Vauxhall Corsa hatchback (2006-2011)
"With its big-car feel, the Vauxhall Corsa started the trend for spacious, comfortable superminis."
- Big car feel and comfort
- Spacious, well built cabin
- Excellent economy - particularly the ecoFLEX model
- Stingy entry-level specifications
- Poor resale values
- A common sight on the road
The Vauxhall Corsa is a firm fixture in the UK’s best sellers list – and with good reason. The spacious supermini offers practicality and comfort on a par with larger cars. A recent facelift has added extra equipment and revised engines, improving value for money and fuel economy. The small petrol engines make the most sense, although the diesels do return fantastic economy - particularly the ecoFLEX model with its 76.3mpg capability.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Low insurance rates, excellent fuel economy and tax-friendly emissions make the Corsa light on your wallet at the fuel pumps and for Road Tax. Long 20,000-mile service intervals and plenty of competition for servicing means it should be cheap and easy to keep in tip-top condition, too.
Engines, drive & performance
The Vauxhall Corsa’s suspension is supple, easily dealing with bumpy road surfaces. Steering is light and quick to respond, while low wind, road and engine noise make it a relaxing car to drive long distances. The entry-level 1.0-litre petrol engine feels underpowered; the 1.2-litre petrol is really the best place to start for a decent mix of economy and performance. The 1.3 CDTi diesel is perhaps the best all-rounder, with its economy keeping running costs down.
Interior & comfort
The Corsa started the trend for spacious, comfortable superminis – and on the open road, it almost feels as capable and comfortable as the bigger Astra. Rivals have caught up in terms of space, but the Corsa is still a quiet companion, even on the motorway. Sportier models lose the comfort of the regular versions, with the VXR in particular being rather stiff and bouncy on less than perfect road surfaces – but that’s the price you pay for its thrilling performance.
Practicality & boot space
The Corsa’s boot is big, the passenger compartment is spacious and the interior features some useful storage areas. Vauxhall even offers an integrated bicycle carrier that slides out from under the rear of the car, although it’s an expensive option. Unless you regularly carry adults in the rear seats, the Corsa is big enough to be considered as an alternative to the larger Astra.
Reliability & safety
It feels like a quality product, but the Corsa did suffer a few recalls in 2007. New cars should be reliable, but the Corsa didn't score too well in the 2010 Driver Power survey, coming in 84th out of 100 models. In comparison, the Ford Fiesta managed 35th place.
Price, value for money & options
Pricing is keen, even if the standard specification on entry-point models is limited. The Corsa won’t hold its value as well as a Volkswagen Polo, but it should be cheaper to buy and run.