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Car reviews - Holden - Nova - 5-dr hatch

Overview

Holden logo9 May 2003

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

A TOYOTA by any other name, the Nova was Holden's spectacularly unmemorable and unsuccessful tilt at the Ford Laser and Nissan Pulsar. Ironically it replaced the LB-LD Astra, itself a rebadged (but Holden engined from 1987) Nissan. The Nova never really had a chance since Holden was denied selling the only distinctive version, the Seca five-door hatch/liftback, so it was stuck with the very staid five-door hatch and four-door sedan. Nevermind, because it all means that the Holden Corolla is generally cheaper than the Toyota original. From '89 to '92 a small, sweet-spinning 60kW 1.4 engine was available in the base hatch, but that was replaced by a carburettored 67kW 1.6 that also powered the more popular SLX hatch and sedan. From late '91 Holden attempted to add some sparkle to the mid-range models by adding a fuel-injected 75kW 1.6 as well as a youth-baiting GS, while a year later an 85kW 1.8 was also offered. But by then the Nova started to feel too old and cramped. Sadly, the bigger and more refined model also failed to fire, so Holden looked to the inferior TR Astra from Opel in Germany to help solve its small car woes. By the way, this generation Nova lives on in South Africa as the Toyota Tazz.
Model release date: 1 September 1991 to 1 October 1994

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