1991 Vauxhall Nova Silk Violet GSI 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Good fast cheap fun!!!


Vauxhall didn't quite fit the right engine.

Valva Pal.

2.0 16v the only way forward.

General Comments:

Subaru drivers go red in the face when the nova pulls away like Linford christie on speed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th November, 2002

1991 Vauxhall Nova Flair S 1.4 from UK and Ireland


I wish they still made these because I'd love a new one


Head gasket blew at 70,000 miles. My previous Nova blew at 60,000.

The front brake disks and pads were worn when I bought the car. The pads were replaced after another 30,000 miles.

The clutch was very sticky as the car had been stationary for a year. I finally had it replaced when it started slipping. I wish I'd had it done ages ago as it was £200 including fitting.

The hand brake cable has been replaced.

Three out of four wheel bearings have failed this year.

It has just had a new track rod end fitted.

Fuel lines seem to be a problem with this and my previous Nova.

The driver's door is rusting to oblivion, but the wheel arches aren't too bad.

Lastly, the usual consumables, e.g. exhausts, tyres and lights, especially those for the minor controls on the dash board.

General Comments:

This car is great fun to drive, with a great driving position, visibility and neutral handling.

The engine and bodywork are starting to show their age although the interior looks like new.

There is plenty of power and torque from the engine, but the brakes are not great.

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

Review Date: 23rd October, 2002

1991 Vauxhall Nova Merit 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Sluggish, but looks the part with alloys


About 6 months after I bought the car, the head gasket went first. being a mechanic I fixed this myself.

Then the head gasket went for a second time.

Then the head gasket went a third time, which made me really think about what I had bought. so I bought another 1.2 and put the engine in mine, so far it has been OK. apart from that everything else has been fine, apart from the overheating problem.

General Comments:

Very good car except for the engine troubles. now it has hopefully been fixed.

Now I started with lowering it 40mm on the 13" steels. which improved handling.

Then I got some 15" alloys with 195/45 tyres. which made the handling so much better.

But because it was a 1.2 and very depressing acceleration to start with the bigger wheels made it worse.

But it still looked the part. very good car and I am looking to buy a 1.4sr now as I love nova's.

Easy to work on and looks good with very little modifications needed to get it to a respectable boy racer standard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2002

1991 Vauxhall Nova SR 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


Great fun. Buy cheap and you will love it


Exhaust fell off.

Smokey engine.

Jets clogged.

Bottom fell off gearbox.

Clutch cable snapped. 3 times.

General Comments:

What a great car. Yeah its not the best built (far better than 205s though) but it is so much fun.

I had a good few problems with mine, ranging from smokey engines to the clutch cable snapping 3 times. But I would still have another.

Very quick for the size of it, I had mine lowered and it handled like it was on rails.

Just watch out for rust and you can't really go wrong. A new engine and gearbox is £100 second hand. All the other parts are dirt cheap as well, if you don't buy from the dealer.

1.4 SR/SRi is rumored to be the best one to go for. With the cheaper insurance and tax trying to make you avoid 1.6GTE/GSi. Not a huge difference in speed between the engines either.

Not worth a lot of money though and I wouldn't want to pay more than £1000 even for an end of the line minter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2002

1991 Vauxhall Nova SR 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A dream to some, a nightmare to others


It was burning a lot of oil from early in my ownership, a de-coke, including changing of the valve stem oil seals cured this.

The Head Gasket Blew between cylinders 3 and 4 most recently.

The front brake calipers have ceased on their sliders at least twice, rendering braking performance poor, this causes the rear wheels to lock first under heavy braking (never a good thing).

Thermostat sticking now, not an easy job though as it's inside the water pump housing, (which doubles as the cam belt tensioner) allow at least a day for this one!

Finally, rust, mainly through neglect though, so don't leave those stone chips unattended to or all that mud to accumulate under the rear wheel arches.

General Comments:

A reasonably reliable car up to Vauxhall's generally low standards.

Fairly easy to maintain for the home mechanic with the exception of thermostat replacement.

The interior is smart though, sporty seats, electric windows and central locking, funky red heater controls too.

Incredibly, the automatic choke has worked well, but fuel consumption is not what it should be on short journeys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd July, 2002