Vauxhall Corsa hatchback
Price £9,495 - £17,725
- Spacious interior and big boot
- Good value for money
- Very comfortable
- Seats feel cheap
- Ford Fiesta more fun to drive
- 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 trades on being easy to drive, cheap to run and available in a wide combination of engines, bodystyles and specifications.
Its rivals are numerous and talented, and include the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Kia Rio, SEAT Ibiza and Toyota Yaris. The Corsa was recently updated to keep it competitive, so it now looks and feels sharper. A Fiesta is better to drive and a Polo feels classier, but today's Corsa is now much more refined and comfortable than before, so it's well worth considering in this company.
Three and five-door Corsas look very different from each other. The three-door is the sportier choice, which is why it's offered in VXR hot-hatchback trim. However, three-door is also a little cramped in the rear. In contrast, the five-door Corsa is more upright and less sporty looking, but at the same time roomier and more practical.
There's a wide range of small-capacity petrol and diesel engines to choose from. Our favourite petrol is the 113bhp 1.0-litre turbo. It does 57.6mpg, costs £30 a year to tax and is the quickest and quietest petrol in the line-up.
If you have high annual mileage and fuel economy is important to you, then one of the diesels is probably the way to go. Our pick is the 94bhp 1.3CDTi, which can do 88.3mpg and costs nothing to tax.
The Ford Fiesta is still the class benchmark for ride, handling and overall driving pleasure, but this latest Corsa has been much improved and is now a lot more fun to drive while also feeling comfortable and secure. You just have to be careful which engine you choose, because there are some slow and underpowered ones in the range.
There's a bewildering choice of trim levels so take our advice and plump for upper mid-range Design. It has the best mix of luxuries and essentials, including alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, DAB digital radio and a height-adjustable driver's seat. It also has Vauxhall's IntelliLink system that allows your smartphone to connect with the car's touchscreen.
The old Corsa wasn’t the most reliable of cars, so it should pay to have yours serviced according to the schedule to keep its three-year warranty in force. Safety, too, may be a concern, since this Corsa was awarded just four out of five stars by Euro NCAP. Automatic emergency braking isn’t available, even as an option, but in other respects the car has an acceptable level of safety equipment, including six airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring.
The Vauxhall Corsa offers a choice of efficient petrol and diesel engines to buyers
The Vauxhall Corsa is available with a gutsy turbo petrol engine and handles well
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 old Vauxhall Corsa performed poorly in our Driver Power survey, but new car is an unknown quantity