1992 Vauxhall Nova Life 1.0 from UK and Ireland


A small car with attitude


C.V joints are going at 80000 miles.

Caliper seized at 76777 miles.

Several minor problems also need attention.

General Comments:

It's a great car to drive and I would buy another if they were still in production today.

It is very nippy and is fun in snow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2004

1992 Vauxhall Nova Merit 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Just a cheap car, bit crap though


The 1.2 ohc engine was pretty reliable, only minor problems such as thermostat and head gasket @ 98,000 miles and used to leak a lot of water from various different places. However the hazards kept coming on when driving down the street, this was due to a dodgy switch, on mark 2 nova's this is apparently a common fault, headlights used to switch off when driving, nothing would light up inside at night and each week a bit of trim or something would break.

General Comments:

Fast from traffic lights, but let down by very little grip, they eat tires burnt two front ones out in a month. No fun to drive, really just a another boring car. However the inside is quite comfy and the revised cabin looks a hell of a lot better than the Mark 1 Nova's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th May, 2003

1992 Vauxhall Nova Luxe Plus 1.2i petrol from UK and Ireland


Terrific first car: handling not great, but costs nothing to run


Central locking / electric windows stopped working after the wiring loom became severed inside the driver's door. Fixed it myself at a cost of £1.

General Comments:

Excellent first car. Distinctive looking and economical. Very simple and cheap to fix.

Luxe Plus is very nicely equipped for its size - a bargain if you can find one.

The 1.2i engine lacks power and is useless on the motorway, but gave 40+ mpg average!

Cramped interior and plasticky trim abound, but it's quite solidly built.

Very poor security, though - mine was stolen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2003

1992 Vauxhall Nova Luxe Plus 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland


A very underrated car


Apart from the usual wear and tear items such as brake pads, battery's and tyres, this car was completely reliable.

The interior stood up well and was not treated with a great deal of respect.

The engine was brilliant and still ran well when I sold the car. It even seemed to be getting stronger and quicker.

General Comments:

The car was very rapid for a small non sporty hatchback.

The car was well equipped with electric windows, central locking and alloy wheels.

The car looked appealing and did not look like it was particularly rapid, which I found an advantage.

The car was very good at cruising on motorways and would sit at 90 with plenty of performance still there for overtaking.

The bodywork stood up to rust reasonably well, but the high mileage was starting to show.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2003

1992 Vauxhall Nova Expression 2.0 i from UK and Ireland


A great wee first car, with a quick engine and great handling capabilities


When I got the car, there was a grinding noise coming from the rear wheels. This proved to be the bearings, which duly snapped when I was nailing the car down the M8, taking the rear stub axle and both brake drums with them!

The handbrake jams, but that's a common problem in Nova's, as is the hazard switch breaking.

Rust on the front offside wing and on the engine bay support strut, but this shouldn't be a problem to fix.

The door lock seals have gone, but that was a good reason to have the car De-locked, which it now is!

Passenger side windscreen wiper decided to stall, and caused a bend in the wiper drive system.

General Comments:

The Nova is a great wee car, and is fun to drive, especially with the 2 liter engine in it!

My dad converted the engine before he gave me the car, and for such a small and light car, it copes well with the 150bhp it gets.

Nova's are great handling cars, you always know when it's going to hold the road, and when it's time to start spinning!

For all I've put it through, the Nova has lasted well, and since it's over ten years old, has outlasted my other car (A Volkswagen Polo which died at only 7 years notice).

Unfortunately, as a young driver in a converted Nova, you will be subject too many a roadside interview with Mr Plod, but hey, who cares when it's such a dream to drive.

Insurance for even standard Nova's is high, but still relatively low for what the alternatives offer.

There are plenty of body-kits for the wee Nova, and the QuadConversions one is what graces my car, making the looks equal the speed.

Painted in a bright Vauxhall red, with two white race stripes running over the car, it turns heads everywhere, and out runs most cars in traffic light grand prix's!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th December, 2002