Vauxhall Nova (1983 – 1993) Review

Vauxhall Nova (1983 – 1993) At A Glance


+Still readily available, easy to service, surprisingly tough

-Unloved, aside from the fast ones

The Vauxhall Nova was the first proper attempt at a suprmini by its maker. The Chevette may have been offered in hatchback form, but it was rear-wheel drive and effectively a cramped 2+2 - the Nova, on the other hand, was a grown-up offering with as much practicality as any of its rivals. The Nova - or Corsa as it was known elsewhere - was available with 1.0-, 1.2- and 1.3-litre engines from launch but the range rapidly expanded over the coming years.

Five-door hatchback was useful, two- and four-door saloons were forgettable, while the 1989 1.6-litre GTE was easily capable of seeing off the Ford Fiesta XR2. And that was the main accomplishment of the Spanish-built  Nova - it beat the Ford Fiesta and Austin Metro on the road but never out of the showroom. But it paved the way for the phenomenonally successful Corsa.