Review

Vauxhall Corsa VXR hatchback

£18,375

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR is a powerful performance version of the familiar family hatchback. It makes 202bhp from a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. All this power in a relatively small car means the Corsa VXR will reach 62mph from rest in just 6.5 seconds, making it slightly faster than the Ford Fiesta ST, which does the same in 6.9 seconds.

The Corsa VXR is a thrilling car to drive on country roads: its powerful engine provides impressive performance, while excellent grip give reassurance that the car is able to handle all that power. We recommend specifying the VXR with the optional Performance Pack, as its improved suspension and limited-slip differential give the car even more impressive road-holding abilities.

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR isn’t a car for shrinking violets due to its sporty bodykit, pronounced roof spoiler and distinctive alloy wheels. If there's one criticism of all these racy aesthetics, it's that they lend the car a slightly ‘boy-racer’ demeanour which won’t appeal to everyone.

The standard Vauxhall Corsa was recently given an updated interior, so the VXR shares that car's modern and well-built cabin, albeit with the addition of supportive and comfortable Recaro sports seats. There are other nice touches inside that mark the VXR out from the standard Corsa, such as a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a unique instrument panel.

The Corsa VXR's main rivals – aside from the Ford Fiesta ST – are the Peugeot 208 GTI and Volkswagen Polo GTI. In terms of outright performance, the Corsa VXR stands up well to these cars. Its 0-62 time of 6.5 seconds is faster the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI can manage, and equal to that of the 208 GTI. Even so, we think the Fiesta ST is a better car to drive, and has a more mature personality.

Vauxhall only offers the VXR with one engine and bodystyle, but it does give buyers a choice of option packs. Customers can specify conveniences like a reversing camera, safety features such as a lane-departure warning system, or luxuries like a panoramic sunroof. If you want your Corsa VXR to make an even bigger impression, we recommend choosing the Flash Blue metallic paint.