Review

Vauxhall Corsa VXR hatchback

Price  £18,245

Vauxhall Corsa VXR hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Entertaining handling
  • Good value for money
  • Just as practical as the standard car
Cons
  • Harsh ride
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Only available as a three-door

At a glance

The greenest
VXR 1.6 Turbo (205PS) 3dr £18,245
The cheapest
VXR 1.6 Turbo (205PS) 3dr £18,245
The fastest
VXR CLUBSPORT 1.6i 16v Turbo (205PS) 3dr £22,405
Top of the range
VXR CLUBSPORT 1.6i 16v Turbo (205PS) 3dr £22,405

"The Vauxhall Corsa VXR is a small hot hatch that is a true rival to the Fiesta ST. It's powerful and better value than the Ford, but its rival clinches it on driving entertainment"

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR is a high-performance version of the standard Corsa hatchback. The hot hatch is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 202bhp.

That power means the Corsa VXR accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds. It's not quite as quick as its main rival, the Ford Fiesta ST, which achieves that speed in 6.8 seconds, but it's still a pretty fast car for its size.

The Corsa VXR is brilliant fun on a B-road blast, as its punchy engine and generous grip make it a hoot to drive. The optional Performance Pack is a must-have, too, as the modified suspension and the addition of a limited-slip differential help to bring out the best in the VXR's handling characteristics.

The car will certainly draw attention, thanks to its racy bodykit, massive alloy wheels and chunky rear spoiler. That attention may not always be positive, though, as all of that extra bodywork hints at a less-than-desirable ‘boy racer’ image.

Inside, it's a similar story to the recently updated standard Vauxhall Corsa hatchback, so the cabin feels fresh and much more solidly built than its predecessor. The Recaro sports seats are comfortable and supportive, too.

Other than the Ford Fiesta ST, the Corsa VXR is also a rival for the likes of the MINI Cooper S, Volkswagen Polo GTI and Peugeot 208 GTI.

Since there's only one version and only one engine choice, your decisions are limited, but option packs that include tech such as a reversing camera and lane-departure warning or luxuries like a panoramic sunroof mean there's still some room for customisation. We’d recommend the Flash Blue metallic paint if you really want to stand out.

The Corsa VXR is now more than ever a real competitor for the Ford Fiesta ST, as it's technically cheaper and more powerful than the Ford. However, we think the Fiesta still clinches it on driving performance and personality.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

The Corsa VXR’s main caveat is higher running costs than its more economical rivals

Engines, drive & performance

4.2 / 5

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR’s engine has plenty of thrust on tap, while optional Performance Pack only adds to thrills

Interior & comfort

3 / 5

Good interior quality and standard equipment make the Vauxhall Corsa VXR one of the more appealing hot hatchbacks out there

Practicality & boot space

3.5 / 5

The Corsa VXR’s interior space isn’t compromised – it remains competitive against hot hatchback rivals

Reliability & safety

3 / 5

Vauxhall hasn’t done well in recent customer satisfaction surveys and Euro NCAP didn’t give previous standard Corsa its highest rating

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4 / 5
"The new Corsa VXR feels more refined than the previous model in terms of long distance comfort. Whereas the old model would constantly bounce its way along a motorway, this new version is altogether more settled and relaxing."
4 / 5
"That said, the turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder is a cracking little engine. While it's the same basic unit as you’ll find in the old car, the torque band has been widened and feels much more accessible as a result."
Last updated 
21 Apr 2015
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