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1988 Nova

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.0

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88 Nova - a Corrolla in disguise


by EasyTarget:      Mar 22, 2000


Product Rating: 2.0 Recommended: No 

Pros: It has 4 wheels
Cons: Quality Control, Small Engine

The 1988 Chevy Nova - before its name changed to Prism, marketing people what will they think of next, is actually a Toyota Corrolla.

Thats Right! Good old Chevrolet made in the USA was designed by the Japanese and built cooperatively at a plant in California. Toyota lent the engineering experience while GM smacked their label on it.

I owned a 4 door car, with the 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine. I bought the car with 58,000 miles and it lasted me a good 4 years & 55,000 miles before the head gasket cracked causing huge amount of damage. The car was dead. Granted partly my fault, poor college student = lack of maintenance = dead car. I do also fault the smaller engine size, where so much pressure is applied to the head gasket, it was only a matter of time.

The Nova's smaller engine lead to slow pick up, and low top speeds, it will never win the 1/4 mile. The engine whine at higher speeds quickly reminds you, you just went past 65mph. You should never get caught speeding, unless your in a school zone.

The standard AC Delco radio died somewhere near 75,000 miles and replacement difficulties and cost kept it as a dead radio.

The car did have A/C and performed very well. The heat, defroster and rear defogger all worked until engine death.

The small instrument console (small car, small console) could become difficult to read at night time. All the controls were in easy reach and clearly understandable.

The Nova did not come with any modern safety features, airbags or ABS. The front disk brakes always provided enough power to guide you to a stop, even if they did have a habit of locking up easier then I liked.

The interior is cramped in the rear and did not have rear folding seats, even though it looked like it should. Two adults in the front are comfortable, as long as no one is in the back.

Overall it was a decent econo-box, but not a dream car. The car got me through college, which is more then I can say for most.

Product Rating: 2.0
Recommended: No 

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