Vauxhall Corsa hatchback
Price £8,995 - £16,235
- Good value for money
- Spacious interior and big boot
- Ford Fiesta more fun to drive
- Seats feel cheap
- Question marks over reliability
At a glance
"The Vauxhall Corsa is a comfortable, practical car with some good engines and a competitive price, which all put it much closer to the best cars in the supermini class."
The Vauxhall Corsa is a supermini that's available with either three or five doors. The design of the three-door car is intended to look slightly more sporty than the five-door, which Vauxhall says has a more upmarket feel. The difference essentially reflects the fact that buyers of the five-door are more likely to have families than customers buying the three-door, and have different priorities as a result. The Corsa is a rival to cars such as the Ford Fiesta, SEAT Ibiza, Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris.
The fourth-generation Corsa keeps the outgoing model's compact four-metre length, but has been completely redesigned so that it's better to drive, more efficient and of higher quality inside.
Although the outgoing Corsa sold in large numbers, in truth it lagged behind the Ford Fiesta, SEAT Ibiza and Hyundai i20 as an overall package and its replacement was overdue. The new version closes the gap to its rivals in several areas, even if the Fiesta is ultimately still more fun to drive.
The previous Corsa received a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating in 2006, but since then the testing has become much more stringent. The new car has yet to be tested, yet it has been given plenty of safety technology to help it achieve a high score under the current set of rules.
There are now nine trim levels, called Life, Sting, Sting R, Excite, Limited Edition, Design, SRi, SRi VX-Line and SE, offering different styling and equipment choices. The latest Corsa also benefits from Vauxhall's recent investment in engine technology, so there are much-needed new options including a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine that directly rivals the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine available in the Ford Fiesta.
The full engine range is made up of four petrol engines and one diesel. The most basic engine is the 1.2-litre petrol, followed by the 1.4-litre petrol. The turbocharged petrol engines are more powerful and more efficient; they consist of a 1.4-litre turbo and the 1.0-litre turbo. We think the 1.0-litre turbo is the best in the range.
Strongest economy figures come from the reworked 1.3-litre CDTI diesel engine. It's available with either 74bhp or 94bhp and returns economy of up to 88.3mpg.
The Vauxhall Corsa has efficient petrol and diesel engines available to buyers
The Vauxhall Corsa is available with a gutsy turbo petrol engine and its suspension offers good handling.
Tactile materials and redesigned suspension help to make the Vauxhall Corsa very comfortable inside.
The Vauxhall Corsa offers good leg and headroom, as well as a large boot
The Vauxhall Corsa performed poorly in latest Driver Power survey, but new car is an unknown quantity.