1989 Vauxhall Nova SR 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cheap first car, but performance to beat your friends Fiesta's and Micra's!


Automatic choke does not work meaning car has to be revved to keep going or can stall when you come off the revs.

Trip meter does not work.

Rear wash wipe does not work.

General Comments:

Much more fun to drive than the Fiesta that I had on my driving lessons!

Quick for a 1.3 and only group 5 insurance.

Uncomfortable ride due to stiffer suspension.

Remarkably reliable - I have had the car for 4 months since passing my test and it starts first time every time (apart from the choke problem)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2002

1989 Vauxhall Nova SR 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Excellent top performance cheap beast


Front Brake Pads Worn, replaced them. (Cost only £10 for pair)

Front offside tyre worn. (£27)

Both passenger and driver doors have bad rust, from previous owner.

Slight wear on driver seat, but interior surprisingly good for the year.

Offside headlight been replaced. (£35)

Windscreen replaced by Auto Wind-screens. (£57.49 Inc Delivery & Fitting)

General Comments:

Excellent all round car.

Very quick off the mark, can keep up with the best of cars I find.

Has been lowered an extra 25 mil, and I would seriously recommend this if you can put up with the hard ride.

Performance wise: 0-60 in around 11 seconds. Top speed of 120 MPH flat out.

Have fitted a K&N air filter, slight performance improvement, but nothing to write home about. Sounds good though when you hit 4000 RPM.

Interior is a very cool blue.

Dash board is the new type, and looks much smarter than the older.

Great driving position and I love the white speed and RPM dials.

Very economical & surprisingly cheap to insure for the younger ages. I recommend CIS Insurance. Also its the cheap tax remember.

Very hard to find car now-days, and parts can be difficult to find also. Most parts are snapped up very quickly.

Overall a very good performance and cheap car to drive.

One thing though is the brakes are absolutely terrible. So for the young inexperienced drivers, be aware and be very careful.

Don't let that put you off though. You can thrash the pants off the Fiesta XR2's if you want to. Haven't raced the Citroen yet, but I'm sure I leave one of them standing also!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2002

2nd Jun 2002, 13:57

Would have thought it would be quicker than 11 seconds 0-60mph. I personally would have said closer to 10 easily. They are quick cars - not too sure about the 120mph though mate!

16th Oct 2002, 08:41

Not a bad car mate sort out the rust though ave you eva thought bout gettin a cam on it.

28th Nov 2002, 04:01

You would get whooped in an sr I have a gt and it will bet a nova gte in standard form.

23rd Nov 2004, 12:43

As regards the various comments I can confirm that our 1.4 SR can shift. I can believe 120 Mph as it can do 100 with ease. I would however not like to try stopping.

We have had car for 14 years and still reluctant to part with!.

1989 Vauxhall Nova L 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Very nippy, fun car to drive


Tracking fell out of alignment after 5,000 miles.

General Comments:

This is a very fast car for only a 1200cc.

Although very well made and comfortable the interior is fairly dull and has a lot of grey plastics.

Very, very reliable. Starts first time every time!

Absolutely brilliant first car.

Extremely economical.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2002

1989 Vauxhall Nova GTE 1.6i from UK and Ireland


A cheap, very fast road going go-kart!!


The only problem I found with the Nova was that the trim on the passenger door came away and there was a bit of carpet wear, but then what do you expect from a car that's over 10 years old.

General Comments:

This car was a rocket! I couldn't believe my luck when I got it.

I wasn't too keen on Novas before I got this one, I just associated them with boy racers, but when I got my hands on this one I was truly amazed!

0-60 in 8 seconds and a top speed of just over 120 MPH was fantastic, I had it in an unusual colour too, Calypso red which was rare, but put it apart from other Novas.

Not only was it fast, but great fun to drive, it was like a road going go-kart, the ride was hard with its sports suspension, but was tremendous fun!

I would recommend one of these fun little cars to anyone who likes hot hatches as they are very cheap now, but you'll have to pay the insurance! Bit of a sting for young people.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2002

30th Nov 2002, 19:12

0-60 in 8 seconds?

Were you being towed by a P1 or Evo6 at the time?

4th Feb 2003, 09:41

The GTE is surely the boy/girl racer's fave. I have one, and it is such a little goer.

On a mechanical level, I would say that they are OK, apart from the body work, where they start to rust around the tailgate rear arches and the front of the door.

Also listen for cam rattle; all Vauxhalls are prone to this, and check all gaskets, the cam cover gasket is the most common, and one drawback on the GTE is that the brakes are not really that great; I'm going to put Astra GTE disks/disks on mine.

I think I have had every Nova going; the Merit, SR, Antibes, and a van. The Antibes has a lovely trim, which is a sporty red color, and the SR was roughly the same, but quicker. The 1500d van was surprisingly nippy, but nothing compares to the GTE.

There is only one drawback; I'm 19 and pay £1500 on TPTF insurance for a GTE worth £700. But if you want a hot hatch, don't have an AX GT, XR2i or any other 1600 8v, have the GTE; you will mince 'em all.