1983 Vauxhall Nova Reviews

1983 Vauxhall Nova Swing 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired32000 miles
Most recent distance40700 miles

Summary:

Good value first car

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

Good points:

This is a great first car, the insurance is very reasonable, and mine does about 100 miles on £10.

All things considered, the performance is good; it holds its own against similar hatches up to about 1.2

1st gear 0-12mph

2nd gear 12-30mph

3rd gear 30-50mph

4th gear 50-90mph

The gear ratios described above are certainly not thrashing it, but you don't want to try much harder on a 19 year old car. ;o)

Bad points:

Uncomfortable to drive for anyone approaching 6ft, as the clutch is high and the seats do not go back far enough.

Even though it's a 1.0, it still attracts the Nova reputation, so expect to be hassled occasionally by other road users.

Turning circle is not that great.

At high speeds, the suspension feels soft, and the thin wheels do not give enough grip (especially in the wet), but drive sensibly and it's fine (the standard wheels have enough space to allow you to fit slightly wider tires without any trouble).

Noisy on motorways.

No space for door speakers. You can get around this by visiting www.quadconversions.com and buying some custom door pods for around £130; you can fit up to 6" of speaker into the doors with these pods.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2002

10th Jul 2003, 18:07

I am 6' 7" tall and have an SRi Nova, and its no problem for me to fit in it, the clutch isn't too high for me. And you can fit speakers without the pods, I have the Sony 13cm DD in mine.

19th Sep 2004, 08:35

Maybe - if you took out the front seats and sit in the back to drive it... :o)

1983 Vauxhall Nova 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance99000 miles

Summary:

Great fun for little more than the price of the petrol

Faults:

Drivers seat back collapsed, fixed with seat from scrap car.

Fuel gauge sender stopped working, did not bother to fix.

Terminal rust killed the car in the end.

Not much else at all, the car just ran and ran with just regular oil changes etc.

General Comments:

This was my first car and I really miss it. It never let me down and was ultra reliable.

I was sad to see it go when it rotted away to nothing.

It was great fun to thrash around, if a little underpowered, it was not a cruiser, but had a very revvy little engine. I hope the engine got saved when the car was scrapped.

Noisy and basic inside, but very very cheap to run. I got approx 40 miles per gallon even when driving it hard.

I intend to own another at some point.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2002

1983 Vauxhall Nova Swing 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles

Summary:

Very underrated

Faults:

Alternator and battery failed.

Tripommeter and fuel gauge broken.

Fan belt snapped.

Rust problems.

Tailgate had a tendency to pop open.

General Comments:

This was my first car, I got it a few months before passing my test. Novas have a bad image, but I loved driving it. The suspension was so soft that you could really throw it into bends, it drove more like a rally than road car. Equipment was somewhat basic, but the performance, whilst hardly xr2 beating, wasn't bad. Despite it age, it was also comfy and always started first time. Tragically, after only seven weeks brake failure meant that it ended its life parked in the back of a 4x4. There are many shabby examples around, but find a decent Nova and you'll have yourself a bargain - just don't buy the saloon model!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2002

26th Nov 2006, 14:26

What the f**k is wrong with the saloon nova?

1983 Vauxhall Nova GTE 1.6i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6i petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance81250 miles
Previous carVauxhall Nova 1.2L

Summary:

A high performance bargain!!!

Faults:

The car has been fine since I got it, it runs like clockwork, touch wood.

It is good on petrol for such a big engine and handles well even in the wet.

So nothing has really gone wrong, although the person I bought it off had to change the petrol gauge on it.

General Comments:

The car is a real boy racers car, no doubt about it, it's very hard to find one that hasn't been thrashed around or damaged in some way.

They are quite easy to steal too, so I suggest you change the locks and fit an alarm to it.

I only paid £1000 for the car, it's an A-Reg but has only done 80,000 miles so it's well worth it.

Full racing interior, alloy wheels etc.

The car stereo is always dodgy in Novas, either a few speakers need changing or the head unit does.

But Vauxhall produced the best little car when they made the Nova, this is my 3rd Nova after two 1.2 models, one a 1.2i Trip Saloon, the other a 1.2L SR Replica which I traded in against my GTE.

Well worth the money paid I feel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2000

5th Aug 2001, 18:11

This car cannot be a genuine GTE, because the GTE was not launched until 1988 with the E-plate!

It's obviously a GTE replica, which should be still as good!

7th Mar 2005, 02:53

How was that value for money you paid a grand for an A plate.

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 10 reviews