Nova Vita: Review

By: Michael Browning, Photography by: Graeme Neander


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In its latest incarnation, Nova’s popular Vita remains an icon of Australian caravan style.

In just 10 years, Nova has established itself as a style leader in the crowded Australian caravan industry.

Some of this street cred has come from smart new models and clever marketing. Think the very popular Terra Sportz range, unashamedly marketed as a conventional-looking, full-size caravan you can actually take well off the beaten track. Then there is the Workabout, a couple’s caravan that incorporates a proper workstation so that ‘movers’ can ‘shake’ as they travel.

But there has always been a sixth sense of style that has helped Nova attract the eye of luxury caravan buyers over the past decade. And that certain something was present in the top-of-the-range 2016 Nova Vita under review here.

LAYOUT & DESIGN

First impressions of the Vita’s interior are shaped by its style. Gently-curved upper cupboards line the offside wall, matched by the curve of the supporting buttresses that separate the cafe-style dinette from the sleeping quarters.

They are complemented in the nearside kitchen by five glossy, flat-faced overhead cupboards that give the illusion of being curved by the arc of recessed ceiling lights above. The latest model slimline Thetford 185L fridge-freezer continues the look with its curved doors.

Huge windows, the careful choice of light and dark finishes for upper and lower cupboards respectively, quality ‘one motion’ cupboard hardware, silver-finished powerpoints, the light, beach house-style timber toning of the vinyl flooring and the two-toner treatment of the dinette seats, all show the hand of an experienced interior designer, or an amateur with a real flair for this all too seldom-seen art.

BEDROOM & STORAGE

Thanks to the transverse bed, the sleeping area of the Vita is roomy and luxurious. The full wall of cupboards would allow you to take a lot more with you on an extended holiday than the test van’s borderline 400kg of carrying capacity will allow, once the twin water tanks and gas cylinders are full. We counted a total of 32 cupboards and drawers and seven other interior storage areas in the Vita.

KITCHEN

Although the cafe dinette sits over the Vita’s wheel arch, effectively limiting its space to two adults, head rests and corner bolsters make it a comfortable place to sit and relax. It would be even better if the seats incorporated flip-up, or pull-out footrests – ideally ones that can seat adults to accommodate drop-in visitors.

The kitchen opposite is very elegant and well laid-out, with the hard lid for the combo four-burner Swift cooktop (with grill and oven below) providing extra prep or serving space, if required. I also liked that the cooktop lid doesn’t block the window when it’s up, as it does in many caravans.

Excellent draw capacity, spacious cupboards above, well-placed double powerpoints, a flick mixer tap with a separate lever to access filtered water and a good-sized stainless steel sink and drainer board top off a galley that will draw few criticisms.

BATHROOM

If the kitchen delights, then so will the ensuite, which is large, as you would expect in a caravan of the Vita’s size. With the Camec 2.5kg top-loading washing machine concealed under a Laminex lid that forms the right-hand side of the vast vanity benchtop, there is all the space in the world on both sides of the free-standing glass washbowl and mixer tap to spread out all the necessary travel grooming aids.

Even with the washer in use, there’s still decent bench space to the left of the bowl, beside the Thetford ceramic toilet. Below the left-hand side of the bench there’s also a handy cupboard that looks like the perfect place for a dirty laundry bag. The only thing I would add is a second double powerpoint on the left-hand side to avoid power cables having to lie behind the washbowl.

The fibreglass shower cubicle is large and the door opens wide enough to admit all shapes and sizes, and I also liked the reflective finish to the outside of the shower door, which provides an often-missing full-length mirror.

THE BOTTOM LINE

I think you can tell that I really liked the Nova Vita. And with its sense of space, style in spades, and plentiful features, plus the added comfort of a three-year warranty and 11 sales and additional services agents around the country, there is certainly plenty to tickle your fancy in this well-priced touring caravan.

HITS & MISSES

Pros…

  • Great style and classy decor
  • Well-planned layout
  • Good interior storage
  • Sense of road presence

Cons…

  • Not much load capacity
  • Limited exterior storage
  • No footrests means the dinette only seats two
  • No second powerpoint in the ensuite

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The full test appears in Caravan World #548 April 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!