1990 Vauxhall Nova 993cc petrol from UK and Ireland


Law abiding criminal


My Nova had a recurring cooling problem and went through a new head gasket water pump and radiator before finally seizing.

General Comments:

Great car. Over the time I had the Nova it performed superbly.

The performance levels are perfect for British speed limits where you only need a rapid 0 - 30 time. In-fact I once beat a Porsche Boxter to about 25mph. Add to this the skinny low grip tyres and you have a car that you can push to its limits within the legal limit.

The handling is like a go kart, very chuck-able, although being front wheel drive the back has been known to swing out if your going too hot. Almost irrecoverable.

Very durable engine. I put it through hell on a 300 mile trip overheating every 50 miles and cold filling when all water had boiled off. Took it like a trooper.

After this journey it took revenge and started to explode top hoses dumping water everywhere and making me very worried. Subsequently I drove around with 15liters of water in the back seat and some strong tape for running repairs.

Also had a curious phase of cutting out and not starting again if the revs dropped to idle so had to drive with a foot permanently on the gas. Indeed had to do a solo push start down a busy hill after it caught me out at a set of traffic lights, very difficult to jump into a rapidly accelerating car! But a car park attendant fixed this problem with a plastic straw in 2 minutes?

To sum up, a real drivers car. And,in my saloon 2 door 4 on the floor model, an endearing mini muscle car look about it. Reliable to the point of being masochistic and strangely loyal, on account of refusing to start while trying to be stolen. Like I said, a great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th July, 2005

2nd Aug 2005, 20:02

I also own a 1.0 4 speed nova saloon, and I certainly believe that they out accelerated a Boxter.

Although it is not a very powerful engine, it will take anything you throw at it, from personal experience I know that they can be driven on two cylinders, and if the timing is advanced whilst running on 2 cylinders you can still beat a 1.4 fiesta away from the lights.

Under those circumstances the engine sounded terrible at idle or low revs, and setting off under 2500 rpm was impossible.

BTW 105 MPH on a FLAT stretch of motorway with a complete set of wheels and tyres in the boot, not bad for a one litre with a four speed box.

17th Feb 2006, 11:19

I have a Nova 1.6 gte and, although I know this thread is a few months old, it can outrun (without being stupid) almost anything to 50. Super car and I love it.

4th Oct 2006, 03:24

I believe the story about the boxter I too have beaten 1 in a 1.2 merit with my kids in the car I laughed all the way home ignore any one who says other wise.

26th Nov 2007, 09:13

That porsche was obviously not racing you, I stumbled on this review by accident, but I'm happy now... that was funny!

9th Jan 2009, 09:05

My first car was a 1.0 Nova (Corsa).

My current car is a 2.5 Boxster, and there is NO WAY in HELL any 1.0 Corsa will beat a Boxster to 30mph, that's hilarious.

14th Jan 2009, 13:49

God, I used to kill Nova SRs and SRIs in my Citroen AX GT. The only Nova that called keep up with it was the Nova GTE, so how are you going to keep up with a Porsche Boxster?

Have you got a Porsche Boxster engine in your Nova?

1990 Vauxhall Nova L 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Cheap fast car


The car needed new Spark Plugs and Leeds soon after buying it.

Original Radio broke on the way home.

General Comments:

This car is great for how much I payed for it, Only £500.

Went I got it there was a bit of rust under a window and under the Fuel cap, when I went to match up the color the best I could find was sky blue, and the car is a darker blue.

The car has good space inside I am 5`12" and have no trouble in the front or back.

This car is Fast for its age and engine size. Its very quick of the mark and is standard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2003