on cruise control, avoiding unnecessary maneuvers unless absolutely necessary. But there are no questions about driving the car, it keeps a straight line well, obediently enters corners with small rolls and has a small turning radius. It seems to me that the car would be an ideal option for neat drivers who prefer to move slowly and only within the speed limits.
My fuel consumption is stuck at around 8.1-8.3 liters per 100 km in mixed mode, which, in my opinion, is slightly higher than I would like to see in such a car, since the domestic car allows you to refuel with 92-m gasoline.
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