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I'm not sure if there's two grades of seats, as many people complain about the comfort of the seats - but I've driven my Niva for many hours at one stretch and found them to be fine (just make sure you have them adjusted properly).
However, they are very poor for lateral support, so for off-roading I eventually plan to swap in some modern seats with more side bolster.
There are no seats that will swap directly into a Niva because the mounts on one side of the Lada seat base are about 50mm higher than the other side of the seat (though later model Niva seats may swap in, and Rallye Design in Brazil make bolt-in bases for Nivas), so you need to fabricate some runners to fit your donor seats.
Many various seats have been swapped into older Nivas, some things to consider when choosing a donor seat are: Does it fold foward to give access to the rear (if you're not using the Lada seat base that allows the seat to flip foward, you'll need folding foward seats). Do you want to set your Niva up so the seats can be folded into a bed? (you'll need to get seats with detachable head-rests for one of these modifications).
Note: this is about seat swaps in the 1600 Niva, most later models have different floor attachments.
Using the Lada seat base
You can use some 50mm high box-section steel and longer (graded) bolts to level the mounts up, allowing seats with rails a similar width apart as the Niva to be fitted (some '80s Hondas and Toyotas etc have a similar width, a 4th generation Honda Prelude (BB) is the closest we've found).
The height of the yellow box-section should be 50mm. The width between the seat rails (from the centre of the bolt holes) is about 430 to 440mm. If you can't find seats with 430 to 440mm gap between the rails, some angle section could be added on either side of the box section to make this bigger or smaller, or a length of plate on top.
4th generation Honda Prelude (BB) seats on Niva seat base using 50x25 box-section (click image for bigger view).
Without the Lada seat base
Alternately, the Lada seat base could be done away with altogether and 2 lengths of box used under each seat (thus the base could be properly bolted to the floor in 4 points). Obviously you'd need seats out of a coupe that flip forward if you do away with the Lada bases. The Lada base height is about 130mm at the front and 100 at the back so I'd use something like a 42cm length of 100x27 to keep the seat height correct.
Replace Niva seat base entirely
Lastly, if you don't want to use the Lada rails make sure you get seats with rails with the upper sliders that adjust backwards (like Lada's do) rather than forwards (like most others do), or you'll have to flip the rails upside-down so new top slider (and hence the seat) moves backwards for adjustment.
Here's some instructions and pictures of seat swaps by Alfonso and others (1.6M).
Pictures of other people's swaps
Click images for larger view.
Nissan Sunny GTR 2.0 coupe 1984
Peugeot 205 GTI
Honda Prelude (4th gen)
Rover 420 GSI
Brackets for Recaros (an excelent example of why using box-section is easier, tidier, and reinforces the upper slider from bending)
Citroen C4 coupe
Ford Laser (KN)
Mazda MX5 / Miata
Mazda MX5 / Miata brackets
Mazda MX5 / Miata brackets front view
Mazda 626 Coupe
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